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Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:07 PM

Antidepressants to treat grief? Psychiatry panelists with ties to drug industry say yes

Last edited Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:15 AM - Edit history (1)

Antidepressants to treat grief? Psychiatry panelists with ties to drug industry say yes

It was a simple experiment in healing the bereaved: Twenty-two patients who had recently lost a spouse were given a widely used antidepressant. The drug, marketed as Wellbutrin, improved “major depressive symptoms occurring shortly after the loss of a loved one,” the report in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry concluded.

When should the bereaved be medicated? For years, the official handbook of psychiatry, issued by the American Psychiatric Association, advised against diagnosing major depression when the distress is “better accounted for by bereavement.” Such grief, experts said, was better left to nature. But that may be changing.

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.

The association itself depends in part on industry funding, and the majority of experts on the committee that drafted the new diagnostic guideline have either received research grants from the drug companies, held stock in them, or served them as speakers or consultants.

Drug companies have shown an interest in treating patients who have recently lost a loved one, having sponsored and published the results of at least three trials in which the bereaved were treated with antidepressants, including the Wellbutrin study.


(Washington Post)

What Americans on drugs (and their industry-funded drug cartel suppliers, both legal and illegal) are ignoring is the fact that a report was once issued by prominent psychologists that a majority of people in the world who are "clinically depressed" have reason to be depressed. Because their lives and/or their communities suck. (That wasn't the clinical terms used)

They have no more control over their lives than did the peasants in the Middle Ages, albeit we have more freedom of movement. Why? Because no matter what we do in life, well-funded institutions such as drug companies will control everything we see, hear and experience. So if your life sucks... take a pill.

Edited to add: People took offense at my characterization of Americans being overly dependent on pharmaceuticals, which I did not realize. I was not trying to offend. I have suffered from situational depression and members of my family have as well (and they are big fans of better living through antidepressants.) The target of this post was to shine a spotlight on drug companies trying to redefine situational depression as a mental disorder, not to advocate limiting access to antidepressants, merely not to push them on people that do not seek them out but are told that they have a disorder because they are suffering from grief or stress.

The problem with our society is that everyone's assumed to be well enough off that if they are suffering from any kind of trauma in their lives that the resulting behavior (including stress disorders) is considered to be a psychological malady and hence implicitly the fault of the patient.

21 replies, 2106 views

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Reply Antidepressants to treat grief? Psychiatry panelists with ties to drug industry say yes (Original post)
Leopolds Ghost Dec 2012 OP
hedgehog Dec 2012 #1
Leopolds Ghost Dec 2012 #3
XemaSab Dec 2012 #5
Leopolds Ghost Dec 2012 #8
BeHereNow Dec 2012 #15
Leopolds Ghost Dec 2012 #16
mopinko Dec 2012 #20
Leopolds Ghost Jan 2013 #21
Big Blue Marble Dec 2012 #12
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2012 #7
Leopolds Ghost Dec 2012 #9
hedgehog Dec 2012 #19
DCKit Dec 2012 #2
TexasBushwhacker Dec 2012 #4
Leopolds Ghost Dec 2012 #6
tblue Dec 2012 #13
Scuba Dec 2012 #10
tama Dec 2012 #11
BeHereNow Dec 2012 #14
Leopolds Ghost Dec 2012 #17
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2012 #18

Response to Leopolds Ghost (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:11 PM

1. Although clinical depression is often associated with a stressful event,

the hall mark of clinical depression is that it proceeds for no logical reason! People get sad when they lose a spouse. That's normal. People who find themselves unable to get out of bed six months after losing a spouse are depressed. That's not normal. People who are doing well at work or school, who have everything in the world going right, develop clinical depression and find themselves not able to get out of bed. That's really not normal! There's a lot of fuzziness along the boundary between normal grief and clinical depression, but that does not mean that clinical depression does not exist!

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:17 PM

3. I didn't mean to suggest that clinical depression does not exist. I myself have been depressed

But the problem is that people who are not clinically depressed are being diagnosed as being clinically depressed (and given mood-dampening drugs) on the basis that they are depressed for legitimate, situational reasons such as joblessness, poverty, death in the family, etc.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:18 PM

5. +1

Also, even if there's a reason to be depressed, that doesn't mean that the person has to wallow in their depression.

Being in a deep state of grief for months on end doesn't accomplish anything. If a pill can make that go away, why not?

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:20 PM

8. Uh, because the objective is to make people "functional" without addressing their underlying problem

While making money off of them.

I agree with the years-long consensus of psychologists on the issue, not with the drug pushers.

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Response to Leopolds Ghost (Reply #8)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 11:59 PM

15. How do you address the underlying problem, which is often neurological...

so that the person affected can get out of bed and
make it to a support group, therapy session or other
means of help.

You know I love and respect you Leopold, but frankly,
I'm afraid that you really do not have all the facts on this particular issue.

Wellbutrin allowed me to move beyond crippling grief to the point where I could
GET OUT of bed and get help.

It is not recommended for long term use, as it can actually worsen
depression- but after some REAL grief in my life, it allowed me to take control
of my life again.

Please realize that there are some who NEED a brain kick starter
after neurological changes, induced by grief, abuse and other factors,
actually do benefit from medications and NEED them to help heal
the neurotransmitters to a point that they can seek help.
Respectfully,
BHN

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Response to BeHereNow (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:04 AM

16. I certainly did not mean to sound offensive to you, or people who feel that is a vital choice

I suppose talking about "Americans on drugs" didn't help.

On the other hand, my mother agrees with you entirely... especially after a death in the family. I disagree with her on the issue...

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Response to Leopolds Ghost (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:23 PM

20. i hope you don't ACTUALLY disagree with your mother about this.

it is none of your business. you would have eaten your last meal in my kitchen if i was your momma.
respect other people's medical decisions. especially your mother's.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #20)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 11:48 AM

21. Um, you don't get to tell other people's families how to agree or disagree.

In my family, these issues are discussed. I am a grown person and my family has a background in public health

Then you have to consider the MYOFB principle...

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Response to XemaSab (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:53 PM

12. I am currently grieving the loss of my husband

who died last summer. Who are you to judge what the experience of grief accomplishes?
It is a process; it is a journey into the unknown. I would not trust my grief or sadness to a pill.
It is a journey of self-discovery not potential profit center for big pharma.

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Response to hedgehog (Reply #1)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:20 PM

7. Even "normal" depression, of the common garden variety,

can have symptoms such as insomnia, physical pain.
Few people are aware of that.
Much to my surprise, I have found that low doses of some anti-depressants actually address these symptoms.

If I have a personal situation which results in my being mildly to moderately "depressed"
I would be only to happy to take a tried and true anti-depressant, with no qualms.
The older tri-cyclics work quite well for minor depression.

I am normally NOT a pill taker, btw.



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Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #7)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:24 PM

9. Any internist will prescribe anti-depressants to a patient that really wants it

The question is a) how much personal distress afflicting people whom society considers to have "no cause to be unhappy" is actually clinical depression?

b) why are they changing the guidelines for all psychiatrists from discouraging, to encouraging, overprescribing of mood-altering medication whose primary purpose is to make people "functional" at work, not to address their underlying psychological needs?

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Response to Leopolds Ghost (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 12:31 PM

19. it's my impression that anti-depressants aren't what

most people would call "mood altering" - they aren't happy pills. For example, is someone is depressed and mourning a death, they'll still be mourning the death if they take an anti-depressant. The difference is that they will be able to go to work, eat dinner, do more than stare at the wall, etc.

People who have bi-polar disease may go into a manic cycle on anti-depressants; otherwise the pills just allow a re-set to normal .

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Response to Leopolds Ghost (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:15 PM

2. A month away and an ounce of good weed would have an even better affect.

 

And they wouldn't want to come back shooting up all the people they blamed for their loss.

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Response to Leopolds Ghost (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:17 PM

4. DUPLICATE THREAD

There's already one going on this article.

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:19 PM

6. Thanks for your concern

and the link, if any is forthcoming

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Response to TexasBushwhacker (Reply #4)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 11:38 PM

13. I would've missed it.

Oy.

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Response to Leopolds Ghost (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 09:24 PM

10. Well of course they did.

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Response to Leopolds Ghost (Original post)

Sat Dec 29, 2012, 11:42 PM

14. Wellbutrin is extremely effective in short term use. Been there- done that.

And personally, I think, like abortion, medication and abortion
are best left as a collaborative effort between the patient and their
doctor.

Personally, I despise these discussions on DU.
So many well intentioned people check in, but have no clue
as to what they are talking about and may do more harm than
they know as far as stigmatizing Mental Health issues to the point
that some in our community may not seek out help when it is
really needed.

I would like to see discussions like this more closely monitored if
not limited to the forum which already exists for them on DU.

Sincerely,
BHN

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Response to BeHereNow (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:09 AM

17. I did not mean to offend, I just feel like it is all about the underlying profit motive for the

People who are revising the DSM



I am thoroughly against prohibition and that sort of thing, so when I say they are pushing drugs I don't mean that people shouldn't have the right to take them if they feel they need them.

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Response to BeHereNow (Reply #14)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:50 AM

18. Fourteen years ago, I used Wellbutrin to quit smoking.

Local doc who was here from India knew it could be helpful in managing cravings.
Took it for 2 weeks, and successfully quit nicotine.

Now a similar acting med is available for the same thing.
That doc sure was ahead of the curve.

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