Many Stroke Patients Treated for Depression Without Diagnosis

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According to research presented on October 1 at the Canadian Stroke Congress, many stroke patients are prescribed antidepressants without a diagnosis. “This study found that 40 percent of stroke patients were treated for depression, but most were not screened or diagnosed. Who are we treating?” asked the lead researcher. “No matter what the best practice recommendations say, if you’re on an antidepressant when you show up, you will not likely be screened or assessed, but you will be given more drugs.” The study looked at the medical charts of 294 patients given antidepressants over a six-month period, only three of which had been formally screened.

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected]

4 COMMENTS

  1. Oh God, can you imagine throwing psychiatry’s brain poisons into our skull when you’ve had a stroke? Suckers for punishment.

    Is this society even able to care for real brain disease events like stroke, with a bunch of quackery muddying the waters?

    When I go, let me go quick and get away from these people.

  2. Didn’t Peter Kramer base his whole argument in his Defense of anti-depressants on the idea that some obscure study he thought indicated that they were helpful in recovering motor functions after a stroke?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/opinion/sunday/10antidepressants.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

    I think he tried to assert (without evidence) that because SSRIs might (already leaping from what the data actually say in the french study) increase “neuroplasticity,” that he proposes that the mechanism of change in antidepressants is that they help people who are taking them make brain changes to get them not depressed.

    That’s what this article makes me think of, Peter Kramer’s lame defense.

  3. I’ve worked in medical hospitals and was assigned to the units where people recovering from strokes were treated. Recovering from a stroke is difficult enough; you don’t need toxic drugs poured into a brain struggling to heal nor do you need your feelings and emotions numbed. As Anonymous says, it’s like one huge Duck Farm filled with quackery!

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