Up to 60% of anti-depressant users have their joy stripped away, researchers claim | The Sun

Up to 60% of anti-depressant users have their joy stripped away, researchers claim | The Sun

ANTI-depressants strip away joy for some users, say researchers.

Up to three in five experience the problem — caused by the drugs numbing the part of the brain which allows people to feel rewarded.

The researchers split 66 people into groups, with half receiving the anti-depressant escitalopram, and the other half getting a placebo.

They were then set a test with two options — one with plenty of rewards, the other with few.

People on the anti-depressants chose the less rewarding option more regularly than the placebo group. This suggested they were less responsive to treats.

Prof Barbara Sahakian, of the University of Cambridge, said the blunting was an unfortunate side effect.

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She said: “They take away some emotional pain but unfortunately they also take away some enjoyment.”

Her team also found those given the drug were less likely to reach orgasm.

About 8.3million took anti-depressants in England last year.

They can prevent suicide but the pills have come under scrutiny with the NHS encouraging more group therapy.

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