Antidepressants can worsen long term course of depression

A new study AGAIN supports the claim that antidepressants (SSRIs and SNRIs etc) worsen long-term outcomes among people who deal with depression:

From Medical News Today:

There is increasing awareness that, in some cases, long-term use of antidepressant drugs (AD) may enhance the biochemical vulnerability to depression and worsen its long-term outcome and symptomatic expression, decreasing both its likelihood of subsequent response to pharmacological treatment and the duration of symptom-free periods. A review of literature suggesting potential side effects during long treatment with antidepressant drugs was performed. Studies were identified electronically using the following databases: Medline, Cinahl, PsychInfo, Web of Science and the Cochrane Library….

…In some cases, antidepressants have been described inducing adverse events such as withdrawal symptoms at discontinuation, onset of tolerance and resistance phenomena and switch and cycle acceleration in bipolar patients. Unfavorable long term outcomes and paradoxical effects (depression inducing and symptomatic worsening) have also been reported. All these phenomena may be explained on the basis of the oppositional model of the rest

This story has been shared on Beyond Meds in the past. I will repost a short post right here that borrows from Robert Whitaker’s work:— Links to studies showing that depression with much greater frequency becomes a life long chronic problem with the advent of the use of drugs.


A. The Natural Course of Depression

Prior to the widespread use of antidepressants, the National Institute of Mental Health told the public that people regularly recovered from a depressive episode, and often never experienced a second episode. As the NIMH’s Jonathan Cole wrote in 1964: “Depression is, on the whole, one of the psychiatric conditions with the best prognosis for eventual recovery, with or without treatment.” Given this understanding of the natural course of depression, the NIMH’s experts believed that antidepressants might shorten the time to recovery, but they wouldn’t be able to boost long-term recovery rates. The reason, explained Dean Schuyler, head of the depression section at the NIMH, in 1974, was that most depressive episodes “will run their course and teminate with virtually complete recovery without specific intervention.”

B. The Chronicity Problem Appears

Once psychiatrists began treating their depressed patients with antidepressants, at least a few observed that these patients, once they got better and stopped taking the drugs, regularly became depressed again. While the drugs might help people over the short-term, they were putting them onto a more chronic long-term here to see numerous studies showing the incident of chronicity associated with drug treatment

For extensive interpretation of these studies as well as a look at real people in case studies buy and read Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America — by Robert Whitaker NOW IN PAPERBACK

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