Drug Warnings Can Be a Double-Edged Sword

Back in 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required that a particular class of antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) carry a “black box” warning that for children and teens, side effects may include an increased risk of suicidal thoughts. Sounds perfectly reasonable, doesn’t it?

But then, along comes the Law of Unintended Consequences, which revealed that since that FDA mandate came out, doctors wrote 20 percent fewer prescriptions for SSRIs (which include Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Celexa) for their teen patients. (Adult use of SSRI antidepressants went down by 14 perent—and they weren’t even covered by the FDA warnings). At the same time, teen suicide attempts rose by about the same amount—21.7 percent for teens, 33.7 percent for young adults under 25.
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Infertility: Not for Women Only

Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I have been trying to have a baby for two years. Both of us have undergone lots of testing but the doctors still don’t know what the problem is. Throughout all of this, dozens of people—mostly friends and family, but also doctors, nurses, lab techs, and others—have come up to me and either offered some kind of advice, asked how my wife is doing, or told me what I need to do to support her. This whole process has been extremely stressful, and both my wife and I are emotionally devastated, but not a single person has asked how I’m doing. I’m getting really angry about being ignored and I’m trying to keep from biting someone’s head off. How should I respond?
A: Just a few decades ago, infertility was considered to be the woman’s “fault.” But today, experts know that it’s more evenly split. About 40% of the time, the cause can be traced to the woman; 40% of the time it’s traced to the man; and the remaining 20% is “unexplained.” Still, because the pregnancy would happen inside the woman’s body, society assumes that women are the only ones affected by infertility. The fact that men experience stress or grief or might be “emotionally devastated” by the shattering of their hopes and dreams rarely occurs to anyone.
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Secret Life of Sleep + More Than Baby Blues

Kat Duff, author of The Secret Life of Sleep
Topic:
What happens between the time you fall asleep and the time when you wake up?
Issues: What is sleep? Stages of sleep; commercialization of sleep; dreams; babies and sleep; insomnia;


Valerie Davis Raskin, coauthor of This Isn’t What I Expected
Topic:
Overcoming postpartum depression
Issues: Symptoms of postpartum depression (PPD) and how it’s different than “baby blues”; dealing with panic attacks, stress overload, and obsessive urges; breaking the cycle of negative thinking; coping with the loss of self-esteem, when to get help; the dad’s role in support a new mom suffering from PPD

Bullying: The Unpleasant Gift that Keeps on Giving

Bullies and their victims are finally getting the attention they deserve—and so are the long-lasting consequences to both victim and perpetrator. Contrary to the popular belief that bullied kids eventually outgrow the psychological and physical pain they suffered, the effect of bullying persist far into adulthood. “We were surprised at how profoundly bullying affects a […]

Living with Prostate Cancer: It’s Complicated

I guess it’s part of the male provider-protector thing: A recent survey found that men with advanced prostate cancer worry more about burdening their family and friends than about dying. That’s only one surprising fact from a fascinating and sometimes puzzling survey called The Advanced Prostate Cancer Patient and Caregiver Burden of Illness Study. According […]

5 Unhealthy Ways Men Deal with Rejection

Rejections are the emotional cuts and scrapes of daily life. We get turned down by romantic partners, our colleagues get together without inviting us, our spouses rebuff our sexual advances, our neighbors don’t invite us to their holiday parties, and our friends ignore our posts and Tweets on social media platforms. The one thing all […]