What Are SSRIs?

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (or SSRIs) are a class of antidepressants prescribed for depression and anxiety disorders. They work by increasing the amount of the neurotransmitter serotonin. First developed in the 1970s, allegedly with fewer side effects than their predecessors, they continue to generate controversy. Like most antidepressants, the SSRIs are most effective when used in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy and other forms of therapy

Recent posts on SSRIs

Help! My Antidepressants Aren’t Working

Are your antidepressants not working? Adding talk therapy may help.

27 Facts About the Best Ways to Treat Depression

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on June 30, 2017 in Think, Act, Be
Depression is a common and highly impairing condition that often requires professional treatment. Find out what the research shows about what works and what doesn't.

Do You Need Drugs for Your "Chemical Imbalance"?

By Seth J. Gillihan Ph.D. on June 22, 2017 in Think, Act, Be
Research reveals some surprising news about the role of serotonin in depression—and suggests millions of Americans taking drugs for depression would do just as well on placebo.

Early Diagnosis of Alcoholism

By Fredric Neuman M.D. on June 14, 2017 in Fighting Fear
Alcoholism tends to run in families. It is often possible to recognize a vulnerability during adolescence by the way that your loved one drinks.

Which Type of Therapy Works Best? New Study Calls It a Draw

In the timeless battle over which type of psychotherapy is superior, a new meta-analytic study find psychodynamic therapy to be equivalent to CBT for adults.
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Is Trazodone the New Brain Wonder Drug?

Will an old, cheap drug end Alzheimer's?

Is Yoga an Effective Antidepressant?

By Linda Wasmer Andrews on April 14, 2017 in Minding the Body
Yoga contains at least four “active ingredients” that could help it work as an antidepressant, says yoga researcher and integrative psychiatrist Dr. Sudha Prathikanti.

Are You Taking an Anti-Love Drug?

Before writing off the idea of a love drug, you might be surprised to learn how some common drugs are already affecting the bio-chemical bases of love.

The Use of Ketamine as an Antidepressant

Little is known about the effectiveness or safety of repeated use of ketamine in treating depression. Recent recommendations urge caution.

Machine Learning and Antidepressant Response

By David Hellerstein M.D. on March 14, 2017 in Heal Your Brain
Machine learning offers a powerful new method of exploring response to antidepressant medicine and a host of other treatments throughout medicine, a JAMA Psychiatry report shows.

Genetics Play a Role in Social Anxiety Disorder, Study Finds

A new study has pinpointed a genetic link between social anxiety disorder (SAD) and a serotonin transporter gene called "SLC6A4."

Clinical Trial Finds Diet Works for Depression

By Georgia Ede MD on February 17, 2017 in Diagnosis: Diet
Groundbreaking research proves that dietary choices have the power to help reduce and even reverse depression.

Are Antidepressant Withdrawal Symptoms Worth the Cure?

The lens of depression clouds your everyday view.

How Exercise Reduces Depression, Anxiety, Cynicism, & Anger

By Matthew MacKinnon MD on February 12, 2017 in Neuraptitude
Exercise may be on par with antidepressants and psychotherapy in the treatment of depression; it even benefits non-pathological mental states as well as reduces mortality.

Number One Reason SSRIs Take Four to Six Weeks to Work

It is peculiar that the common antidepressants SSRIs do not kick in for a long time. There is, however, a good scientific explanation of why they do not.

The Pit In Your Stomach is Actually Your Second Brain

By Richard E. Cytowic M.D. on January 17, 2017 in The Fallible Mind
Feeling low? New research says: Try a pickle. Gut feelings are more real than you think, and intestinal bugs influence your mood as well as your waistline.

Asking Why You Can’t Lose Weight After Medication?

At this time of year, try to see that your new beginning to try to lose the weight, is perhaps best commenced during a sunnier time.

Is an Elder You Care About at Risk for Depression? Do This!

Research has confirmed the potency of this remarkable antidepressant.

Medication Overuse, Underuse, or All of the Above?

By David Rettew M.D. on December 28, 2016 in ABCs of Child Psychiatry
It seems like we have the capacity to care about medication overuse or a lack of psychiatric treatment. Why not both?

Integrative Treatments of Depressed Mood

If you are currently struggling with depression and taking a medication that isn’t working, or you're experiencing side effects it's time to consider alternative therapies

Can You Spice Up Your Antidepressant?

By Emily Deans M.D. on November 27, 2016 in Evolutionary Psychiatry
Is curcumin the next supplement to take psychiatry by storm? Not yet, but there's some promising data so far.
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Beware Of The Rush To Label Yourself “Unfixable”

By Susan Noonan MD on November 05, 2016 in View From the Mist
Don’t Get Discouraged And Jump Into The Treatment-Resistant Pool Too Soon

Antidepressants Are Safe During Pregnancy

By Temma Ehrenfeld on October 14, 2016 in Open Gently
It's okay to take antidepressants while pregnant—and essential if you are severely depressed.

Are Antidepressants Dangerous in Breast Milk?

By Temma Ehrenfeld on October 14, 2016 in Open Gently
Don't leave depression untreated while breastfeeding. Babies fed milk from depessed mothers gain less weight, but not if she takes an anti-depressant.

No, Placebo Response Rates Are Not on the Rise

By Peter D Kramer on October 13, 2016 in In Practice
New research finds that placebo responses are not on the rise in antidepressant trials—a result that suggests the impact of placebo has been exagerated

Why Doctors See Antidepressant Effects That Researchers Miss

By Peter D Kramer on September 22, 2016 in In Practice
Trust drug trials and mistrust clinical observation? Sometimes doctors know best—while researchers are blind to factors that help depressed patients recover.

Why Is It So Hard to Lose Weight After Antidepressants?

You needed the help of medication. You gained weight. You don't need the medication anymore, so why are you still chubby?

One Step Closer to a Rapidly Acting Antidepressant?

Ketamine can rapidly reverse depressive symptoms, but it can have serious side effects. A metabolite of ketamine may be as effective and have fewer side effects.

Are Antidepressant Medications the Next Drug Abuse Epidemic?

Congress has passed legislation to slow the epidemic of pain-killer addiction. What about the epidemic of drug use for treating the emotional pain of depression?

A Possible New Class of Antidepressants

Recent advances in knowledge about the generation of new brain cells throughout the lifespan are leading to the development of new drugs to treat neuropsychiatric illnesses.