“Antidepressants: A Research Update” AND More on Best 5 Tuesday Reads

Hello and welcome to another edition of Best 5 Reads. Lets begin!

1) Antidepressants: A Research Update and a Case Example

This post briefly reviews what researchers have been finding about the effectiveness and also the downsides of antidepressant medications — Zoloft, Prozac, and the like. The post then adds a fascinating case example, a self-description submitted to me by a reader who has experienced both the ups and the downs of antidepressant drugs.

2) Why We Sleep, and Why We Often Can’t

Contemporary sleep evangelizers worry a good deal about our social attitudes toward sleep. They worry about many things, of course—incandescent light, L.E.D. light, nicotine, caffeine, central heating, alcohol, the addictive folderol of personal technology—but social attitudes seem to exercise them the most. Deep down, they say, we simply do not respect the human need for repose. We remain convinced, in contradiction of all the available evidence, that stinting on sleep makes us heroic and industrious, rather than stupid and fat.

3) It’s nothing like a broken leg’: why I’m done with the mental health conversation

In the last few years I have observed a transformation in the way we talk about mental health, watched as depression and anxiety went from unspoken things to ubiquitous hashtags. It seems as though every week is now some kind of Mental Health Awareness Week, in which we should wear a specific colour (although this year no one could agree on which: half wore green, half yellow).

In the last few years I have lost count of the times mental illness has been compared to a broken leg. Mental illness is nothing like a broken leg.

In fairness, I have never broken my leg. Maybe having a broken leg does cause you to lash out at friends, undergo a sudden, terrifying shift in politics and personality, or lead to time slipping away like a Dali clock. Maybe a broken leg makes you doubt what you see in the mirror, or makes you high enough to mistake car bonnets for stepping stones (difficult, with a broken leg) and a thousand other things.

4) Why this is the year we must take action on mental health

The global mental health crisis could cost the world $16 trillion by 2030. With mental disorders on the rise in every country in the world, nowhere is immune.

Poor mental health stops employees from reaching their full potential and forces them to take more sick days, stunting productivity and economic growth. This is also a challenge with society-wide ramifications. Loneliness and isolation affect many of the most vulnerable among us. People with serious conditions such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder are especially likely to be marginalised by their communities. Those with the most severe conditions pay with their lives, dying prematurely – as much as two decades before their time.

5) Brief Update and Review on Treating Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are common mental disorders that can lead to serious psychiatric, medical, and social disabilities. However, many psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have limited knowledge to assess and treat eating disorders. This article briefly reviews current information about assessing and treating these disorders with the aim of helping increase the knowledge of nonspecialists to identify and treat more patients with these problems.

Thank you and see you tomorrow for more articles!

Best Regards,

Vikram


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