Maris has been an expert witness in a number of trials, including one in Hawaii last year in which Healy also testified. William D. Forsyth Sr., a retired businessman, stabbed his wife 17 times and then stabbed himself to death. He had been taking Prozac for 10 days. His family brought a wrongful death suit against Lilly, claiming that the company knew Prozac could make some people violent or suicidal, and failed to notify physicians about it.

Prozac and the other SSRIs have been prescribed for all those problems and more, and have produced dramatic improvement in a majority of cases. “Prozac is a valuable drug,” Maris said. “For every horror story, there are thousands of persons who say their lives were saved by it.”

Research done in Wales by Dr. David Healy, director of the University of Wales’ North Wales Department of Psychological Medicine, appears to show a cause-and-effect relationship between Zoloft (sertraline) and the emergence of suicidal thinking in a group of physically and mentally healthy adult volunteers.

It helps to think of stress as one part of a continuum of feelings. At one end is excitement and at the other end, depression. Stress and anxiety fall between the two extremes. The illustration here will help put this concept into perspective. Although these four states are similar, they are also different. The particular state you experience when threatened or challenged will depend upon how you believe you will cope with the situation. In any situation, you could experience one of these states or a combination of two states that are next to each other (e.g., excitement and stress, stress and anxiety).

This week Rep. Jim Hansen, the Utah Republican who serves as co-chairman of the Congressional Task Force on Tobacco and Health, proposed legislation that would mandate graphic warnings that would cover half of the front and back of all cigarette packages and half of advertisements in newspapers and magazines.

Antidepressants medicines are often effective for most people. No antidepressant works perfectly for all patients. Many times the patient will be switched to a different medication or combination of medicines until the right formula for wellness is found for that particular individual. Unfortunately, the negative effects (side effects) tend to show up before the positive effects. Not everyone experiences side effects and they are different for each type of drug.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), more than 17 million Americans suffer from depression every year. Depression is an illness that may be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Some researchers believe that chemical is seratonin. Others have discovered that a tendency to experience depression runs in families and may be inherited like many other diseases.