Greenberg, Gary. "The Psychiatric Drug Crisis: What Happened to Psychiatry's Magic Bullets?" Web log post. Www.newyorker.com. N.p., 3 Sept. 2013. Web. In spite of the booming market, the psychopharmacology industry is in a crisis. Even though twenty percent of Americans are on some kind of psychiatric or mind altering medication the companies that sell the most popular anti-depressants have stopped research and clinical trials to produce new psychiatric drugs. The history of the science behind the business of anti-depressants shows that mood altering drugs were discovered by accident and theories of "chemical imbalances" were sought to validate the creation and prescription of them. As the theories of the brain changed so did the drugs. Now neuroscience seems to have reached a dead end in the areas involving chemicals involved with neurotransmission and cannot even say why the current anti-depressants work, if they do anything at all, or if they simply produce a placebo effect on users.
Kandel, Eric R. ""The New Science of the Mind"" The New York Times. The New York Times, 6 Sept. 2013. Web. 22 Oct. 2013. <http://www.nytimes.com/>. Eric R. Kandel, a professor at the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia, a senior investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and a recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, writes in this New York Times op-ed piece that current research is opening up a new "unified science" of the mind where cognitive psychology and neuroscience combine efforts to source and treat depressive disorders. The neural circuits affected by these disorders are most likely very complex, bio markers in the brain predict the outcome of the two popular treatments of psychotherapy and anti-depressant medication for them, therapy changes the brain in certain cases and the effects of such practice can be studied empirically. Recent studies have shown specific genetic links to predispositions to such mental illnesses and depression.
Menand, Louis. "Head Case." The New Yorker. N.p., 1 Mar. 2010. Web. 29 Oct. 2013.
Mukherjee, Siddartha. "Post-Prozac Nation." New York Times Magazine 19 Apr. 2012: n. pag. Www.nytimes.com. Web. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/magazine/the-science-and-history-of-treating-depression.html?pagewanted=1&_r=3&>. The essential idea that antidepressants treats a "chemical imbalance" in the brain by increasing levels of serotonin has been called into question. Newer studies have led neuroscientists to believe that the hippocampus of depressed patients stops creating the neurons that function in circuits necessary for coping with and remaining lively in the face of stress and tragic experience. Serotonin affects the production of these neurons in some of the cases involved studies done on rats and eventually humans. Rats given activities such as mazes to run through maintain the production of these neurons in the hippocampus, so it would seem that environment and behavior have an effect on brain chemistry. The author claims that even though the new theory renders anti-depressants useless in regards to biochemistry for 85% of people on such medications, the brain is still a mysterious, "soup" of chemicals.
Nauert, Rick, PHD. "Genetic and Environmental Stimulus for Depression | Psych Central News."" Psych Central.com. N.p., Jan. 2008. Web. 15 Oct. 2013. This brief article is centered around the study of the interaction between the genetic predisposition and the environmental causes of depression. The cited study published in Psychological Science gives evidence of a dopamine related gene in relation to clinical depression. The author adds weight to the "conclusions" made by the study by stating that depression is a disease that affects twenty million Americans and will be the second leading cause of disability worldwide by 2020.
Nemade, Rashmi, PHD, Natalie Staats Reiss, PHD, and Mark Dombeck, PHD. "Historical Understandings of Depression." Gulf Bend MHMR Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2013. This article gives a brief history of the study of clinical depression. Initially called "melancholia", Mesopotamian texts in the second millennium B.C suggest that it was considered a spiritual illness. Ancient Greek and Roman doctors later believed depression was both a biological and psychological disease. Eventually aside from Persian physicians belief in hydrotherapy and behavioral therapy most of the world just before Christ and well into the Middle Ages thought melancholia was caused by demons and the anger of the Gods. The Renaissance brought progress in regards to the scientific causes of the illness as well as more demonization of the madness associated with it. Anatomy of Melancholy, is published in 1621 in which describes psychological and social causes of depression as well as some new treatments. During the Enlightenment society views depression as an inherited disease that is untreatable. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries in spite of being differentiated from schizophrenia and the advent of Freudian psychotherapy the disease is often treated by lobotomy as well electro-shock therapy. In the 1950s depression along with other mental illness is treated biologically with medication as different approaches to psychology such as Behaviorism begin to evolve.
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