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Archives for December, 2011

Drug Side Effects

Are Meds in the Eye of the Beholder?


When I first started writing about psychiatric meds, I thought there was a simple dichotomy between the drugs people took for psychiatric conditions, and the drugs they took for physical problems.

I've since learned there's considerably more blurring of the lines. Drugs developed as antidepressants are used to treat conditions involving chronic pain, for example, and drugs developed as anti-seizure medications are used to treat anxiety.

I'm curious to know, then: How does this affect people's...
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Drug Side Effects

A Child of the SSRI Age Goes Old-School

In an age of unscrupulous social-media-mediated personal revelations, I'm not particularly big on self-sharing. So I try to write about myself only when I think it adds to the discussion.

I wish it weren't, but today is one of those days. After more than a decade of taking newer antidepressants for depression and anxiety, I've begun taking a drug developed before I was born - the tricyclic antidepressant nortriptaline, or Pamelor.

I'm doing this not for...
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Antidepressants

How Many Young People Take Meds Long-Term?

Once you start following the debate about young people and psychotropic drugs, you see the word "overmedicated" bandied around a lot.
I've argued before that deeming kids overmedicated without saying what constitutes properly medicated doesn't make a lot of sense. Still, at least we have some idea of approximately what percentage of kids in the United States - and, to a lesser extent,
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Children

What Medication Feels Like to Kids: When In Doubt, Ask

A reader raised an interesting point regarding my previous post about what kids reveal to their parents about suicidal urges - and what parents are willing to accept.

I had written that I can only imagine how painful it must be to acknowledge that a child one has "created and raised with such effort and sacrifice" wants to die. The reader called me out, saying that the real problem was a parent adopting...
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Children

Suicide and Meds: What Parents Accept & Kids Confess

It seems like a fitting bookend to follow my last post, which discussed a documentary about a teen who killed himself a few months after he went off his mood stabilizers, with one about a documentary suggesting that meds - not the lack of them - are to blame for suicidal thoughts and actions.

The film Prescription: Suicide?, which a medication-critical reader was kind enough to send me, profiles families whose...
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Childhood

Boy Interrupted: Bipolar Depression and a Teen’s Suicide – Where Did Medication Fit In?

I tweeted earlier this week that I can't get the PBS documentary Boy Interrupted out of my head, and that's still true several days and a second viewing later. The documentary retraces the life, psychiatric illness and eventual suicide of Evan Perry, medicated from age 7 and diagnosed with bipolar disorder age 10. At 15, Evan killed himself by jumping out the window of the...
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