Tuesday, May 11, 2010

The New Truth About Depression

Adult Children Of Alcoholics are likely to fall prey to depression at one time or another. Newly uncovered evidence indicates that people with depression do NOT have low levels of serotonin! And the most effective treatment for depression costs nothing but the drug companies will not tell you about it.

In the video below, Dr. Mercola interviews Pulitzer Prize nominee Robert Whitaker. Whitaker is the author of "Mad in America" and "Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America".

Whitaker points out that in the US in 1985, 600 million dollars was spent on psychiatric medications. This has now grown to over 40 billion dollars per year.

According to the most recent statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than one in 20 Americans are depressed. Long-term studies indicate that of people with major depression, only about 15 percent that are treated with an antidepressant go into remission and stay well for a long period of time. The remaining 85 percent start having continuing relapses and become chronically depressed.

It has been widely accepted that depression is due to a “chemical imbalance in your brain,” which drugs are designed to correct. Unfortunately, this is NOT a scientific statement.

“The low serotonin theory arose because they understood how the drugs acted on the brain,” Whitaker explains.
“But it was just a hypothesis borne to try to explain why the drug might be fixing something. In 1983, NIMH concluded that there is no evidence that there is anything wrong in the serotonergic system of depressed patients. And this was before Prozac was released. So there was never evidence that people with depression characteristically had low levels of serotonin."

There is also a risk that long term drug use for treatment of depression may even cause cognitive decline.

Studies on exercise as a treatment for depression are also showing that there is a strong correlation between improved mood and aerobic capacity. One study conducted by Duke University in the late 1990’s divided depressed patients into three treatment groups:

*Exercise only

*Exercise plus antidepressant

*Antidepressant drug only

After six weeks, the drug-only group was doing slightly better than the other two groups. However, after 10 months of follow-up, it was the exercise-only group that had the highest remission and stay-well rate!

British doctors now actually write prescriptions for exercise their depressed patients. Since 2007, the rate of British doctors prescribing exercise for depression has increased from about 4 percent to about 25 percent.

Check out the Orange County ACA website at: Orange County Adult Children


John Grace said...

I wonder if there is a difference between depression and suicidal fantasies?
I was having suicidal fantasies and tried to treat it with exercise and time but the suicidal fantasies kept coming and going. Finally on a whim I mentioned it to my Dr who thought it might be due to another medication or my heart episode and after re evaluating my continued use of the one medication prescribed me an anti-depressant which immediately took away the suicidal fantasies. It was quick and dramatic, almost miraculous - I was at my wits end. So my advice would be to treat depression with exercise and suicidal fantasies with anti-depressants.

Anonymous said...

I definitly can tell a difference in my mood, irritability, pain level, hope, and ability to use positive cognitive re-framing when I am taking my anti-depressant. When I have had to taper and go off for a while due to the contraindication of a medication for an acute infection and surgery I was inconsolable, mean, ready to give up,focused on dying, extremely isolative, couldn't think clearly etc...
My thoughts: add exercise, but don't go off your meds unless your doctor is monitoring the transition. BTW, I have been in the counseling field for 20 years.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the article. The point is that "anti-depressants don't heal" anything. Their purpose is to supress your own body's serotonin and introduce or replace it with a synthetic serotonin, whereby your body stops producing its own serotonin. Over time, a person taking such drugs may lose their own natural ability to produce serotonin. The lining of your brain cells will caritonize like nails hardening, and your brain cells ability to take in nutrients will be severly impaired. The Food & Drug Administration website (FDA) will give you scientific data, as well as consumer information regarding drugs, prescripton and nonprescription. The side affect of all these anti-depressants cause the very thing that they are supposed to alleviate, eg. panic attacks, and then most of the doctors who prescribe them will try to prescribe a second or even third, and on and on additional drugs, all the same, giving one the false impression that they will cure your depression. The residue from the drugs gets trapped in your muscle tissue, so if you try to come off of them, even if you taper off cold turkey with a doctor, without purging and sweating them out of your system and with the aid of nutritional support with the help of a doctor's monitoring, you'll experience panic attacks, etc. and wind up thinking you have to get back on the drugs. What I'm trying to describe is an addiction relationship, facilitated by the doctor who prescribes these type of medication, is set up with the patient and the drugs.
I recommend that you read, "The Hungry Ghost" by Dr. Gabor Mate, M.D. of Vancouver, Canada. He is a practicing psychiatrist, and he gives valid medical research that you can look at on your own. He talks about the effect of environment on the brain and mentions studies and practices that can actually cause the brain to grow new neuropathways by which compulsive disorder and depression can be healed. Human beings need healthy mental practices as well as exercise and nutrition to maintain your health daily. Daily meditation and mindful meditation actually grow new neuropathways in the brain whereby we can improve our health, releasing us from old patterning. Dr. Mate says that doctors have been refusing to follow valid medical scientific research that offers better cures for patients that are natural and non-drug related. There was an article in the San Francisco Chronicle or Examiner in the fall of 1995 or 1996 which stated that over 90% of psychiatrists, personally, own stock in pharmaceutical companies that make prescription drugs. I write this from my own personal experience. I freed myself from these unnecessary drugs in only 30 days with the help of a nutritionist and medical doctor who practiced homeopathy. My true physical condition was that I had developed degenerated disks in my neck which created an imbalance in my spine and affected my lower back. For years my doctors never performed x-rays or mri's of my spine in order to rule out the sharp pains in my back muscles that I had complained of. I was repeatedly told that it was a stress response due to a panic disorder. These drugs lower one's ability to feel, which is like being buried alive as an Adult Child.