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  (Source: The Aquatic Room)

  (Source: Wordpress)
Antidepressants could ruin the ecosystem

While antidepressants are made to improve people's mental health, the opposite reaction seems to be occurring in shrimp, which become five times more likely to commit suicide when exposed to the drug fluoxetine. 

Shrimp who show normal signs of behavior typically swim away from the light due to the fact that birds and fisherman are usually waiting to catch them in well-lit open areas. But when shrimp come in contact with fluoxetine in the water, they begin to swim toward the light putting themselves in harms way

Fluoxetine is released into the water by human excrement in waste water that is carried out to sea. What biologists are worried about is if enough shrimp come in contact with the antidepressant, it could cause a decline in the population, which could ultimately detriment the entire ecosystem.  

"Crustaceans are crucial to the food chain and if shrimp's natural behaviour is being changed because of antidepressant levels in the sea, this could seriously upset the natural balance of the ecosystem," said Alex Ford, a marine biologist at the UK's University of Portsmouth. "Much of what humans consume you can detect in the water in some concentrations. 

"We're a nation of coffee drinkers and there is a huge amount of caffeine found in waste water, for example. It's no surprise that what we get from the pharmacy will also be contaminating the country's waterways."

Ford began experimenting with this antidepressant problem when he found that a certain parasite could cause behavioral changes in shrimp by altering their serotonin levels. He started exposing shrimp to a small amount of fluoxetine to see if human antidepressants would affect them the same way and also wanted to know how much of this drug it would take to make them change their behavior. He found that this small amount was enough to make the shrimp harm themselves. 

"Effluent [outflowing waste water] is concentrated in river estuaries and coastal areas, which is where shrimps and other marine life live," said Ford. "This means that the shrimps are taking on the excreted drugs of whole towns."

But shellfish, like shrimp, seem to be returning the favor by exposing humans to unsafe levels of toxins as well, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA held public hearings yesterday to review "a proposed safe exposure limit for dioxin," which is a common pollutant and waste product from smelting, chlorine bleaching, pesticides manufacturing and incineration. Adults obtain dioxin by eating shellfish, meat and dairy, and then pass it on to fetuses in the womb. According to the Environmental Working Group, adults are exposed to 1,200 times more dioxin than what they consider is safe. Furthermore, through nursing, infants consume 77 times more dioxin than what is considered safe for babies. High levels of ongoing exposure can lead to diabetes, heart disease, cancer, early menopause, reduced testosterone and endometriosis. 

Between the increase in antidepressant prescriptions in recent years and the new studies surrounding dioxin levels and their effects on humans, the exchange of toxins between people and shrimp have become hazardous to each one's health, and in some cases, fatal. 

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By Happi123 on 7/18/2010 12:39:45 PM , Rating: 2
Lexapro is a permanent life long cure for any depression if you can survive the treatment. I was prompted by a marriage counselor to go to my doctor and request drugs for my OCD symptoms (checking, intrusive sad thoughts, previous eating disorders as a teen and heavy drinking.) I went to my husband’s pcp who never met me before. He gave me a depression self-test and diagnosed me with depression and anxiety, and then prescribed me Lexapro and Rozerem since I had a terrible insomnia problem. He also decided it was a good idea to start kissing me and grabbing me in his office. The Lexapro did such a good job getting me up and doing things, lots of things, but unfortunately, I believe it also may have made me nervous because it raised my blood pressure from it’s usual 120/80 to 145/110. I was really up, up, up. I could drink twelve shots of straight liquor and still be walking around for hours. This was the busiest year of my life. I managed to get 2 DUI’s 4 drunk in publics and an involuntary commit for suicide, attend 2 rehab’s, a hypnotherapist, weekly ASAP programs, all while working full time an taking care of a young child. During the course of my medical treatment, I was seen by 3 psychiatrists, 4 doctors, and numerous counselors. In rehab, one woman was so intoxicated by her medications that she was seeing trolls in her room and could not walk without assistance. Most of the follow up treatment involved numerous more drugs, anti-buse, campral, and Buspar. All of which I had to stop taking due to side effects such as full body tremors and falling down. Finally, after the second DUI which I was also charged with a felony for pinching a police officers butt, I decided maybe I should stop taking the Lexapro b/c I seemed to have developed some obsession with alcohol and I could see I was also becoming delusional. So, while in jail, I requested no more medication for 1 week and was able kick Lexapro, although the depression side effects of the withdrawal lasted about three months. I met numerous other women in jail for DUI’s while on Zoloft, Lexapro and Abilify and others for shoplifting on Zanax. My depression is 100% permanently cured. I no longer ever feel sad about my life. I have never killed anyone driving drunk, I didn’t kill myself, I am no longer in jail, I didn’t get my kid taken away from me, I am not in a mental institution, and I don’t have a lethal diastolic blood pressure of 110 anymore. No matter what happens in my life now, I am always hopeful and never depressed. I know things could be much worse. I now realize that my mental problems probably were caused by my father's suicide when I was 13 from being treated for 3 years with psychotropics for depression, having full blown akathaisa and paranoia from these drugs, not a chemical imabalance.

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