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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Could Coffee Reduce Suicide Risk?

A recent study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that drinking 2-4 cups of coffee per day may cut suicide risk for women and men in half. Apparently, coffee somehow causes the brain to produce larger quantities of the neurotransmitters dopamine, noradrenaline, and serotonin—the same chemicals that are affected by many popular antidepressants, […]

Pay More Attention to Young Men’s Mental Health

A recent report on the mental health of young men (ages 16-25) in Australia, is attracting a lot of attention from mental health professionals, parents, politicians, teachers, and, of course, the guys. One of the study’s key discoveries was that a fifth of young men say that life isn’t worth living and one in 10 [...]

The Secret to a Longer Life? Follow Directions

It seems that there’s a new study out every day proving that eating certain foods (like more veggies and less meat) or doing certain things (like getting enough exercise and sleep) can improve and/or extend your life. Reading—and thinking—are a good first step. But they’re not much unless you actually do something to make some [...]

Placing American Indian and Alaska Native Boys and Men’s Health Disparities on the Map

A group of stakeholders dedicated to raising awareness on health disparities among American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) males has collaborated with Men’s Health Network (MHN) and the Office of Minority Health to develop a brief report titled A Vision of Wellness and Health Equity for AI/AN Boys and Men. Among American Indians and Alaska [...]

PTSD: Affects Vets’ Spouses Too

According to the US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), about 25 percent of vets returning from the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are suffering from PTSD. That’s about 500,000 veterans. If we include family members, that number more than doubles.  Not surprisingly, returning veterans—particularly those with PTSD—have a higher divorce rate than non-veterans. And [...]