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

Is Overprescription of Antidepressants Sexist?

A thoughtful editorial in today's New York Times, made me consider a new reason for concern about the overprescription of antidepressants: they are written disproportionately to females and may be suppressing women's natural emotionality.

Empty Man Syndrome

By Alex Korb Ph.D. on March 01, 2015 in PreFrontal Nudity
For some people depression is a hole they can't ever seem to climb out of. Often there are several factors conspiring against them.

Healthy Relationships Overlooked in Search for a Quick Fix

By Amy Banks on February 28, 2015 in Wired For Love
Simply thinking about your strongest relationships can change your brain chemistry in a positive way. Imagine the benefits of being face to face with the people you love!

Antidepressant Superstition

By Jonathan Shedler PhD on February 10, 2015 in Psychologically Minded
Why do people become dependent on drugs that are no more effective than sugar pills?

The Missing Link Between Psychology and Biology

By Warren W Tryon Ph.D. on February 10, 2015 in The Missing Link
How does psychology influence biology? How does biology influence psychology? Read on to find an answer.

Is Yoga Really Good for Your Health?

The many benefits of yoga today.

Irrelationship's Performer—Human Antidepressants

The song-and-dance routine of the "Performer" is driven by the need to distance himself from his own anxiety and pain by taking care of his primary caregiver (usually a parent). He will often develop into the do-gooder, caretaker, rescuer or hero, but those are roles cultivated from childhood, usually emerging from a distinct relational—or irrelational—pattern.

Treating Parents Helps Kids

By David Rettew M.D. on February 04, 2015 in ABCs of Child Psychiatry
There is mounting evidence that mental health problems can run in families and that treating parents can improve child behavior. Putting this knowledge into practice, however, has been slow.

The Nation Seems Sadder...and How We Might Better Cope

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 04, 2015 in How To Do Life
Many factors in modern life are making happiness more elusive.

Light Therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on February 03, 2015 in How To Do Life
How to use a light box for seasonal depression.

The Surprising Psychology of the Common Cold

By Marlynn Wei M.D., J.D. on February 02, 2015 in Urban Survival
What is the connection between depression, your immune system, and inflammation? When you are physically ill, why can it feel very similar to depression? Recent studies explain why when you come down the flu, it can also feel like you caught the winter blues.

Herbal Aphrodisiacs Excite More Than the Imagination

By Michael Castleman M.A. on February 01, 2015 in All About Sex
Do traditional herbal aphrodisiacs work? Quite possibly yes.

Potential of Psilocybin in Mental Health Therapy

Over the past 50 years, tens of millions of people have used entheogens, yet there just is not much scientific evidence on either positive or negative long-term effects of these substances. The classical psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, etc.) are not known to cause brain damage and are regarded as non-addictive.

Starting Antidepressants? About the Weight Gain

After the hectics of the holiday season and the reality of a New Year setting in, many become depressed and turn to a physician for help. Must the proposed cure cause a physical overexpansion?

Premature Ejaculation: Causes and 10 Tips for Treatment

By Lisa Thomas LMFT on January 15, 2015 in Save Your Sex Life
While it was once thought to be only psychological, doctors now know premature ejaculation is more complicated.

Laughing Gas as a Treatment for Depression?

Nitrous oxide (aka “laughing gas”) is an anesthetic and analgesic often administered by dentists to minimize discomfort during dental procedures. Investigators recently reported that this drug may be helpful in treating severe depression.

Is Treatment Helping? Can We Ever Know?

What is a normal, garden-variety human being? How does one go about being human? Without robust answers to these questions, discussions of abnormality or psychopathology will be fatally constrained in their ability to bring about lasting and effective solutions. Finding normal & understanding how it is achieved & maintained is perhaps the most pressing issue of our times.

Smiling Again with Laughing Gas

By Mark Borigini M.D. on January 05, 2015 in Overcoming Pain
And so, maybe it is time to look at what we already have: Although ketamine has gained interest in recent years as a rapidly acting potential therapy for treatment refractory depression, researchers say an even better option may lie in another well-known agent with a similar mechanism of action ― nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas. (Image from Google.)

Vitamin D and Seasonal Affective Disorder Symptoms

New study examines vitamin D supplementation and its effects on symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

Nuggets from Psychology Today’s “Essential Reads”

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on December 31, 2014 in How To Do Life
From 2014’s PsychologyToday.com "Essential Reads" articles, these are my favorite tips on change, mental health, relationships, parenting, materialism, and aging.

The Presence of Absence - Holidays without Parents

By Julie K Hersh on December 26, 2014 in Struck By Living
A discovery of memorabilia on Christmas morning brings back memories of parents who are no longer with us. The good news for those who are encountering this experience for the first time - it does get better.

The Ketamine Challenge

By Jeffrey Lieberman M.D. on December 21, 2014 in Shrink Speak
Ketamine treatment of mental disorders offers great hope and therapeutic potential for many patients with mental disorders. However, the groundswell of enthusiasm and desire by patients and doctors for new treatments may be expanding its use prematurely and ahead of our scientific understanding of its use.

Enough Is Enough Series #3: A Hallucinogen for Depression?

Now we have the false promise that the hallucinogen Ketamine, street name - Special K - raises hope as a treatment for depression. This tells us how far afield, my field, psychiatry has really gone - that it is even a consideration to use an hallucinogen for the treatment of depression.

Rebranding Psychiatry: Euphemisms, Stigma, and Progress

By Joe Pierre M.D. on December 18, 2014 in Psych Unseen
A look at changes to the nomenclature of psychiatry over time.

14 Gift Ideas for the Psychologically Attuned

By Marty Nemko Ph.D. on December 13, 2014 in How To Do Life
Presents for psychologically oriented people.

Ask Your Doctor If You Should Take Advice from a Commercial

By Victoria L. Dunckley M.D. on December 10, 2014 in Mental Wealth
Commercials about psychiatric drugs are now ubiquitous. Are they helpful or harmful?

Does Your Child Have a Mental Disorder?

By Eric R. Maisel Ph.D. on December 08, 2014 in Rethinking Psychology
The nine questions that parents should ask themselves and others before agreeing with a "professional diagnosis" that their child has a "mental disorder."

Treatment of Psychological Diseases and Disorders

By Andy Tix Ph.D. on December 06, 2014 in The Pursuit of Peace
Although there are nearly 400 different psychological disorders, not all are created equal. Some disorders fit standard criteria for a "disease," and some do not. Successful treatment may depend on this distinction.

What More Could Myron May Have Done?

By Rachel Pruchno Ph.D. on December 03, 2014 in All in the Family
May couldn’t have been more cooperative and more eager to get help. His friends were supportive and did everything they could for him. The mental health system and the police failed May at every turn.

That Woman We Put on Antidepressant Medications

By Gwen van Servellen Ph.D. on December 01, 2014 in Healthcare A to Z
How Many Patients Seen for Depression in Primary Care Settings Didn’t Adhere to Antidepressants and Why? Prescription and Monitoring of Antidepressant Medication in Primary Care is Critical.