In the first of this series I discussed antidepressants and addiction. Some people contend antidepressants are addictive; however, not only is the term “addiction” not defined medically, the use of antidepressants does not generally match the symptoms of any defined substance use disorder either. (More information on substance abuse and substance dependence.)
This time antipsychotics are up to bat. Are antipsychotics addictive? Are people dependent on antipsychotics? Do antipsychotics cause withdrawal?
The Bipolar Burble thanks for everyone who took the time to read my electroconvulsive therapy primer and The Badger’s personal experience of ECT. Most people were really respectful in their opinions and asked great questions. As per the usual, however, electroconvulsive therapy is a controversial, contentious and polarizing topic that brings out people’s abusive side pretty quickly.
[Note: I am running a survey on real patients’ experiences with, and perspectives on, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). If you’ve had ECT and want your voice heard, please take the survey here. More detailed information on the ECT survey can be found here.]
Electroconvulsive Therapy Primer
In preparation for Steven’s piece, I’ve written this primer.
Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is the second most controversial medical procedure. (Abortion is the first.) Certainly when I write about ECT it seems to prove the controversy of this topic. And it doesn’t matter what I say about ECT, even if it’s not pro or con, people insist on expressing very strong viewpoints on the use of ECT. And yes, I have had ECT.
And generally the strong viewpoints are anti-ECT. They are from the ECT-is-torture crowd. A prevalent crowd online, to be sure, but someone needs to actually talk about the facts of ECT.
Does Pristiq Just Serve to Extend the Effexor Patent?
If you live in the US, you’ve probably seen all the commercials for the new and pastel-pink-coloured antidepressant Pristiq. (Yes, prescribed for depression.) Pristiq is new and has a huge marketing push behind it and is a selective serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI) antidepressant. In other words, it’s an antidepressant that works on both serotonin and norepinephrine neurotransmitters. It is not the only antidepressant to do this, but SNRIs are a smaller class of drugs than those that just effect serotonin alone (like Prozac). (Although admittedly, there seems to be a suspicious number of SNRI antidepressants in development.)