Serotonin or Out?

An interesting article in the Guardian again t’other day caught my eye and happily distracted me from the rest of the news. Link to it is below:

It makes the rather wonderful point that even though people have been prescribed and prescribing SSRI anti-depressant medication for decades, we still have no clue whatsoever how or why they work!

Lovely that isn’t it! Millions of people have been prescribed SSRI’s (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) for decades for anxiety, depression and many other mental health issues and yet we do not have a clear understanding of what they do and how they do it.

It is clear that for some people they work wonders and anti depressants are a vital part of some people’s healing and recovery. They have undoubtably helped many millions of people who were experiencing suicidal ideation, depression, anxiety and other really debilitating and complex mental health conditions, but it does flabber my gast that we have done this without fully researching and understanding the processes by which they work.

It leads me to wonder what we would be able to achieve as mental health professionals if our field was given as much money and importance as comparable physical health conditions. We would likely be able to not only develop and understand new and improved medications for depression, anxiety, bi polar etc, but we would also be able to research and develop improved training for the talking therapies that are so important in helping people heal and in some cases, stay alive.

The article above makes it clear that research is ongoing and I have no doubt it will be useful in the long term to understand these medications better, I just wish more importance and money was given over to such things by the people with the power to change things.

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