Tag Archives: awareness

The Top 20 Medications That Cause Memory Loss

Here is a list of medications known to have memory loss as a side effect:

  • for Parkinson’s — scopolamine, atropine, glycopyrrolate
  • for epilepsy — phenytoin or Dilantin
  • painkillers — heroin, morphine, codeine
  • sleeping pills — Ambien, Lunesta, Sonata
  • benzodiazepines — Valium, Xanax, Ativan, Dalmane
  • quinidine
  • naproxen
  • steroids
  • antibiotics (quinolones)
  • antihistamines
  • interferons
  • high blood pressure drugs
  • insulin
  • beta blockers (especially those used for glaucoma)
  • methyldopa
  • antipsychotics — Haldol, Mellaril
  • tricyclic antidepressants
  • lithium
  • barbiturates — Amytal, Nembutal, Seconal, phenobarbital
  • chemotherapy drugs

This list was assembled by Richard C. Mohs, Ph.D., former vice chairman of the Department of Psychiatry at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

The Top 3 Types of Drugs That Cause Memory Loss

If you are taking any prescription medication, the odds are that it falls into one of these three categories of drugs known to cause memory loss and other cognitive problems:

The “Anti” Drugs

If you take a drug that starts with “anti,” such as antihistamines, antidepressants, antipsychotics, antibiotics, antispasmodics, or antihypertensives, it’s likely that it will affect your acetylcholine levels.

Acetylcholine is the primary neurotransmitter involved with memory and learning. Low acetycholine can lead to symptoms that resemble dementia including mental confusion, delirium, blurred vision, memory loss, and hallucinations.

Sleeping Pills

Prescription sleeping pills are notorious for causing memory loss.

The popular drug Ambien has been coined by some as “the amnesia drug.” Some users experience night terrors, sleep walking, sleep driving, and hallucinations.

Prescription sleeping pills have been found to put you in a state similar to being passed out drunk or in a coma while bypassing the restorative sleep your brain needs. There are much better ways to get to sleep!


Many doctors may be failing to warn patients about the risks of antidepressants, new research suggests

These reports indicate that many doctors are unaware of the potential harms of antidepressants- Oliver Letwin MP



8 October 2018

For immediate release

Many doctors may be failing to warn patients about the risks of antidepressants, new research suggests

The All Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence today publishes two new pieces of research which indicate that many doctors and psychiatrists may be failing to warn patients about the potential risks of antidepressants, and subsequently fail to recognise withdrawal symptoms. Furthermore, sources of NHS support for patients, such as NHS 111, were found to be unhelpful.

The first report, ‘Antidepressant Withdrawal: A Survey of Patients’ Experience’, was authored by researchers at the University of Roehampton on behalf of the APPG, and is based on the results of a survey of 319 UK patients affected by antidepressant withdrawal.

64% of patients surveyed claim not to have received any information from their doctors on the risks or side effects of antidepressants, while only 2.5% of patients found NHS 111 to be a helpful source of support during withdrawal. In addition, responses to the survey make clear that the impact of antidepressant withdrawal can be devastating for some individuals with severe withdrawal reactions, with 30% of respondents reporting being off work indefinitely due to the severity of their symptoms.

The second report, ‘Voice of the Patient: Petition Analysis Report’, identifies failure points in the health care system based on the testimony of 158 individuals impacted by prescribed drug withdrawal who responded to two petitions lodged with parliamentary Petitions Committees in Scotland (1) and Wales (2) in 2017. The report concludes that the failures encountered by the respondents will require systemic change. Both reports will be submitted to Public Health England as part of its review into prescribed drug dependency and withdrawal, due for publication in spring 2019.

Dr James Davies, of the University of Roehampton, commented: “The majority of the people we surveyed and who responded to the petitions indicated that they were never properly informed about the risks associated with antidepressants, including withdrawal. This undermines the principle of informed consent, which is essential if patients are to make a proper assessment of the harms and benefits. This is very concerning, particularly as the survey shows that severe antidepressant withdrawal can have a devastating effect on patients’ lives, including long-term disability. Furthermore, the research suggests that patients who suffer from withdrawal mostly find existing sources of NHS support, such as 111, unhelpful.’

Sir Oliver Letwin MP, chair of the APPG, said: ‘These reports indicate that many doctors are unaware of the potential harms of antidepressants, and fail to communicate the risks to their patients. This highlights the need for additional guidance and training in this area, and we hope that Public Health England will consider this as part of their current review into prescribed drug dependence. Furthermore, it suggests that existing NHS sources of support are inadequate, and new dedicated services, including a 24 hour national prescribed drug withdrawal helpline, are therefore urgently needed.’


The report ‘Antidepressant Withdrawal: A Survey of Patients’ Experience’ can be found at this link: http://prescribeddrug.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/APPG-PDD-Survey-of-antidepressant-withdrawal-experiences.pdf

The report ‘Voice of the Patient: Petition Analysis Report’ can be found at this link: http://prescribeddrug.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/Voice-of-the-Patient-Petition-Analysis-Report.pdf

For further information please contact Luke Montagu at lukemontagu@me.com.

More information on the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Prescribed Drug Dependence can be found at prescribeddrug.org


Common prescription drugs linked to increased dementia risk

We wish it wasn’t the case but, unfortunately, memory loss is a hot topic. People have countless questions about brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s and dementia. What really causes it? Will there ever be a cure? Are there any natural preventatives? How do my other medications that I’m taking affect my risk of such problems?

Many prescriptions have been linked to memory loss! We hope to answer these questions and more below. So, if you or a loved one is worried about or currently living with this problem, please keep reading…


How Common Is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Most people associate Alzheimer’s with memory loss, one of first and most common symptoms of the disease. On average, the progressive (and currently) irreversible brain disorder starts affecting people after 60 years of age. [1] However, there are many factors that contribute to an individual’s experience such as their genes, diet, lifestyle habits, and more.

According to Alzheimers.net, there are 44 million people who have Alzheimer’s or a related dementia, approximately 5,700,000 of whom are American. Health officials expect that number to rise to 16 million by 2050. And because it’s the sixth leading cause of death in America – the only one in the top 10 that cannot be cured, prevented, or slowed – it demands everyone’s attention. [1,2]


10 Early Warning Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s

  • Memory loss
  • Inability to plan things or solve problems
  • Difficulty completing simple tasks
  • Getting confused about times, dates, and places
  • Inability to understand spatial relationships and visuals
  • New problems when it comes to speaking or writing
  • Forgetting where you put stuff and being unable to retrace steps
  • Increasingly poor judgement
  • Growing less and less social
  • Uncharacteristic changes in mood and personality

How About Dementia?

Not unlike Alzheimer’s disease, the most common form of dementia, general dementia is also a progressive syndrome that impairs your cognitive function. That is, your ability to think, reason, remember, and behave properly (if at all). Many of the symptoms actually overlap with those of Alzheimer’s disease. [1]

Growing by 10 million new cases per year, there are around 50 million people worldwide currently living with dementia… According to the World Health Organization, that’s a figure that we expect to hit 82,000,000 by 2030 and 152,000,000. [4]

Although these numbers are alarming, there are numerous ways to decrease your risk of development Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia – naturally and otherwise. But the possibility of keeping the number of dementia cases to a minimum seems unlikely when so many people are on medications that can increase the likelihood of getting it.


Common Drugs Like Benadryl Linked to Increased Dementia Risk

In March 2015, researchers published a prospective cohort study in JAMA Internal Medicine called “Cumulative Use of Strong Anticholinergics and Incident Dementia.” The University of Washington and Seattle healthcare system, Group Health, conducted the long-term study which tracked 3,434 men and women who were aged 65 and up, and had no dementia when the study began. [5]

The team accessed every participant’s history of drug use for the previous decade, including both over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Over a 7-year timeline, they followed up with all the participants every two years, during which 797 participants developed dementia (637 of whom developed Alzheimer’s disease).

As researchers looked back on what those 797 individuals took, anticholinergic drugsbecame the main suspect. The most common anticholinergics participants used were tricyclic antidepressants, first-generation antihistamines, and bladder antimuscarinics. Compared to those who didn’t take anticholinergic drugs, people who did for as little as three years were 54% more likely to develop dementia.

What Are Anticholinergics?

Usually, these types of drugs are prescribed to treat problems including urinary incontinence, Parkinson’s disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD). Anticholinergic drugs’ main purpose is to block the actions and effects of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter which causes muscles to contract, activates pain responses and regulates endocrine and REM sleep functions. [6]

It’s just a natural fact of life – as we age, our bodies’ ability to produce acetylcholine decreases. [7] Since the brain actually contains many acetylcholine-producing cells, as Harvard editor Beverly Merz highlights, “blocking its effects can deliver a double whammy to older people.” [8]

If you want to keep your head clear and brain functioning as highly as possible, steering clear of anticholinergic drugs seems ideal. However, it is important to recognize that the long-term study revealed only a small portion of drugs was interfering with cognitive function. So, please discuss with your doctor if you’re thinking of getting off any prescribed medications.


Experiencing Memory Loss? It’s Not Necessarily Alzheimer’s

There are reversible dementias that, although worrisome, people can treat and even overcome. Some of these problems might surprise you: [9]

1) Delirium

Although this condition seems similar to dementia, the mental changes that occur in delirium happen within days in comparison to months or years. Another key distinction between these two problems is that with dementia, you maintain consciousness; with delirium, you don’t.

2) Depression

People with depression have likely experienced moments of forgetfulness and disorientation. A simple way to tell the difference between depression and dementia is looking at the timeline… Depressed people become depressed first and experience memory-related symptoms later, whereas people with dementia become depressed as a result of their declining cognitive function.

3) Vitamin B12 Deficiency

This crucial deficiency can lead to pernicious anemia, a rare condition associated with confusion, slowness, apathy, and irritability. If you suspect this is the case, see your doctor as soon as possible to make sure your body can even absorb vitamin B12 properly.

4) Thyroid Disease

Individuals with hypothyroidism will likely exhibit dementia-like symptoms. One of the best things you can do is get a thyroid hormone blood test to determine the best possible treatment.

5) Alcoholism

People who are alcoholic can suffer bouts of confusion and amnesia which can mimic the same experiences as someone with Alzheimer’s disease. Although alcoholism can deteriorate the ability to remember and orientate oneself, abstinence and overcoming addiction can help reverse dementia.



[2] Alzheimer’s Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.alzheimers.net/resources/alzheimers-statistics/

[3] 10 Early Signs and Symptoms of Alzheimer’s. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.alz.org/alzheimers-dementia/10_signs

[4] Dementia. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/dementia

[5] Gray, S. L. (2015, March 01). Strong Anticholinergics and Incident Dementia. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/fullarticle/2091745

[6] Anticholinergics: List, Side Effects, and More. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/anticholinergics

[7] Acetylcholine (ACh). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://memorylossonline.com/glossary/acetylcholine.html

[8] Merz, B. (2017, May 23). Common anticholinergic drugs like Benadryl linked to increased dementia risk. Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/common-anticholinergic-drugs-like-benadryl-linked-increased-dementia-risk-201501287667

[9] What’s Causing Your Memory Loss? (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.helpguide.org/harvard/whats-causing-your-memory-loss.htm#top

[1] Alzheimer’s Disease Fact Sheet. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/alzheimers-disease-fact-sheet

Full article: https://realfarmacy.com/drug-dementia/


Man found dead in bed by his mother was in ‘constant pain’ before he died

A MAN found dead in bed by his mother on December 5 last year was in constant pain due to health problems, an inquest was told.

Jeffrey Lloyd, 59, of Pontypool, lived with his mother, Margaret, and took medication including morphine to ease the pain of spinal stenosis. He suffered from asthma and bronchitis, smoked cannabis for pain relief, and was dependant on alcohol, said Mrs Lloyd in a statement.

She had checked him and found him asleep at around 3am that morning, but he was not breathing when she checked again at 5.10am

A post mortem examination determined the cause of death as acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – though Mrs Lloyd said he had not been diagnosed with it – and alcohol and drugs intake. Several prescribed drugs were detected in his system, in therapeutic doses.

Senior coroner for Gwent Wendy James said that together these produced a “cocktail”. She recorded a narrative conclusion, that Mr Lloyd died of natural causes, exacerbated by alcohol and drugs intake.

Full article: http://www.southwalesargus.co.uk/news/16397839.man-found-dead-in-bed-by-his-mother-was-in-constant-pain-before-he-died/

Withdrawal – What we Know and Don’t Know

Antidepressant Withdrawal – What we Know and Don’t Know

My Doctor/Psychiatrist told me that I have to take an antidepressant to correct a
chemical imbalance in my brain, is this true?

No, it is a myth, we cannot test or measure the state of neurotransmitters in your brain, the
American Psychiatric Association disavowed this myth in 2011(1). It is a pharmaceutical
company invention (2).

How many people experience withdrawal effects?

It varies according to which drug is used, at what dosage, and for how long. Recent
studies (3) are showing the number affected to be greater than 50% of those taking the
drugs. The UK Royal College of Psychiatrists did their own survey (4) (now removed) which
showed that 63% reported withdrawal effects.

Why does my doctor/psychiatrist keep saying ‘discontinuation syndrome’ when I
mention withdrawal?

Discontinuation syndrome is an invented term (5) which minimises the role of the drug in the
harm caused and steers users away from addiction terminology. While dependence and
withdrawal have some features in common with addiction, they are not accurately
described using just this approach. What you are experiencing is an effect of withdrawing
from a drug, not of discontinuing treatment.

Why does my doctor insist that ‘once the drug is out of my system’ I will be fine?

Because not all doctors understand the effects of antidepressant drugs on the brain (6). A
heavy drinker or smoker may suddenly stop drinking/smoking, but the effects on their brain
and nervous system continue to be felt long after they have quit. Antidepressant drugs
change the brain in ways we don’t currently understand. These adaptations (7) to the drug
are responsible for withdrawal effects.

What does withdrawal feel like?

It’s a highly variable experience ranging from mild symptoms which pass quickly, to
profound symptoms that sometimes persist for many years. In a 2017 survey (8), 46% of
those reporting withdrawal symptoms described them as ‘severe’. Most common reported
symptoms (9) are insomnia, dizziness, fatigue, digestive problems, anxiety, panic,
depression, agitation. Withdrawal symptoms can sometimes mimic depressive or anxious states but should not be confused with relapse (10).

I am worried about dependence, what should I do?

The most important thing is never stop your drugs suddenly, this can be dangerous. Talk to
your doctor but be prepared as many doctors do not have the information to be able to
help. Withdrawal is a unique experience, with no fixed rules.

There are some excellent and
reliable online sources for help including:
• theinnercompass.org
• madinamerica.com/drug-withdrawal-resources
• survivingantidepressants.org
www.jfmoore.co.uk August, 2018
Antidepressant Withdrawal – What we Know and Don’t Know

References (to read these online visit www.jfmoore.co.uk/ltw.html)
1. http://www.psychiatrictimes.com/blogs/couch-crisis/psychiatry-new-brain-mind-andlegend-chemical-imbalance
2. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-depression-just-bad-chemistry/
3. http://roar.uel.ac.uk/7402/
4. RCPsych survey (now deleted)
5. https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/side-effects/201107/antidepressantwithdrawal-syndrome
6. http://time.com/3399344/antidepressant-changes-the-brain-study-finds/
7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4118946/
8. http://roar.uel.ac.uk/7402/
9. https://www.karger.com/Article/FullText/370338
www.jfmoore.co.uk August, 2018

What we know about antidepressant withdrawal V1

James Moore

Woman dies of drug overdose after using fentanyl patches for pain relief

A woman lay dead in her car in a hospital car park for a whole night after she used fentanyl patches to ease pain in her dislocated knee, an inquest has heard. Hazel Gough’s lifeless body was found slumped in her car by a receptionist the morning after she saw a doctor at Fountain Way Hospital in Salisbury, Wiltshire. The 41-year-old delivery driver was last seen getting into her Renault Kadjar at 4.30pm following the appointment.

Hospital receptionist Adrian Lock initially thought she was sleeping and tried shaking her awake, but when he got no response he called paramedics. She was pronounced dead at the scene at 9.04am on December 14 last year.

The inquest at Salisbury Coroner’s Court heard Miss Gough had fatal amounts of fentanyl in her blood after she was prescribed the opioid patches to help relieve the pain of a dislocated knee. Doctors had reduced the dosage of the patches and had discussed lowering it even further. Senior coroner for Wiltshire and Swindon David Ridley gave the cause of death as fentanyl toxicity and recorded a verdict of misadventure.

Mr Ridley said: ‘It’s likely, having got in her car after the session ended with her doctor at 4.30 pm, that the effects of the drug caused respiratory depression and Hazel’s death inside the car.’


Full article: https://metro.co.uk/2018/07/20/woman-dies-of-drug-overdose-after-using-fentanyl-patches-for-pain-relief-7738782/



Anti-depressants: ‘I’ve lost my identity and who I am’

“I’ve lost my job, I’ve lost my social life, I’ve lost my career, I’ve lost my identity and sense of who I am.”

James Moore says he ‘doesn’t feel the same person as before’ since becoming hooked on anti-depressants that were prescribed to help ease panic attacks.

The former civil servant said if he had been given a proper warning of the risks, he would never have taken them.

The Welsh Government said it had put in an extra £4 million in psychological therapies in the past two years.

James has been been unable to stop taking the medication since starting it 2012.

The 46-year-old has suffered insomnia, panic, nausea, shaking spells and anxiety during the three times he has tried to come off anti-depressants.

“It has been a huge personal cost to me,” said the married father-of-one from Rogiet in Monmouthshire.

“I feel like I’m in the middle of a marathon and I really don’t know whether I’m going to get to the end and over the finish line intact or not.”

Campaigners in Wales say there is a lack of tailored support and treatment for people struggling with anti-depressant dependency.

People like James, unable to stop taking them, say they have to deal with “devastating” symptoms of withdrawal alone.

A psychiatry professor said the drugs were over-prescribed and patients are not fully aware of the potential risks.

The Royal College of General Practitioners Wales (RCGP), however, said GPs tried to prescribe “in the best interests of patients” and, used appropriately, anti-depressants can be “an effective part of treatment”.

But Dr David Healy, professor of psychiatry at Bangor University, said patients were often not told of the risks of dependency as doctors had not been told themselves.

“They haven’t been told, for instance, that you can get hooked to these drugs and it may be close to impossible to come off them,” he said.

“Back in the late 80s when the drugs came on, first the expectation was you’d be on them for three, maybe six months. The idea they’d be on them for a year, or five years or 10 years was inconceivable back then. But that’s what happened,” he added.

At the end of last year, campaigners brought a petition calling for action on prescription drug dependence and withdrawal to the Welsh Assembly. They want assembly members to urge the Welsh Government to act.

However, their concerns are disputed by other medical professionals. A major report has been published and found that for many patients, anti-depressants work, although it did not look at long-term use.

Dr Adarsh Shetty, of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in Wales, said: “I see in my routine clinical practice, people who have benefited from them tremendously.

“So I would really advise people to talk to their doctor, their GP or their psychiatrist if they have any worries about anti-depressants and any concerns about dependence on anti-depressants. It is really important to stress they are not addictive medications.”

Dr Jane Fenton-May, of the Royal College of General Practitioners Wales, said GPs always “endeavour to prescribe in the best interests of patients” and “engage patients in a discussion about what is best for them as an individual”.

The RCGP said it recognised there was a “lack of alternative treatments”, there “can be difficulties in obtaining the necessary support” and supported calls for improvements in this area.

The Welsh Government said “there are a wide range of treatments other than medication available for depression” and it had invested an additional £4m in psychological therapies over the past two years.

“Patients are encouraged to speak with their GP, who would be able to help them make informed decisions about their care”, the spokesman added.

Full article: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-43169946

Living with the mental and physical impact of medication.

Having worked with older and disabled people over the last 13 years in the third sector, my experience of clients knowledge and understanding of their prescribed medication can sometimes be astounding.

I essentially help people get their homes adapted, maintained and made safe so that they are able to live independently. This can also involve general advice and assisting with benefit and disability allowances applications.

Many of my clients are aged over 70 and come from an era where whatever their professional, whether it be a doctor, nurse or specialist say or prescribes, that is what they believe is right. They feel that it is disrespectful to challenge or refuse the medication. Very few will stand up and say they don’t agree.

Even if the medication they are taking makes them feel worse, very few will go against the advice of their GP.

I do not confess to be a medical expert but in my experience with older and vulnerable people, I can identify particular health problems and noted side effects. Long term pain killer use as well as being addictive also can cause memory loss. Many people don’t know that and worry that Dementia is setting in. Majority of people are on gastro pump inhibitors to prevent or heal ulcers and stomach problems. Usually originally caused by other medication. These should only be used short term as they in turn can cause other more serious health problems and coming off them can also experience extreme versions of what the medication was for.

When asking many of my clients which medication they are taking, the usual answer is “lots” or I’m rattling. If asked what each is for, many don’t actually know. They may have been told many years ago but can’t remember. When asked do they read the information leaflet, if they were interested at all some say it’s in too small print or they get the dosette box with no leaflet. This is probably not the case but as they get older it is taken for granted that their health is going to suffer, medication may make some things more bearable and so best not to know the effects or if it might be addictive. Even when medication is reviewed, many don’t like to admit to any problems. I find much of this out when applying for mobility allowances such as Attendance Allowance. This is possibly the only time they will be completely honest about all their health problems.

Even when medication is reviewed, many don’t like to admit to any problems. I find much of this out when applying for mobility allowances such as Attendance Allowance. This is possibly the only time they will be completely honest about all their health problems.

Why when in hospital are patients woken up to be given sleeping tablets?

Just because someone is getting older, their health problems should be diagnosed by listening to the problems not just throwing medication at it.

We know that we can learn about controlling some health issues by diet, exercise or relaxation therapies, why aren’t older people being offered more of this instead of them having to take 4 or more, some up to 15 different medications in one day.

How many of those medications are addictive or have extreme side effects or will be fatal if forgotten to be taken.

I always believed that we are told to understand our own bodies first then ask advice, but it seems if many people have the audacity to make their own opinion of their medication of diagnosis this will be frowned upon.

I have had occasions where I have had to leave homes of clients because their spouse has become irate even verbally abusive. The explanation is that it is the medication causing it or that I shouldn’t visit before a certain time in order to give the medication time to kick in. Again not being a medical expert I cannot say that these are true effects or if they are used as an excuse for behaviour. But if more education to the medication available and being prescribed was available and in simple terms and people were given more choices instead of told?

Many older people when they start suffering with physical health problems start to suffer with depression and anxiety or are diagnosed bi polar. I can see the downward spiral to many of these peoples lives when given medication rather than alternative therapies or counselling about lifestyle or even just changes to their daily routine. When asked about their health issues, they start with the mental health rather than the obvious physical problems. They feel powerless and give up. Those not taking up the medication can often combat this and mange to regain the control of their life, regain their social life and try and help others.

When asked about their health issues, they start with the mental health rather than the obvious physical problems. They feel powerless and give up. Those not taking up the medication can often combat this and mange to regain the control of their life, regain their social life and try and help others.

Many thanks to our contributor:


More than 70,000 children prescribed anti-depressants in last 12 months

More than 70,000 under-18s, including nearly 2,000 children of primary school age, were prescribed anti-depressants in England last year, it has been reported. Experts have called for caution in giving the drugs to youngsters, warning that potential long-term effects on developing brains are not fully known. Mental health campaigners say access to other treatments, such as ‘talking therapies’, should be made more widely and easily available as a first resort.

GPs have said the prescription figures are evidence of youngsters seeking treatment, which is encouraging, but have backed calls for greater access to other therapies. NHS data obtained by The Times through freedom of information requests showed 7.3 million people were given at least one antidepressant prescription in England in 2017.

The drugs were used by one in six adults, the statistics suggested, with the total number marking an increase of nearly 500,000 since 2015.

The number of anti-depressant prescriptions has more than doubled in the last decade. A psychiatrist at Oxford University, Andrea Cipriani, said that doctors needed to be careful of prescribing anti-depressants to the developing brain. ‘We don’t know the long-term consequences,’ he said.


Read more: https://metro.co.uk/2018/07/21/70000-children-prescribed-anti-depressants-last-12-months-7742975/?ito=cbshare

Depression: A revolution in treatment?

It’s not very often we get to talk about a revolution in understanding and treating depression and yet now doctors are talking about “one of the strongest discoveries in psychiatry for the last 20 years”.

It is based around the idea that some people are being betrayed by their fiercest protector. That their immune system is altering their brain.

The illness exacts a heavy toll on 350 million people around the world, among them Hayley Mason, from Cambridgeshire:

“My depression gets so bad that I can’t leave the bed, I can’t leave the bedroom, I can’t go downstairs and be with my partner and his kids.

The 30-year-old added: “I can’t have the TV on, I can’t have noise and light, I have suicidal thoughts, I have self-harmed, I can’t leave the house, I can’t drive.

“And just generally I am completely confined to my own home and everything else just feels too much.”

Anti-depressant drugs and psychological treatments, like cognitive behavioural therapy, help the majority of people.

But many don’t respond to existing therapies and so some scientists are now exploring a new frontier – whether the immune system could be causing depression.

“I think we have to be quite radical,” says Prof Ed Bullmore, the head of psychiatry at the University of Cambridge.

full article