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For most people, antidepressants don't stop all symptoms of disease

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For most people, antidepressants don't stop all symptoms of disease

75 percent of those in study reported symptoms including sadness, insomnia

 

By Amanda Chan msnbc.com MyHealthNewsDaily

 

updated 4/27/2011 2:09:05 PM ET

 

Even patients who appear to have a successful response to antidepressants may not experience total elimination of depression symptoms, a new study suggests. Some of the most common persisting symptoms include insomnia, sadness and decreased concentration.

 

Study participants reported three to 13 residual symptoms of depression even if their antidepressant treatment was considered effective, said study researcher Shawn McClintock, a clinical neuropsychologist at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

 

Plus, 75 percent of all study respondents said they experienced at least five or more symptoms of depression despite treatment, McClintock said.

 

"This was eye-opening to us, that these symptoms still persist," McClintock told MyHealthNewsDaily.

 

Persistence of sad mood, for example, was surprising because that is one of the hallmark symptoms of depression, he said. Of the participants in the study, 71 percent reported sadness despite treatment with medication.

 

The study shows that doctors need to pay attention to what isn't being treated with the first-line antidepressant, McClintock said, and should consider other options besides drugs to treat those symptoms.

 

The study was published in the April issue of the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.

 

Persisting symptoms

 

McClintock and his colleagues analyzed data from 2,876 people who took antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), the most common kind of antidepressant, for 12 weeks. The data was from the six-year STAR*D study, the largest-ever study of people diagnosed with major depression.

 

....

Researchers found that among people taking antidepressants for their depression, 71 percent reported sadness, 70 percent reported decreased concentration and diminished decision-making skills and 79 percent reported some form of insomnia.

 

In fact, the number of people who reported having "moderately severe" insomnia was more than double that of people reporting other symptoms, with 60 percent reporting the symptom, the study said.

 

Researchers also discovered that thoughts of suicide were extremely rare in the study population, the study said.

 

Other options

 

The study shows that there is hope for people who may not respond to just one kind of antidepressant, McClintock said.

 

"We don’t want the helplessness to be there," he said. "If these are the symptoms that are remaining, let's work collaboratively with doctor and patient."

 

Besides drugs, there are also other options to help reduce symptoms of depression, McClintock said. A doctor could also choose to have the patient undergo psychotherapy or encourage more exercise and better sleep hygiene (turning off the lights before bed, and no working in bed).

 

"There are always different options, and that's one of the things the paper highlights," McClintock said. "If one medication isn’t working, as in this case, don’t give up hope, because there are many other options that can be done."

....

 

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42782878/ns/health-mental_health/

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Healing

In addition to the absurdity that "They" are just beginning to get that antidepressants don't work so good, what jumps out at me is that we really don't know how much of an individual's symptoms are being caused by the med *while on it*.

 

Untreated depressive episodes tend to come to an end all by themselves. So, if people on antidepressants have sad mood, decreased concentration, and insomnia, how much of that is the original problem still untreated, and how much is *caused* by the med -- especially as time goes by -- months and years on the med?

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Altostrata

Exactly. How much of the "depressive" symptomology was caused by the treatment?

 

Such as insomnia -- antidepressants are known to be activating!

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compsports

And neuropsychologists are just as clueless as psychiatrists.

 

How the bleep can you miss the fact that ADs cause insomnia? I ended up on two drugs for insomnia thanks to ADs which were Remeron and Doxepin.

 

CS

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Neuroplastic

Untreated depressive episodes tend to come to an end all by themselves.

That's the thing. I shudder every time I read on different forums this scary sentence "I've been taking X for [insert a number; could be a double digit one] years. Still depressed. My doctor says my depression is 'drug-resistant' ".

 

Only after the Big Pharma dust settles, shall we see how monstrously wide-spread the "antidepressant-caused pandemic" is. Unbelievable.

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summer

 

Untreated depressive episodes tend to come to an end all by themselves. So, if people on antidepressants have sad mood, decreased concentration, and insomnia, how much of that is the original problem still untreated, and how much is *caused* by the med -- especially as time goes by -- months and years on the med?

 

Hmmmmm! I wonder about the same thing. Before I moved to CA, I was usually told the AD I was on needed to be increased, and/or that I should change to another one.

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