You’ve seen the commercials, “Take this drug and stop your depression…side effects include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, suicidal thoughts or actions, sexual dysfunction, sleeplessness…” the list goes on. With these adds comes the inevitable droning on of the side effects long after the so called benefits are announced. Most of the time what they do not tell you is that the drug has not been proven to work and or the other side effects such as substantial weight gain, and increased glucose and lipid metabolism. Some of the side effects are so bad people just stop taking them.
Others end up with worse problems than when they started. One add even goes so far as to suggest you add anti-psychotic drugs to block dopamine receptors in the brain because the antidepressants do not work. The other horrible side effects they do not want you knowing about is the fact you can end up with a more serious form of mental illness causing you to spiral into a long-term and chronic depression.
Scary Facts About Anti-Depressants
- 11% of Americans ages 12 and older take the medication.
- Antidepressants are the most common prescription drug used by people ages 18 to 44.
- Almost one-quarter of all women ages 40 to 59 take antidepressants.
- More than 60% of those on antidepressants said they had taken it for two years or longer.
- 14% had used the pills for 10 years or more.
Despite these “advances” in medicine, bipolar and depression disability rates have soared by about 600% in the last 30 to 40 years right along with the shelling out of these prescription psychiatric drugs. In 1985 about $600 million was spent a year on these types of drugs, today that number has risen to $40 BILLION. This is what happens when big pharmaceutical companies get into bed with doctors and “researchers”. When one drug fails to work, they have another one waiting in the wings to come to the “rescue”. Soon the amount of drugs running through people’s systems makes a heroin addict blush.
The truth is all these drugs are, most of the time, unnecessary. In September 2000 Duke University put out a press release concerning the results of their study. A team studied three groups of people to see what treatment would best help depression. Group one was exercise only, group two was exercise plus drugs, and group three was drugs only. Here is what they said…
“After demonstrating that 30 minutes of brisk exercise three times a week is just as effective as drug therapy in relieving the symptoms of major depression in the short term, medical center researchers have now shown that continued exercise greatly reduces the chances of the depression returning.
The new study, which followed the same participants for an additional six months, found that patients who continued to exercise after completing the initial trial were much less likely to see their depression return than the other patients.
Only 8 percent of patients in the exercise group had their depression return, while 38 percent of the drug-only group and 31 percent of the exercise-plus-drug group relapsed.”
What does this tell us? That we have more control over our bodies, lives, and how we feel if we just learn what we need to do. Stop listening to the doctors who dole out drugs instead of asking what you put into your body and what kind of exercise you get. Eating properly, cutting out fructose (sugar), eating more veggies, more fruit, more raw food, less grains, less processed foods, cutting out soda (especially diet), and exercising regularly are just some of the things you can do.
Some Natural Supplements for Depression
Other things that may be lacking in your diet include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and salt.
Deficiencies in omega-3 fatty acids is proven to change the functioning levels of both dopamine and serotonin which play a role in how we feel pleasure. Lack of omega-3s also decrease the normal flow of blood to your brain, which is one of the problems that occurs in depression. Also, omega-3 deficiency can cause a 35% reduction in brain phosphatidylserine or PS which enables your brain cells to metabolize glucose and to release and bind with neurotransmitters, increasing communication between cells in your brain by increasing the number of membrane receptor sites for receiving messages. PS levels are relevant because there has been documented evidence of its antidepressant activity in humans.
Besides all the other wonderful things vitamin D does, studies have shown that people with low levels of vitamin D are 11 times more likely to be susceptible to depression. It has also been shown that newborn babies and babies still in the womb who do not get enough vitamin D especially D3, are much more prone to develop schizophrenia later in life. Researchers even suggested it was possible to reduce the instances of schizophrenia in dark-skinned ethnic populations in cold countries and residents of urban areas who are not exposed to sunlight on a regular basis by 87% if they had access to vitamin D supplements. Common sense sun exposure, without sunscreen, and or a vitamin D supplement are a great place to start in curbing depression in anyone.
Fun fact for the day, salt is a natural antidepressant. Sodium deficiency can cause many of the symptoms of depression like, loss of appetite, difficulty concentrating, excessive fatigue, loss of capacity to experience joy and pleasure, and a general sense of exhaustion. Natural salt (not processed salt) is essential in allowing fluids to pass in and out of cells, help nerve cells in your brain and body to transfer information, helping to carry nutrients to your cells, various metabolic reactions in your body and regulating blood pressure. Eating common table salt instead of natural salt can lead to cellulite, rheumatism, arthritis, gout, and kidney and gall bladder stones, so be careful to choose wisely.
If you are already taking antidepressants or other drugs for serious mental illness DO NOT STOP taking them. Stopping them without help from a knowledgeable professional can be DANGEROUS to your health. Seek someone that can help you with all aspects of your health including natural options with dietary and physical activity changes. They will also be able to help with the unpleasant withdrawl symptoms. The famous singer, Stevie Nicks, of Fleetwood Mac fame who suffered from an 8 year addiction to tranquilizers said getting off these types of drugs was worse and took more time than heroin or cocaine.
The important thing to remember is that you are in charge of your body and life, not a doctor who gets kickbacks from the drug companies. Do research on the medications they prescribe before you start taking them. Better yet, start eating correctly. Stay away from the processed foods, sugars, grains, get more exercise and address emotional stress before it gets out of hand.
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Some information obtained from Dr. Mercola at mercola.com
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