BigPharma pushes anti-depressants for grief

Is transient sadness really a medical condition?

“In what some prominent critics have called a bonanza for the drug companies, the American Psychiatric Association this month voted to drop the old warning against diagnosing depression in the bereaved, opening the way for more of them to be diagnosed with major depression — and thus, treated with antidepressants.” [Washington Post]

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12 responses to “BigPharma pushes anti-depressants for grief

  1. Pretty good money for something that works as well as a placebo for most people. It’s good to bear in mind that some lobbyists work *outside* the Beltway.

  2. All energy in the universe travels in a cosine wave, weaving back and forth between positive and negative (AC function). Human emotions are no different, we alternate between sad and gleeful from day to day and week to week, that is our normal flow. To medicate people to try to keep them on the mountain top is as bad as keeping them in constant depression.

  3. I had a bout with depression in 1972, and was given a prescription for Elavil. It worked quite well, and I was very happy to have gotten it.

    I thank BIG PHARMA.

    When my first wife, the Good One, died 14 years later, it didn’t occur to me to seek medical relief for my acute depression. My mistake. Maybe they wouldn’t have given me a prescription, but it would certainly have helped.

    These are prescription drugs, requiring a doctor to assess the situation before writing the scrip. I’ve got no problem with that.

  4. Westchester Bill

    During my divorces, (I have two and would have three if I wasn’t so poor.) i had deep depression. After three weeks of misery in my second go around I got to the point that I was going to get some help. But I was walking down the street and there was a click like sensation, and I was well. It might have been the pleasant sunny weather or maybe my reluctance to pay a doctor..

    I met a lady some time later who told me that one had to be patient with anti-depressants. They sometimes take three weeks to kick in. Hmmm.

    The TV host Dick Cavet was on a news Hour segment and told of his struggle with depression and that he found nothing, other than medicine, worked for him.

    I don’t use them myself, but the anti -psychotic medicines are miracles for many. Like Gamecock above, if I read him correctly, I believe Big Pharma is a positive in life. I thank Gamecock for sharing his experience with us.

  5. The first sign of scurvy (vitamin C deficiency) in adults is general physical weakness and DEPRESSION (Check a good old-fashioned Pathology textbook -circa 1970′s). The old sea-captains tried whipping, but the sailors died anyway. Captain James Cook of England used vitamin C. And so Australia was settled as a nation. Check it out.

    • Biggles, with an even moderately varied diet, Vitamin C deficiency is unheard of. Scurvy is a disease of those without access to sufficient fresh food (such as those in extreme poverty, in famine-swept areas, and sailors/soldiers with poor supplies).

      • So you’ve never heard of sub-clinical scurvy? You don’t know that magnesium deficiency can trigger heart attacks? There are people who have studied these facts who are aware of this. And there are medical people who should know these facts who don’t WANT to know about it.

        • ” Even when people don’t consume enough magnesium, a deficiency is rare, and symptoms often indicate an underlying cause, such as diabetes, pancreatitis, irritable bowel syndrome or kidney disease.”

          http://www.livestrong.com

          You are so melodramatic, Biggles.

          • When you have a diagnosis of actual scurvy, then if untreated you have maybe only a few weeks to live. The fact is, many poor people (especially) have very low intake of vitamin C and can suffer a chronic deficiency resulting in early signs of scurvy – such as depression – just for one thing. In “Pathology” , 7th Edition,, Mosby, !977 (yes – that long ago) Volume 1, page 747 it states: “Myocardial degeneration has been reported in Vitamin C deficiency in human beings and experimentally in guinea pigs.” Reference: Wohlbach ,S.B., J.A.M.A. 108:7-13, 1937 (lesions in vitamin deficiencies). – Hey this is 1937. . No one cares? No one takes any notice? The magnesium issue is more complicated, but there have been studies …yes, really.
            When I take to the skies I don’t want one eighth full oil in my machine (it will still fly for a while). I want to land safely, not burn my motor up.

          • That should read 1977 of course – but the exclamation mark ! is relevant.

          • Magnesium: E.G.: “The observed associations between magnesium metabolism, diabetes, and high blood pressure increase the likelihood that magnesium metabolism may influence cardiovascular disease [49].

            Some observational surveys have associated higher blood levels of magnesium with lower risk of coronary heart disease [50-51]. In addition, some dietary surveys have suggested that a higher magnesium intake may reduce the risk of having a stroke [52]. There is also evidence that low body stores of magnesium increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms, which may increase the risk of complications after a heart attack [4]. These studies suggest that consuming recommended amounts of magnesium may be beneficial to the cardiovascular system. They have also prompted interest in clinical trials to determine the effect of magnesium supplements on cardiovascular disease.”

  6. I actually was listening to NPR about this, and the psychiatrist they had said that it was more lawsuit-bait than anything else. Depression has been defined as exhibiting depression-related symptoms for several weeks except if the patient has had experienced a great loss such as the death of a friend or family member in the past 6 months. This change removes everything after “except”

    Doctors know enough not to prescribe anti-depressants for mourners unless it becomes a hindrance (most aren’t actually idiots and according to my medical friends, they actually think very little of these guidelines on common illnesses. The book is pulled out for the rare stuff.). The real problem is for the responsible ones who don’t treat grief and the patient hangs themselves or does something equally stupid.

    Interesting link, but I wouldn’t chase windmills about it.

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