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    I have a quick question about these, I don't really know anything about them.

    A girl I know went home for a few weeks due to problems here, and has come back on pretty strong anti-depressants. Thing is she seems happier than ever, almost to the point of being hysterically happy.

    Is this due to the anti depressants? Is this what they do? cos it's quite disturbing to be honest (I thought they stopped you feeling so down.. but I didn't think they swung you completely the other way). Or do you think it's her reaction now that she thinks they are helping (e a placebo type situation)
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    This is arguable...

    The bottomline is that it works for some people whereas it doesn't work for others.

    Maybe it's bipolar? Maybe it's teenage hormones going all over the place? Maybe it was going to happen even if she didn't take the drugs? Who knows.
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    Thats what they do. Although there may be a placebo affect aswell.. but yeah - im not gonna pretend to know the ins and outs of them, but they alter them chemicals in your brain and can create a false impression of happiness within you.

    Although i doubt that it'll last as most people i know with experiences of these drugs find the effect wears off after a while - leaving them depressed, addicted to anti depressents and unable to take more to make them happy again, as well as having the side effects from the drugs. hmmmm.
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    The theory that they make people "hysterically happy" is absolute rubbish. If anything, antidepressants help a mentally ill person to function properly. They are not a happy pill, I'm afraid. Either she didn't need them in the first place or, they have altered her chemical balance to the point where she feels she can be happy. Perhaps her circumstances have changed or, if it she went on antidepressants because she was feeling depressed for no apparent reason, the medication might have helped her. Just keep an eye on her and watch out for any sudden changes in her mood/personality.
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    In simplified terms, SSRIs (assuming she is taking that form of antidepressant, as its the most prevalent class in the UK) increase the level of serotonin available to your brain. Serotonin is needed to regulate one's emotions, amongst other things. So that's what the SSRIs are doing: providing your friend with a more "normal" supply of serotonin, which will enable her to have more "normal" emotions.

    It's unusual (to the point that I've only ever heard of one or two cases) for a person to become ridiculously happy due to taking antidepressants; it's actually far more common for the person to become more depressed for a short while after commencing their treatment. That's not to say it absolutely can't be down to the medication: I am, after all, only an auxiliary nurse with several years' personal experience of antidepressants - but my first thought was that she might have RCBD (rapid cycling bipolar disorder), which would explain why her mood has swung from depressed to elated in a short period of time.

    I would suggest that she goes back to her doctor, and mentions the effect the drugs have had on her. They'll either agree that there's something unusual, or they'll reassure her that she has nothing to worry about. In any instance, her doctor should be able to give better advice than any of us is able to.

    Edit: typo.
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    (Original post by Sarahl89)
    Thats what they do. Although there may be a placebo affect aswell.. but yeah - im not gonna pretend to know the ins and outs of them, but they alter them chemicals in your brain and can create a false impression of happiness within you.

    Although i doubt that it'll last as most people i know with experiences of these drugs find the effect wears off after a while - leaving them depressed, addicted to anti depressents and unable to take more to make them happy again, as well as having the side effects from the drugs. hmmmm.
    I'm sorry, but I can't let this one go; antidepressants do not create a false impression of happiness. When you get depressed, your serotonin levels deplete. Antidepressants are used to make up for what has been lost through a biological illness or an illness that is a result of traumatic experiences e.g. PTSD. If said person is ecstatically happy for no apparent reason, chances are, she should not be on a high dose of antidepressants as, if she is not severely/clinically depressed, she will have an excess of serotonin (and other chemicals). Antidepressants are not physically addictive, either.
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    (Original post by Laus)
    I'm sorry, but I can't let this one go; antidepressants do not create a false impression of happiness. When you get depressed, your serotonin levels deplete. Antidepressants are used to make up for what has been lost through a biological illness or an illness that is a result of traumatic experiences e.g. PTSD. If said person is ecstatically happy for no apparent reason, chances are, she should not be on a high dose of antidepressants as, if she is not severely/clinically depressed, she will have an excess of serotonin (and other chemicals). Antidepressants are not physically addictive, either.
    For whatever my opinion might be worth, I second this...
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    (Original post by Laus)
    I'm sorry, but I can't let this one go; antidepressants do not create a false impression of happiness. When you get depressed, your serotonin levels deplete. Antidepressants are used to make up for what has been lost through a biological illness or an illness that is a result of traumatic experiences e.g. PTSD. If said person is ecstatically happy for no apparent reason, chances are, she should not be on a high dose of antidepressants as, if she is not severely/clinically depressed, she will have an excess of serotonin (and other chemicals). Antidepressants are not physically addictive, either.
    Yess and like i said they change the balence of chemicals in your brain - ie seratonin levels, which makes you feel happier - hows that not a false impression of happiness? it doesnt make you actually happy in your life as if you stopped taking them obviously you would most probably go back to being depressed again.
    i did say i dont know all the ins & outs but i dont see how you can argue with that.

    And actually, yes, some antidepressants can be physically addictive. fact.
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    (Original post by Laus)
    I'm sorry, but I can't let this one go; antidepressants do not create a false impression of happiness. When you get depressed, your serotonin levels deplete. Antidepressants are used to make up for what has been lost through a biological illness or an illness that is a result of traumatic experiences e.g. PTSD. If said person is ecstatically happy for no apparent reason, chances are, she should not be on a high dose of antidepressants as, if she is not severely/clinically depressed, she will have an excess of serotonin (and other chemicals). Antidepressants are not physically addictive, either.
    Actually the whole arena of chemical imbalances is a pseudo-science and a recently published study has shown that anti-depressants don't work any more than placebos.

    The actual study
    http://medicine.plosjournals.org/per...d.0050045&ct=1
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    (Original post by Sarahl89)
    Yess and like i said they change the balence of chemicals in your brain - ie seratonin levels, which makes you feel happier - hows that not a false impression of happiness?
    I'm sorry, but it really isn't that simple. They aren't just seratonin pills - if they were, they would cause a false sense of happiness (anything would cause happiness as the seratonin would be there). And further, the body would compensate by producing more seratonin receptors on the seratonergic pathways and we'd be back to square one - just like the body adapts to opiates by producing more opiod receptors.

    Rather, SSRIs decrease seratonin re-uptake after it has been released; this has the side effect that if one does something that would normally cause seratonin release, the seratonin hangs around for longer than it would have done without the medication. They don't create a false impression of happiness as they don't make rubbish things or doing nothing seem enjoyable - they only work as a tool to help one get the sense of satisfaction one should get out of things that release seratonin by breaking the viscious cycle of aggressive seratonin depletion by allowing normally seratonin-releasing activities to have their proper effect again. If anything, depression is an unnatural state of unhappiness, and SSRIs balance it out again - nothing 'false' about that.

    it doesnt make you actually happy in your life as if you stopped taking them obviously you would most probably go back to being depressed again.
    That's actually incorrect. For instance, SSRIs treat anhedonia - an effect of depression in which people lack enjoyment in doing things. They do so by causing the seratonin to hang around like it should do when they do things that should be enjoyable. By restoring this enjoyment to what it should be, through the use of SSRIs, the medication can then gradually be reduced and the seratonin levels remain. They don't just blotto people out for the duration of treatment, they are a tool which help people enjoy life again, and once they are stable, can be removed. Otherwise, everyone who went on anti-depressants would be on them for life - and this simply is not the case.

    i did say i dont know all the ins & outs but i dont see how you can argue with that.
    I can, and have, argued with that....

    And actually, yes, some antidepressants can be physically addictive. fact.
    Erm, which ones? They can have rebound withdrawal symptoms, but physically addictive? Animals do not choose to self-administer anti-depressants; they do choose to self-administer physically addictive drugs.
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    (Original post by kastro9)
    Actually the whole arena of chemical imbalances is a pseudo-science and a recently published study has shown that anti-depressants don't work any more than placebos.

    The actual study
    http://medicine.plosjournals.org/per...d.0050045&ct=1
    Do you want to know the story behind that publication? I'll try and rattle it off quickly as I'm rather tired.

    The authors who wrote that used to work for a pharmaceutical company. Pharmaceutical companies, to prove efficacy of medication, need affected subjects to take part in control trials. To do this, they set up 'centres' around the country, and give each one a kick-back for each patient they recruit to the trial; say, $100. Now, these subjects need to fit certain criteria (e.g. be depressed) and what happens is that some of these centres, to get their kick back and get the job done, recruit people who aren't actually really all that depressed. The result? The drug doesn't appear to particularly work, given the people weren't particularly depressed to begin with. A bit of a non-result - and hence is never published, because the pharmaceutical companies expect a certain amount of this. Effectively, these corrupt centres produce entirely flawed trials by recruiting mis-labelled subjects.

    Now, however, the same authors who published work years ago on how these drugs were effective no longer work for the pharmaceutical companies - the payroll they are now on favours not giving out medication, rather than giving it out. So they pull out all of these flawed trials from the corrupt centres and include them, using the data to 'show' that anti-depressants are no more effective than placebo in sub-severe depression. However, because this extra data is flawed (from the corrupt centres) it skews the study. If one disregards these, the picture indicates that anti-depressants are more effective than placebo. It's only by including known-dodgy data that one can show that they're not. Which is precisely what these people have done, just because they've switched payrolls and are trying to get a bonus.

    So, the conclusion of this report is as follows: if one uses flawed data in a meta-analysis of anti-depressants, one can show them to be ineffective. If one uses non-flawed data (based on scrutinising the running of centres, or through well-disciplined government-led programmes such as the STAR-D) trials, anti-depressants are shown to be effective.

    Any questions?
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    ^ Cheers, YAP. I was just about to embark on a long-winded explanation, and then realised I feel too sleepy to do the subject justice - and now I don't have to worry about it because you've already said everything I would have said and more.
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    (Original post by YAP)
    I'm sorry,but it really isn't that simple. They aren't just seratonin pills - if they were, they would cause a false sense of happiness (anything would cause happiness as the seratonin would be there). And further, the body would compensate by producing more seratonin receptors on the seratonergic pathways and we'd be back to square one - just like the body adapts to opiates by producing more opiod receptors..
    i know this; if you re read my post you will notice that i never claimed to be an expert on the matter; im well aware it is much more complicated than this.

    Rather, SSRIs decrease seratonin re-uptake after it has been released; this has the side effect that if one does something that would normally cause seratonin release, the seratonin hangs around for longer than it would have done without the medication. They don't create a false impression of happiness as they don't make rubbish things or doing nothing seem enjoyable - they only work as a tool to help one get the sense of satisfaction one should get out of things that release seratonin by breaking the viscious cycle of aggressive seratonin depletion by allowing normally seratonin-releasing activities to have their proper effect again. If anything, depression is an unnatural state of unhappiness, and SSRIs balance it out again - nothing 'false' about that.


    That's actually incorrect. For instance, SSRIs treat anhedonia - an effect of depression in which people lack enjoyment in doing things. They do so by causing the seratonin to hang around like it should do when they do things that should be enjoyable. By restoring this enjoyment to what it should be, through the use of SSRIs, the medication can then gradually be reduced and the seratonin levels remain. They don't just blotto people out for the duration of treatment, they are a tool which help people enjoy life again, and once they are stable, can be removed. Otherwise, everyone who went on anti-depressants would be on them for life - and this simply is not the case.
    Sometimes it is the case though. Yes it can work for some people, but for others it simply can't and doesn't.



    Erm, which ones? They can have rebound withdrawal symptoms, but physically addictive? Animals do not choose to self-administer anti-depressants; they do choose to self-administer physically addictive drugs.
    Seroxat for an example ~ i fail to see how you can argue that it is an addictive drug.
    I know that not all anti depressants are addictive in this way, but i still personally wouldn't touch them with a barge pole. We know so little about the brain as it is that i dont see how we can reasonably administer mind altering drugs and expect to know all the effects of them at this point in time.
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    (Original post by YAP)
    Do you want to know the story behind that publication? I'll try and rattle it off quickly as I'm rather tired.

    The authors who wrote that used to work for a pharmaceutical company. Pharmaceutical companies, to prove efficacy of medication, need affected subjects to take part in control trials. To do this, they set up 'centres' around the country, and give each one a kick-back for each patient they recruit to the trial; say, $100. Now, these subjects need to fit certain criteria (e.g. be depressed) and what happens is that some of these centres, to get their kick back and get the job done, recruit people who aren't actually really all that depressed. The result? The drug doesn't appear to particularly work, given the people weren't particularly depressed to begin with. A bit of a non-result - and hence is never published, because the pharmaceutical companies expect a certain amount of this. Effectively, these corrupt centres produce entirely flawed trials by recruiting mis-labelled subjects.

    Now, however, the same authors who published work years ago on how these drugs were effective no longer work for the pharmaceutical companies - the payroll they are now on favours not giving out medication, rather than giving it out. So they pull out all of these flawed trials from the corrupt centres and include them, using the data to 'show' that anti-depressants are no more effective than placebo in sub-severe depression. However, because this extra data is flawed (from the corrupt centres) it skews the study. If one disregards these, the picture indicates that anti-depressants are more effective than placebo. It's only by including known-dodgy data that one can show that they're not. Which is precisely what these people have done, just because they've switched payrolls and are trying to get a bonus.

    So, the conclusion of this report is as follows: if one uses flawed data in a meta-analysis of anti-depressants, one can show them to be ineffective. If one uses non-flawed data (based on scrutinising the running of centres, or through well-disciplined government-led programmes such as the STAR-D) trials, anti-depressants are shown to be effective.

    Any questions?
    lool "corrupt centres". Its just greatly convenient that pharma conceals results that don't go along with what they want, this study had to get the unpublished data via the freedom of information act.
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    Yess and like i said they change the balence of chemicals in your brain - ie seratonin levels, which makes you feel happier - hows that not a false impression of happiness? it doesnt make you actually happy in your life as if you stopped taking them obviously you would most probably go back to being depressed again.
    Many people, who suffer from depression, only take antidepressants for a particular time span (the minimum recommendation is 6 months). If you come off your medication prematurely then yes, you may have a depressive relapse. They do not make you feel happier, as such; generally, they enable someone who isn't well to get up in the morning and to cope with the everyday challenges that don't seem challenging to your average Joe Blogs. It isn't an instantaneous torrent of glee, it is exactly what it says on the packet - something that is anti (or against) depression. Just like certain properties are said to be anti-cancerous, for instance. What is more, some people aren't depressed for any particular reason. Thus, their depression does not stem from a dissatisfaction of life and so a tablet is not going to make this person, "happy in [their] life", as they were not unhappy with their life to begin with. Do you see what I'm saying?


    (Original post by Sarahl89)
    And actually, yes, some antidepressants can be physically addictive. fact.
    A fact, you say? Antidepressants are not physically addictive. Sure, it is a good idea to reduce your dose gradually, but, that is the case with many drugs. Antidepressants can be, however, psychologically addictive. There is a difference.

    (Original post by Sarahl89)
    Seroxat for an example ~ i fail to see how you can argue that it is an addictive drug.
    Do you have a source? I can't say you are wrong because I have not done a lot of research on this particular drug. I have a relative who was on this and he came off it cold turkey. Granted, it was a bad idea but he was not dependent. Perhaps it depends on whether or not you need antidepressants in the first place.

    YAP obviously knows what he is talking about. I'm not saying that you don't; I just think you need to think things through before you go making assertions about people who are on antidepressants.

    If I were you, I would mention your thoughts to your friends and suggest that she visits her GP. In a few weeks time, they may choose to lower her dose. Out of interest, how long has your friend been taking antidepressants? Do you know which drug she is taking and whether or not she is receiving counselling alongside her treatment?

    Laus
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    Slighty off topic more to the plecebo thing:

    i was told if i doctor offers you ABT .. u knw, he thinks your a hypercondriac!

    ABT AKA ANY BLOODY THING

    they mainly dish out vitamin b tablets or soemthin!

    i thought this was quite amusing! and the effect in some cases the pills actually cured the so called illness
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    (Original post by tom_tom_tom)
    Slighty off topic more to the plecebo thing:

    i was told if i doctor offers you ABT .. u knw, he thinks your a hypercondriac!

    ABT AKA ANY BLOODY THING

    they mainly dish out vitamin b tablets or soemthin!

    i thought this was quite amusing! and the effect in some cases the pills actually cured the so called illness
    Maybe these people were overreactive people who thought they had every illness possible where in reality they obviously don't, so they go to doctors thinking they have depression because they had momentary sadness common to everyday life. So doctors prescribe them fake pills and the placebo cures the non-existing illness.
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    (Original post by ShaolinTemple)
    Maybe these people were overreactive people who thought they had every illness possible where in reality they obviously don't, so they go to doctors thinking they have depression because they had momentary sadness common to everyday life. So doctors prescribe them fake pills and the placebo cures the non-existing illness.
    Uve got it in one

    not only gettin the patient off the doctors back but also "curing" them!

    the wonders of the human mind!

    kinda scary how i can be made to believe things!
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    (Original post by Laus)
    The theory that they make people "hysterically happy" is absolute rubbish. If anything, antidepressants help a mentally ill person to function properly. They are not a happy pill, I'm afraid.
    Are any of these 'happy pills' available, preferably without prescription?
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    (Original post by Sarahl89)
    i know this; if you re read my post you will notice that i never claimed to be an expert on the matter; im well aware it is much more complicated than this.


    Sometimes it is the case though. Yes it can work for some people, but for others it simply can't and doesn't.




    Seroxat for an example ~ i fail to see how you can argue that it is an addictive drug.
    I know that not all anti depressants are addictive in this way, but i still personally wouldn't touch them with a barge pole. We know so little about the brain as it is that i dont see how we can reasonably administer mind altering drugs and expect to know all the effects of them at this point in time.
    If you ever get to the stage of a depressive illness when you literally spend all day in bed because you don't care about anything in your life anymore then you can make the choice between anti-depressants and living as a shell of your former self. Anti-depressants have helped many people get their lives on track. Perhaps they are used too much as a lone form of treatment, and no-one is pretending that they are a miracle cure for depression. But they can and do help people suffering from depression to find the motivation and will to get their lives back on track.
 
 
 
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