Loose Screws Mental Health News

Surprise, surprise — the likelihood of suicide attempts increases with antidepressants.

     “Suicidal patients taking antidepressants have a ‘markedly increased’ risk of additional suicide attempts but a "markedly decreased" risk of dying from suicide, a large Finnish study has found.
     “The research into nearly 15,400 patients hospitalized for suicide attempts between 1997 and 2003 showed that ‘current antidepressant use was associated with a 39 percent increase in risk of attempted suicide, but a 32 percent decrease in risk of completed suicide and a 49 percent reduced risk of death from any cause,’ the authors wrote in a report published in the Dec. 4 issue of Archives of General Psychiatry.
      “The Finnish study analyzed 15,390 suicidal patients of all ages for an average of 3.4 years. The authors said they did this ‘because previous suicide attempts are the most important risk factor for predicting suicide.’”

I think 15,390 patients is a sizeable, significant study that could probably yield semi-accurate statistics.

      “Among the 7,466 males and 7,924 females examined, there were 602 suicides, 7,136 suicide attempts requiring hospitalization and 1,583 deaths recorded during follow-up. The risk of completed suicide was 9 percent lower among those taking any antidepressants than among those not taking antidepressants.
     “But the picture was not so bright for all those who took SSRIs. It was for those taking fluoxetine (Prozac), who had a 48 percent lower risk of suicide than those not taking medication. But the study found that those taking another SSRI, venlafaxine hydrochloride (Effexor XR), had a 61 percent increased risk.”

So Prozac is better than Effexor XR in terms of suicidal risk. Nice, considering that I've had a 10-year history of suicidal attempts and this study seems to show that venlafaxine increases the risk of suicide attempts. Perhaps Effexor should be prescribed to those who aren't/have never been suicidal?

Read the rest of this entry »

Jess is depressed; "Free will" examined

WARNING – Inappropriate political commentary: First, James Brown. Now, Gerald Ford. Sometime in the next 30 days, Saddam Hussein. Good grief, when’s Fidel Castro’s turn?

Back to more interesting news…
Jessica SimpsonJessica Simpson is depressed (despite what the article says about her suffering from depression). I know she’s going through a rough time right now (I’d be SUPER depressed with the public humiliation of what happened at the Kennedy Honors — I don’t blame her), but trust me, she’ll get over it. Ms. Simpson has always found a way to bounce back. (source: The Trouble With Spikol)

According to Slashdot (of all places), maybe doctors weren’t so off with lobotomies: new research suggests that new discoveries in neuroscience and psychology are changing the concept of a “free will.” The evidence? A pedophile who was “cured” when his brain tumor was removed — not once, but twice. So maybe we can “cure” all pedophiles by removing their “too-mahs”? The Economist (which Slashdot quotes) happens to go on to explain how neuroscience and psychology are changing the idea of “free will,” however, I think the pedophile is an isolated case.

That’s my update for now — I’ve got to get to work! (Yes, even during this slooow week.)