Monday, June 02, 2003

A while back I commented on 'Hazards of the Happy Pill' a documentary by BBC Panorama and which screened on Four Corners (April 28, 2003). Since then the ABC has added a response to that episode (Opinion: Greg Barns) by a writer and columnist with the Hobart Mercury. ABC science program Catalyst also screened a segment about 'Kids on Prozac' (May 1, 2003), which discussed some of the issues faced by children and parents affected by depression, in particular the medications prescribed to treat depression in children.

A recent news story, 'Gaps revealed in antidepressant research' (ABC Health, 30 May, 2003), comments on recent research suggesting that the long term effects of anti-depressants could include a form of tolerance and the increased likelihood of a relapse. Almost as interesting as the research are comments by an Australian researcher about the difficulty in testing this hypothesis due to a lack of specific knowledge about depressive illnesses. According to the article, the World Health Organisation "estimates that major depression will be ranked as the second most disabling medical disorder by 2010."

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