The Myths and Truths About Antidepressants: My Article in LifeHack.org

The following is an excerpt from my most recent article on LifeHack.org about antidepressants.  I don’t advocate the use of antidepressants, despite my own experience with them being extremely positive and valuable during the worst episodes of my life.  But there are millions of us who are on them, regardless of whether we should be or not, and therefore need a lot of solid, no-BS information about them.

For better or worse, here’s my take on this subject.  I hope this adds to your overall knowledge base on the subject.

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You can thank tuberculosis for the 29 antidepressants we now have on the market.

No, that’s not an urban myth, that’s actually true.

Sixty years ago, a drug called iproniazid was being used to treat tuberculosis. But when the doctors discovered their previously discouraged TB patients dancing in the hospital hallways one evening, researchers began studying its possible impact on depression.

It turned out to be effective in treating depression in many people. Unfortunately, doctors learned the hard way that iproniazid came with a notable danger: if while taking the drug the person drank wine, ate cheese, or consumed any other food that had the amino acid tyramine in it, the person could experience a drastic spike in blood pressure that in some cases resulted in sudden death.

And so the search was on for a drug that could treat depression without running the risk of killing the patient.

Since then, controversy about the use and effectiveness of these drugs has grown about as immense as their popularity, and the conversation around antidepressants has created two distinct camps: one declaring that antidepressants are life-saving and the other insisting they are somewhere between worthless and down right dangerous.

With emotions running high, it’s not surprising that a slew of myths from both sides have crept into social media, making the discussion even more confusing.

In the interest of science and truth, CLICK HERE to learn about 13 of the more popular myths, with fact-based rebuttals that comes from the scientific community and my thirty-plus years as a psychiatric nurse…

 

Photo credit:  <a href=’http://www.123rf.com/profile_miszaqq’>miszaqq / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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