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A Pill for Every Ill

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Americans have become culturally conditioned to reach for a drug, in fact now prefer a drug, for depression.

Consumer Reports has now stated that nearly 80% of Americans prefer to take a pill for depression when presented with other options including talk therapy. Consumer Reports went on to note that in a survey of 1500 readers, they benefited equally from talk therapy as they did from antidepressant medication.

What consumers may not remember or even know a 1998 publication of a meta-analysis of nineteen double-blind antidepressant trials in the American Psychological Association’s online publication, Prevention and Treatment Guy Sapirstein, PhD (of Westwood Lodge Hospital, Needham, MA, co-author) created a professional uproar “when it was revealed that the placebo effect accounted for a mind-boggling 75 percent of an antidepressant’s result – any antidepressant, you name it.” Click here to read further
As Dr. Sapirstein and many other researchers have pointed out; the placebo effect is very real. A 2002 University of Toronto study of brain scans revealed that Prozac and a placebo worked on similar areas of the brain. In fact, the placebo effect is profound enough that a full half of antidepressant studies end in failure. In fact, the Wall Street Journal has noted that drug companies are working harnessing the placebo effect.
In the Consumer Reports survey, 80% of those diagnosed with depression were prescribed an antidepressant. We can all wonder if those same individuals were told talk therapy worked equally as well or that placebos have been found in many studies to equal the effect of antidepressants. We can also wonder if those individuals were presented with an objective overview of the risks of antidepressant medications versus the benefits of their use.
There a growing body of evidence that antidepressant side effects are under-reported and antidepressants themselves may affect the brain in deleterious ways. Click here to read further and It is clear we have never had a generation of individuals diagnosed with depression who took one or more antidepressant medication and commonly a medication for anxiety and perhaps to sleep as well.
Thanks to the work of Andrew Stoll, MD and Carol Locke, MD and many other courageous practitioners, there is an effort to screen those with depression and bipolar depression for fatty acid status. Click here to read further Simply, the brain needs fats, good fats from Omega 3 and other sources to function optimally. 85% of Americans are estimated to be fatty deficient. Click here to read further There are many other factors that affect mood in a culture where our diet has changed dramatically in terms of fatty acid intake, the intake of bad fats, the intake of refined carbohydrates, the intake of fresh fruits and vegetables, the intake of foods with preservatives, colorings, and artificial sweeteners as well as thyroid function and a myriad of other factors.
Many of us wonder why the conventional medical community find little fault with the reach to a prescription pad for an antidepressant medication without a careful and thoughtful work-up of the patient medically, nutritionally, and from a lifestyle (stress) standpoint.
With an increasing number of antidepressant medications prescribed for children (their use doubled between 1996 and 2005, it is troubling indeed that government sources state “More recently, results of a comprehensive review of pediatric trials conducted between 1988 and 2006 suggested that the benefits of antidepressant medications likely outweigh their risks to children and adolescents with major depression and anxiety disorders. The study, partially funded by NIMH, was published in the April 18, 2007, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.” Click here to read further

A pill for every ill; the consequences may be actually change the brain. That is an alarming legacy for the next generation in the name of selling more pills.

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