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

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 passed legislation this week to slow the epidemic of pain-killer addiction. What could also slow 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.

Children and Antidepressants: The Question of Harm

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on June 30, 2016 in Side Effects
The latest meta-analysis will intensify concern that antidepressants are ineffective and harmful.

Is It Safe to Take Supplements with Antidepressants?

By Peter Bongiorno ND, LAc on June 12, 2016 in Inner Source
Are natural supplements safe and effective to take while taking antidepressants? A few may be the key to feeling better.

Cognitive Impairment in Depression

Cognitive symptoms of depression may not respond well to treatment with antidepressant medications.

Can Antidepressants Turn You Into a Food Addict?

There may be a very simple cure for treating food addiction issues.

Favorable Trajectories

By Peter D Kramer on May 27, 2016 in In Practice
How distinctive are antidepressants? Answers from research that looks at progress made by individual patients.

Is Heat an Antidepressant?

Before psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy, there was a third therapeutic tradition in psychiatry--and it involved heat. And it was very successful.

What Happens When We Give Antidepressants to Girls?

By Claudia M Gold M.D. on May 09, 2016 in Child in Mind
When we jump to medicate young girls without protecting time to listen to the full story, we miss opportunity for prevention while placing future mothers in an untenable position

Antidepressants Work, But Only For Really Depressed People

By Allen J Frances M.D. on May 07, 2016 in Saving Normal
People who don't really need antidepressant are taking far too many, while those who desperately do need them are not getting nearly enough.

James Gottstein on Psychiatry and Your Legal Rights

By Eric R. Maisel Ph.D. on May 04, 2016 in Rethinking Mental Health
The future of mental health interview series continues with James Gottstein on psychiatry and your legal rights.

Peter Breggin on the Psycho-Pharmaceutical Complex

By Eric R. Maisel Ph.D. on April 18, 2016 in Rethinking Mental Health
The future of mental health interview series continues with Peter Breggin on the psycho-pharmaceutical complex.

James Davies on the Harmfulness of Psychiatry

By Eric R. Maisel Ph.D. on April 15, 2016 in Rethinking Mental Health
The future of mental health interview series continues with James Davies on the harmfulness of psychiatry.

Antidepressants and Efficacy

We have long known that antidepressants are not highly effective because they fail so many of their licensing trials for the Food and Drug Administration.

A Blood Test to Diagnose Depression?

Understanding the biological roots of depression can produce faster diagnosis and better treatment options.

Psychiatry's Many Conflicts of Interest

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on February 13, 2016 in Side Effects
On the "ethical perils" facing a branch of medicine now greatly beholden to its industry sponsors.

Baby Blues, Postpartum Depression, Postpartum Psychosis

This public health measure is well meaning. Good enough maternal love ought to be the highest value in our society. In practice this means the destructive use of antidepressants.

The Problem with Heroizing Robert Spitzer

By Christopher Lane Ph.D. on January 22, 2016 in Side Effects
One of the most influential psychiatrists of the twentieth century leaves a complex legacy.

Smashing the Neurotransmitter Myth

Serotonin depletion is not the cause of psychiatric conditions. Antidepressants are a significant factor in suicides and mass mass murders.

Psychiatric Medicines Are Not All Good Or All Bad

By Allen J Frances M.D. on January 15, 2016 in Saving Normal
Psychiatric meds that are very helpful for clear cut psychiatric disorders usually do more harm than good when used for the everyday difficulties that life throws at us.

Psychotherapy Can Dramatically Improve Your "Gut-Brain Axis"

By Christopher Bergland on January 05, 2016 in The Athlete's Way
A new meta-analysis of 41 clinical trials reports that psychological therapy has dramatic benefits for the "gut-brain axis."

Treatment of Bipolar Depression: The Missing Piece

By Russ Federman Ph.D., A.B.P.P. on January 02, 2016 in Bipolar You
Importance of lessening the downward pull of emotionally painful issues in relation to bipolar depression

The Biopsychosocial Model and Avenues for Treatment

By Ann Olson Psy.D. on December 29, 2015 in Theory and Psychopathology
The biopsychosocial paradigm as it relates to the cycles that exacerbate mental disorders, including those which can be treated with medication, socialization and psychotherapy.