aibu to agree with this?(8 Posts)
I'm a neuroscientist. There is indeed serotonic deficiency in many (but not all) depressed patients.
They are not equivalent in these patients to taking valium or LSD.
As to whether the depression caused the serotonin deficiency or vice versa this is not known.
I disagree entirely - but really don't ahve the time to discuss now!
I work in the pharmaceutical industry and therefore fundamently believe in pharmacology.
Ritalin is indeed very similar to amphetamine and does indeed act in the same way. It has a very different affect on ADHD and normal humans. Amphetamine in normal humans has the oppposite effect to tht which you've described.
However I agree with you that these drugs (both antidepressants and methylphenidate) are massively over-prescribed. This does not reflect the mechanism of action of the drugs nor the pathology of these disorders but misdiagnosis by the doctors and a willingless to write a presciption rather than more appropriate support e.g CBT.
I am no neuroscientist, a doctor or even anyone of scientific knowledge, so am sorry if I am not getting the 'slant' of this thread properly (if so I will happily shut my rattle and slope off again ). I have however suffered from both PND and depression at different times in my life.
I would agree that there is more to pnd than 'just' low serotonin levels. This is why treatment should always include some sort of talking therapy/counselling as well.
I had PND with ds2 and am in no doubt that the ADs helped to lift my mood in the first instance and enabled me to cope better, but it was the psychotherapy I had alongside them that got to the root causes of my depression and helped me move onwards and upwards. Without the ADs I wouldn't have been able to even attempt addressing the underlying problems, I was far too low.
Whilst precribing ADs alone is, in most cases, not the right treatment. I feel it would be wrong to say that ADs are never required for treatment purposes. As Dophus said, serotonin deficiency is present in some, but not all, cases of depression.
If there is an easily identifiable cause/trigger for depression postnatally or otherwise then dealing with the actual problem, be that through practical support, therapy, or both, is obviously preferable to just medicating to mask the symptoms.
In some cases, like mine, the drugs are necessary to support the patient whilst they deal with the root cause/s of the problem.
Its a complex area and each case needs to be assessed and treated on an individual basis and assigned a tailor made treatment programme.
Unfortunately, you are right and some GPs do seem happy to just hand out the medication with the attitude that they will fix the problem by rebalancing the brain's chemistry. It might work for a small minority, but in most cases this is simply not enough.
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