Ethics In Science: Antidepressants Essay

1223 words - 5 pages

People are shaped into individuals through many defining attributes – from the way we communicate and the way we express ourselves to a person’s morals and ethics. Coincidentally, these are all linked through one major omniscient trait – emotions. Emotions contain a wide spectrum of subcategories, but these can basically be broken down into the two elementary divisions: happiness and sadness. These ups and downs are crucial for people to be themselves; to have their own stories and experiences to tell.
As society progresses, we are having more and more control over the human brain. Science is perceived as a naturally neutral ground when it comes to ethics, their discoveries are completely ...view middle of the document...

Manufactured by Massachusetts company Clinical Data, Inc., these capsules completely capture the theory that serotonin is in fact is linked to depression, despite there being a lack of completely solid evidence supporting this. In 2012, in a book titled “The Emperor’s New Drugs,” a psychologist Irving Kirsch proclaimed that antidepressants work no better than sugar pills and that the clinical effectiveness of such drugs is, essentially, a myth. Despite such a harsh declaration, the endless search for these simple solutions for such intricate mental complications seems to be never ending – and there seems to be no end of the ritual hit-or-miss solutions that are so prevalent in doctors’ offices.
There are many causes of depression, ranging from physical abuse, to abnormalities in a person’s bodily composition, to constantly failing your math test. Clinical depression is characterized by symptoms that interfere with a person’s ability to sleep, work, eat, study and appreciate once-pleasurable activities. Episodes of major depression often recur throughout a person’s lifetime, although some may experience only a single occurrence. Many scientists blame depression on one of the four major modulatory networks in your brain: serotonin. Serotonin manages dreaming, sleep, appetite and mood. SSRI’s, or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor, affect the way your body handles serotonin by affecting the naturally occurring neurotransmitters, which are used to communicate brain cells. These block the reabsorption and balance of serotonin which assists the brain cells in sending and receiving chemical messages, and in turn assists to boost mood. Most antidepressants work by changing the levels of one or more of these neurotransmitters. SSRIs are called selective because they seem to primarily affect serotonin, not other neurotransmitters. SSRI’s are currently the most commonly prescribed category of antidepressant drugs in the U.S., and have become a household name in treating depression. Prescriptions for SSRIs increased 26% between 1995 and 1999 among teens, and within the same period of time specific drugs such a Prozac and Zoloft rose by 62% - mainly in people between the ages of 15 and 19. We are so surrounded by these largely advertised and overprescribed small pills, and have become engulfed in a pill-happy culture searching for quick fixes for complex mental problems. In 1988, a year after the Food and Drug Administration approved Prozac, 2,469,000 prescriptions for these drugs were dispensed in America. By 2002, that number had risen to 33,320,000. By 2008, antidepressants were the third-most-common prescription drug taken in America.
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