Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Your Happy Pills May Not Work

Big health new scandal of the day: antidepressants could be just a trick of the mind unless you are severely depressed.

A study was done on selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, (which about 118 million Americans take now-a-day) and the story was published in the "Public Library of Science Medicine" journal. I think the story and/or the findings first came out in Australia, but am not 100% sure about that. MSNBC and ABC both have articles about this.

Basically, the researchers say that a lot of people who use antidepressants feel better simply because they think/believe the meds will make them feel better. They have faith in the pills they take--kind of like a placebo effect. The researchers also say to not just stop taking your meds because of this study: talk to your doctor first. Going off your meds all of a sudden can bring about some crazy withdrawal effects.

The placebo effect thing is something that is also argued about a lot in terms of homeopathic medicine: the little round sugary beads you let dissolve in your mouth simply make you think your are healing, therefore, you heal. I've used homeopathic medicine and can't say that they did or did not work--but I'm sure something happened. I'm big on natural remedies and have read that St. John's wort and L-theanine can have some positive effects on those who are feeling blue. I've never taken St. John's wort because it can counter act another medicine I use, but I have used L-theanine for stress relief and have found it to be very helpful. But that's just me--don't take my word for it.

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