THE DEPRESSING TRUTH ABOUT ANTIDEPRESSANTS
It may shock you to know that the FDA approved Prozac based only on 3 studies involving 286 patients over a period of 6 weeks. It gets worse. There were actually 14 studies submitted for review- but only 3 proved Prozac was more effective than placebo or an older antidepressant – and these are very 3 the FDA used to approve it, despite 9 other studies contradicting them. In fact, in almost half of the studies done over previous years, results show that up to 70% of those taking SSRI antidepressant medications do just as well by taking a placebo or a sugar pill. And the other half? Well, their overall improvement was minimal.
Psychologists often rate the severity of depression using a series of questions called the Hamilton Scale. Patients taking SSRI drugs only showed an overall improvement of TWO points on the scale – minimal indeed when you consider the maximum score is 52 points!
FACT: Suicide occurs more than twice as much on antidepressants than on sugar pills in individuals under age 25. This statistic is even more scandalous when you learn that the company that made Prozac, Eli Lilly, knew from their earliest trials in 1985 that Prozac increased the risk of suicide by as much as 12 to 1 over placebo or older antidepressants. Other SRRI drugs have been found to be just as dangerous. Zoloft has been linked to suicidal tendencies. The pediatric studies involving Zoloft show it to be no more than 10 percent more effective than placebos. Side effects occurred three hundred times more in those taking Zoloft than on a placebo.
COMMON SIDE EFFECTS OF ANTIDEPRESSANTS: Common side effects include anxiety, depression, headache, muscle pain, chest pain, nervousness, sleeplessness, drowsiness, weakness, changes in sex drive, tremors, dry mouth, irritated stomach, loss of appetite, dizziness, nausea, rash, itching, weight gain, diarrhea, impotence, hair loss, dry skin, chest pain, bronchitis, abnormal heart beat, twitching, anemia, low blood sugar, and low thyroid.
Just as concerning are the studies which show that using these drugs cause the brain to release less and less of the brain’s “feel good” chemical, serotonin. SSRI drugs work by blocking the removal of serotonin from its synapse. Over time, the brain tries to compensate by shutting down the nerves that produce the neurotransmitter. This is known as down-regulation. Eventually the brain begins to reduce the number of serotonin receptors- up to 40-60 percent in some parts of the brain- until they literally disappear from the brain. This is one of the reasons, besides the drug simply not working, that patients often switch from one antidepressant to another.
But are there any alternatives to antidepressants?
The good news is: yes.
I prefer to use amino acids, which when combined with essential vitamins and minerals, are the raw ingredients that make the neurotransmitters responsible for balancing your moods and providing proper brain function. With the right guidance, and the right dose for your unique brain chemistry profile, you can see vast improvements in anxiety, depression, brain fog, and poor moods.
This starts with a foundational blood work assessment. Don’t guess with what supplements you need to take.
If you’re ready to take the first step to a healthier and happier you in 2018, call our office at 480-951-5006, or schedule your appointment here.