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