Antidepressants could affect people's personalities as well as their moods. Researchers from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois studied 240 volunteers. They gave 120 the antidepressant paroxetine, 60 received cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and the other 60 took a placebo. The participants' personalities and depression symptoms were assessed before and after treatment. After 12 weeks all the participants showed a marked drop in their depression symptoms but only the ones taking paroxetine became much less neurotic and much more extrovert. Neuroticism is known to increase the risk of depression whereas extroversion decreases it suggesting that the antidepressants may work by changing the way people see the world and how they relate to others as much as by dealing with the depression itself.
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