Confusing New Studies – Are Antidepressants Helpful?

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Of: Jennifer Koellen


Antidepressants: Do SSRIs Really Help Fight Depression? © Alexandre Limbach/imago

A new study shows that depression is not due to a lack of serotonin. So, are antidepressants (SSRIs) superfluous? It is not so easy.

Bremen – One in five people suffers from depression at least once in their life. In Germany, 11.3% of women and 5.1% of men are currently affected. Up to six percent currently suffer from summertime depression, particularly women between the ages of 20 and 40. But there is help. Psychotherapy and antidepressants have been shown to help relieve symptoms such as sadness, emptiness, and worthlessness.

Therefore, the following news may surprise people who have managed to get their depression under control. The most commonly prescribed antidepressants are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). Because scientists from Great Britain want to have discovered that depression is not due to a lack of serotonin, the substance that communicates happiness in the brain. But that’s exactly where SSRI therapy comes in.

So, do depressed people simply imagine that the drug relieves their symptoms? Don’t antidepressants help fight depression?

Symptoms of depression: new studies confuse – are antidepressants really helpful?

Psychiatrists have been prescribing SSRIs for depression since the 1990s, based on the belief that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Which means: The depressive has too little serotonin in the blood. The University College London researchers now say: Their extensive investigation found “no clear evidence” for what scholarly circles call the “serotonin hypothesis.” Scientists write in the journal Molecular psychiatry.

Do depressed people take SSRI antidepressants, even if it sounds cynical, just for fun? Can you just imagine the effect, the placebo effect of the keyword? Is the pharmaceutical lobby behind?

Do antidepressants (SSRIs) help relieve symptoms of depression? Experts disagree

One thing is certain: experts and psychiatrists do not agree that depression is due to a lack of serotonin in the brain. And further, whether SSRIs really help those affected.

David Nutt directs the Center for Neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London. He and his team looked at serotonin release in the brain. Nutt contradicts the statements of his colleagues. “We found a reduced ability to secrete serotonin in people with depression.” Meaning: SSRIs must help. Because SSRIs ensure that less serotonin is broken down in the brain and is therefore increasingly available to the patient as a messenger of happiness.

Scientists at Hiroshima University in Japan, on the other hand, found in 2018 that SSRIs don’t work in people who have suffered childhood trauma. The reason for this is that different brain circuit patterns and different regions are active for different reasons of depression. SSRIs help one person with depression, but not another. This shows how complex the serotonin system in the brain is, writes online time.

Do you have symptoms of depression? Rely on a combination of psychotherapy and antidepressants

In a guest post in the stream psychology today writes psychiatrist Gregory Scott Brown about prescribing pills designed to solve everything at once. And it can’t work. He talks about his own depression, which antidepressants would probably have helped him with. But only “to better manage the symptoms” – not to cure them.

That’s probably the problem with antidepressants. Problems, ruminations and self-doubt do not go away. While SSRIs help relieve symptoms of depression:

Symptoms of depression: these are the most common signs

  • Main symptoms of depression
  • depressed mood
  • Loss of interest and happiness
  • Lack of dynamism and fatigue
  • secondary symptoms of depression
  • decreased concentration and attention
  • decreased self-esteem and self-confidence
  • Feelings of guilt and worthlessness
  • Exaggerated fears about the future or “catastrophism”
  • suicidal thoughts
  • sleep disorders
  • decreased appetite

Depression: more than just medication for the healing process

But if you really want to cure your depression, you have to do more than rely on medication. He needs to take care of himself, play sports, see friends, change long-term harmful thought patterns. There are now even apps for a mental health that Medicare pays for.

In conclusion, it can be said that even the experts disagree on whether depression is due to a lack of serotonin in the brain – and whether it can be treated well with SSRIs. And even though SSRIs help people get out of depression, in the long run, those affected can only stay symptom-free by changing their harmful habits. And that means you have to work on yourself. And it’s harder than swallowing a pill.

Do you have bad thoughts, are you depressed and could you be depressed? You are not alone in this case! Please contact the information line of the German Foundation for Depression. Such. : 0800 / 33 44 533. You can get help here.

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