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    Meds cause brain damage

    There are some articles out there on the internet that say anti-depressants might cause (SSRI) permanent brain damage.

    Wonder how evasive my doctor can be about that if I ask them....hey what has happened to my brain now?

    http://www.examiner.com/article/anti...t-brain-damage

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-pet...b_1077185.html

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    I wouldn't pay too much attention to thees articles and people that claim this. There's always a large faction of people who claim things like this. Yes, there is a small chance that there will be some not so nice side effects with antidepressants. But that's true of every drug you try. Ever time you take a painkiller such as Tylenol, there's a chance there will be some not so pleasant side effects.

    But that's just me, I guess. I'm more worried about what could happen if I don't take my meds.
    I'M GONNA FIGHT 'EM ALL
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    Antidote's Avatar Rude & Shouty
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    I'm kind of confused because the article wrote that ssri antidepressants cause an increase in neurons (neurogenesis) and connections (dendrite arborization). I don't know how this would lead to cognitive decline because I'd have thought it'd boost it. But maybe these new connections and growth is a bad thing in excess.

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    pam's Avatar needs more cowbell
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    "...the brain attempts to compensate for the impact of the SSRIs by reducing the brain's capacity to respond to serotonin."

    This is what my nonscientific opinion has always been! based on my personal experience with taking Paxil for 3 yrs. When I'd complain it wasn't working ("SSRI-induced apathy") --"up the dose, up the dose, up the dose!" was the answer. All that did was up my weight!

    Also when I wanted to go off, it was hell when I tired to stop cold turkey. Then I was told to taper off over a couple weeks. Well, I didn't listen to that either--I actually took 5 months to taper down to where I was eventually only taking a piece of Paxil so small it was too small for a pill cutter. If you do it over a very long time, then you don't have withdrawal.

    I like that Peter Breggin--I've heard of him before.

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    Quote Misssy View Post
    There are some articles out there on the internet that say anti-depressants might cause (SSRI) permanent brain damage.

    Wonder how evasive my doctor can be about that if I ask them....hey what has happened to my brain now?

    http://www.examiner.com/article/anti...t-brain-damage

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-pet...b_1077185.html
    That explains everything. I'm going to be 10 years soon, and reaching my permanent brain damage decline. Thanks for sharing those articles, Missy.

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    Equinox's Avatar
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    Most of the research I've seen goes in the opposite direction with SSRIs having a neuroprotective effect on brain cells.

    Do Antidepressants Protect The Brain and Neurons From Damage Caused by Depression and Stress

    I have mentioned in many of my articles that the newer antidepressants have been shown in studies to protect the brain from damage and loss of neurons. They have a positive effect of reducing the loss of volume in the area of the brain known as the hippocampus. In short the SSRIs have been shown to cause the stem cells in the hippocampus to mature into adult brain cells and replace the damaged cells.
    http://psychiatristscottsdale.com/do...ect-the-brain/

    Clinical and basic researches demonstrate that chronic antidepressant treatment increases the rate of neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus. Antidepressants up-regulate cAMP and the neurotrophin signaling pathways involved in plasticity and survival. In vitro and in vivo data provide direct evidence that the transcription factor, cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and the neurotrophin, BDNF are key mediators of the therapeutic response to antidepressants. Depression maybe associated with a disruption of mechanisms that govern cell survival and neuroplasticity in the brain.
    New research in animals is beginning to change radically our understanding of the biology of stress and the effects of antidepressant agents. Recent findings from the basic neurosciences to the pathophysiology of depressive disorder suggest that stress and antidepressants have reciprocal actions on neuronal growth and vulnerability (mediated by the expression of neurotrophin) and synaptic plasticity (mediated by excitatory amino acid neurotransmission) in the hippocampus and other brain structures. Stressors have the capacity to progressively disrupt both the activities of individual cells and the operating characteristics of networks of neurons, while antidepressant treatments act to reverse such injurious effects[10]. Antidepressant drugs increase the expression of several molecules, which are associated with neuroplasticity; in particular the neurotrophin BDNF and its receptor TrkB. Antidepressants also increase neurogenesis and synaptic numbers in several brain areas. SSRI antidepressant fluoxetine can reactivate developmental-like neuroplasticity in the adult visual cortex, which, under appropriate environmental guidance, leads to the rewiring of a developmentally dysfunctional neural network[11, 12].
    http://www.ukessays.com/essays/psych...logy-essay.php

    http://mentalhealth.about.com/cs/psy...urogenesis.htm

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    Equinox's Avatar
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    The integrity of this article is particularly disconcerting to me, because of the possibly faulty scientific method behind it, the author is stated as being "James Williams, a health and life coach and head of FreeSpirit Coaching. He has degrees in psychology and coaching psychology, and certifications in fitness, nutrition, coaching, kinesiology, and craniosacral therapy. James helps people to get results using the very best tools in NLP, life coaching". Hence, he's not in the position to make such judgements with total merit. He also provides only one single reference which seems to be a link to a fringe site.

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    metamorphosis's Avatar
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    It is true that certain classes of medications can have serious consequences to brain functioning. Even when they are used at the proper dose. The obvious being the AP's and AAP's, which at the worst can cause Tardive Dyskinesia. That being said, my friend, who has schizoaffective disorder would not be alive now and functioning without Haldol and Clozaril. He has been on these drugs for yrs. and luckily has had few benign side effects.
    Also, there are many studies linking long term benzodiazepine use to cognitive impairment and memory loss. I bring these up because the OP. has a good point but you have to weigh the pro and con benefits. The positives to the possible negatives with any medication/drug you take. Like the example earlier with my friend, they saved his life and that was more important than the risk of developing T.D. or dystonia or tachycardia.

    I brought up two classes of drugs that can have pretty severe side effects. There are many others that are relatively safe to take.

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    Quote pam View Post
    "...the brain attempts to compensate for the impact of the SSRIs by reducing the brain's capacity to respond to serotonin."

    This is what my nonscientific opinion has always been! based on my personal experience with taking Paxil for 3 yrs. When I'd complain it wasn't working ("SSRI-induced apathy") --"up the dose, up the dose, up the dose!" was the answer. All that did was up my weight!

    Also when I wanted to go off, it was hell when I tired to stop cold turkey. Then I was told to taper off over a couple weeks. Well, I didn't listen to that either--I actually took 5 months to taper down to where I was eventually only taking a piece of Paxil so small it was too small for a pill cutter. If you do it over a very long time, then you don't have withdrawal.

    I like that Peter Breggin--I've heard of him before.
    BTW long term SSRI use can cause frontal lobe apathy. Symptoms include anhedonia and dysphoria, but I do not know the exact %. I would have to pubmed it and lately I have not been in the research mood.
    Also, Peter Breggin is a narrow minded quack. He is an extremist. Who finds no balance in the use of psych. meds. There is a middle ground. If someone is suicidal or extremely depressed. They need a medication quickly to stop a tragedy or long term misery Maybe in a yr. or two once stabilized, they can come off. If someone is agoraphobic or has severe SA an anxiolytic will help get that person out of the house to use other therapies (exposure, cbt, act, psychotherapy).I am all for using everything we have available, including the combination of natural medicines and psychopharmacology. It's a pretty logical conclusion.

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    Quote metamorphosis View Post
    It is true that certain classes of medications can have serious consequences to brain functioning. Even when they are used at the proper dose. The obvious being the AP's and AAP's, which at the worst can cause Tardive Dyskinesia. That being said, my friend, who has schizoaffective disorder would not be alive now and functioning without Haldol and Clozaril. He has been on these drugs for yrs. and luckily has had few benign side effects.
    Also, there are many studies linking long term benzodiazepine use to cognitive impairment and memory loss. I bring these up because the OP. has a good point but you have to weigh the pro and con benefits. The positives to the possible negatives with any medication/drug you take. Like the example earlier with my friend, they saved his life and that was more important than the risk of developing T.D. or dystonia or tachycardia.

    I brought up two classes of drugs that can have pretty severe side effects. There are many others that are relatively safe to take.
    Metamorphosis, I know of meds that have pretty serious side effects, and thankfully, I have never had to take any that would really worry me. To be honest, I think it is a personal choice, and I don't like it when people preach to me to not take drugs. I don't have schizoaffective, but I know of people that simply cannot function without a cocktail of twelve or so not so nice meds a day, hate them, hate the side effects, but know that it's better than being manic, psychotic and possibly hospitalized. I know that anti-depressants have there own risks and side effects, but I've never had anything that's led to me being hospitalized with them, or even many of the commons ones people say about.

    And I thought Benzo's were only supposed to be used short term? I know people do use them long term, and I've got nothing agaisnt people who do. I've refused to take them, I'm too scared of becomming dependent and the withdrawl to take them. It's the same personal choice, I guess.
    I'M GONNA FIGHT 'EM ALL
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  11. #11
    pam's Avatar needs more cowbell
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    Quote metamorphosis View Post
    It is true that certain classes of medications can have serious consequences to brain functioning. Even when they are used at the proper dose. The obvious being the AP's and AAP's, which at the worst can cause Tardive Dyskinesia. That being said, my friend, who has schizoaffective disorder would not be alive now and functioning without Haldol and Clozaril. He has been on these drugs for yrs. and luckily has had few benign side effects.
    Also, there are many studies linking long term benzodiazepine use to cognitive impairment and memory loss. I bring these up because the OP. has a good point but you have to weigh the pro and con benefits. The positives to the possible negatives with any medication/drug you take. Like the example earlier with my friend, they saved his life and that was more important than the risk of developing T.D. or dystonia or tachycardia.

    I brought up two classes of drugs that can have pretty severe side effects. There are many others that are relatively safe to take.
    I think if a drug works, then a person should have every right to decide to take it, especially in cases like you mention. He's actually benefiting from it. But how many people do we know who take SSRIs and they aren't even helping? Those are the people who should have this info and think twice about what they could possibly be doing to themselves. I'm no scientist, but I always felt like my brain resisted whatever drug I put into it. Or like in homeostasis--it just tries to go back to how it was before (even if that meant I wasn't happy).

    I also never understood why a person is pushed into taking different SSRIs--they all affect the serotonin level, so same difference, right? The part that worries me the most in one of the articles was that one's brain can change permanently so that it won't respond to serotonin (even naturally-occuring). So just quitting the drug won't fix it.

    But I also wonder--what about 10 years after you quit? Will one's brain finally adjust back and let itself be affected by natural serotonin? Or will the damage be permanent? Ugh, but that's 20 yrs of a brain not working right.

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    Quote Otherside View Post
    Metamorphosis, I know of meds that have pretty serious side effects, and thankfully, I have never had to take any that would really worry me. To be honest, I think it is a personal choice, and I don't like it when people preach to me to not take drugs. I don't have schizoaffective, but I know of people that simply cannot function without a cocktail of twelve or so not so nice meds a day, hate them, hate the side effects, but know that it's better than being manic, psychotic and possibly hospitalized. I know that anti-depressants have there own risks and side effects, but I've never had anything that's led to me being hospitalized with them, or even many of the commons ones people say about.

    And I thought Benzo's were only supposed to be used short term? I know people do use them long term, and I've got nothing agaisnt people who do. I've refused to take them, I'm too scared of becomming dependent and the withdrawl to take them. It's the same personal choice, I guess.
    If you are implying that I was preaching. Than my post must have come across in a negative way to you. I don't think that it sounded like an anti-drug post. I believe in balance. And if you knew me, I post on the med. sites here and at "the other site" quite frequently. I am just stating facts. I take medication myself for SA, GAD, and Bipolar but thats not the be all and end all. As far as benzos are concerned. Yeah, they should only be used short term unless you have agoraphobia and can't even leave the house or debilitating SA or GAD. Disorders that are not only compromising your quality of life but ruining it.
    There are also many pdocs who are irresponsible when prescribing benzos.
    I also mentioned a friend who has to take heavy duty antipsychotics. We are lucky that pdocs have them in their armamentarium because he is still alive and stabilized. If he didn't have access to the heavy hitters like haldol or clozaril. Then I'm positive he wouldn't be alive and content, as we speak.
    Taking any medication is a personal choice. Some people don't even take their blood pressure meds.!

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    Quote pam View Post
    I think if a drug works, then a person should have every right to decide to take it, especially in cases like you mention. He's actually benefiting from it. But how many people do we know who take SSRIs and they aren't even helping? Those are the people who should have this info and think twice about what they could possibly be doing to themselves. I'm no scientist, but I always felt like my brain resisted whatever drug I put into it. Or like in homeostasis--it just tries to go back to how it was before (even if that meant I wasn't happy).

    I also never understood why a person is pushed into taking different SSRIs--they all affect the serotonin level, so same difference, right? The part that worries me the most in one of the articles was that one's brain can change permanently so that it won't respond to serotonin (even naturally-occuring). So just quitting the drug won't fix it.

    But I also wonder--what about 10 years after you quit? Will one's brain finally adjust back and let itself be affected by natural serotonin? Or will the damage be permanent? Ugh, but that's 20 yrs of a brain not working right.
    http://anxietyspace.com/forums/showt...l=1#post276321

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    Quote metamorphosis View Post
    If you are implying that I was preaching. Than my post must have come across in a negative way to you. I don't think that it sounded like an anti-drug post. I believe in balance. And if you knew me, I post on the med. sites here and at "the other site" quite frequently. I am just stating facts. I take medication myself for SA, GAD, and Bipolar but thats not the be all and end all. As far as benzos are concerned. Yeah, they should only be used short term unless you have agoraphobia and can't even leave the house or debilitating SA or GAD. Disorders that are not only compromising your quality of life but ruining it.
    There are also many pdocs who are irresponsible when prescribing benzos.
    I also mentioned a friend who has to take heavy duty antipsychotics. We are lucky that pdocs have them in their armamentarium because he is still alive and stabilized. If he didn't have access to the heavy hitters like haldol or clozaril. Then I'm positive he wouldn't be alive and content, as we speak.
    Taking any medication is a personal choice. Some people don't even take their blood pressure meds.!
    Sorry, I didn't mean to come across applying you were preaching! I don't think you are, and you've helped me before in the past with my own meds and you know a lot about them. So I'm sorry if that's the way I came across.

    I have to agree though, to many irresponsible docs who prescribe benzos, too many people who overestimated them.
    I'M GONNA FIGHT 'EM ALL
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    metamorphosis's Avatar
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    Quote Otherside View Post
    Sorry, I didn't mean to come across applying you were preaching! I don't think you are, and you've helped me before in the past with my own meds and you know a lot about them. So I'm sorry if that's the way I came across.

    I have to agree though, to many irresponsible docs who prescribe benzos, too many people who overestimated them.
    Good, I just didn't want it to sound like I was up on a rickety old soap box preaching or something I am just trying to give a balanced view, in my humble opinion. I am actually on some meds that have side effects. But it's the trade off, I have to take to keep myself sane and functioning!

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