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Are Anti-Depressants Good Or Evil?

Even in integrative medicine practices, it seems to me that the approach is still way too allopathic. You come in depressed, and instead of giving you Prozac, they give you 5-HTP or St. Johnís Wort. They might also delve into your diet and advise you about your exercise program, but I really care about why youíre depressed. Are you happy in your relationships? Are you doing work you love? Are you sexually satisfied? Are you nurturing your spiritual life? Have you discovered your calling and figured out what youíre here on Earth to do? Are you caring for the temple that is your body?

Another important question I explore is ďIs your depression natural?Ē One of my friends just lost her best friend, who died in childbirth, leaving two children and a husband behind. At the funeral, they were passing out Zoloft like candy, and now, everyone in her family is taking anti-depressants. But isnít it healthy and normal to grieve when something tragic happens? Sure, tragedies can lead to clinical depression, but technically, you canít have a DSM-4 diagnosis of Major Depression in the midst of a crisis. We docs call it Adjustment Disorder, which seems so much more appropriate. Youíre adjusting to a loss — and yes, that can make you cry and grieve. Do you really want to wash those feelings away with mind-numbing drugs?

Sure, anti-depressants may be the answer — in some cases.

And when you need them- oh baby, do you need them. But those people arenít the ones these TV ads are aimed at. Theyíre targeting those who have lost their mojo — which is totally different than being depressed. It seems to me that disillusionment, dissatisfaction, and disappointment plague many people these days. Itís the epidemic of the developed world.

But drugs are not the answer. Instead, I encourage my patients to delve deep to discover who they really are at their authentic core. I ask them whatís missing from their lives. I invite them to explore what their body, mind and spirit need in order to heal. And then, after weíve balanced thyroid, adrenal, and sex hormones, talked about diet and exercise, sorted through the emotional junk that weighs us down, and discussed lifestyle modifications that might help, we talk about supplements and pharmaceuticals.

I understand that Iím lucky. I get an hour with my patients at the Owning Pink Center, which gives me the time to go deep. When your doctor only has 7 Ĺ minutes to care for you, itís easier to just write a prescription and send you on your merry way.

But you deserve to get your needs met.

You deserve to be treated like a whole, vital human being with a heart and a brilliant mind. You deserve to have a choice. Itís okay to question the TV ads and your doctorís advice. You can be an empowered patient. Itís your birthright.

So do me a favor. Switch off the TV when those anti-depressant ads come on. You donít need to fill your brain with those kinds of messages. If you need anti-depressants to feel joyful, more power to you. But donít let marketing influence you, and donít let your doctor push pills.

Mostly, listen to your intuition. It will tell you how to reclaim your joy.

Related Links:
Depression-Fighting Foods
Natural Cures for Depression
A Better Way to Improve Mood?

Read more: Alternative Therapies, Depression, Do Good, Exercises, General Health, Global Healing, Health, Mental Wellness, Natural Remedies, News & Issues, Peace, Self-Help, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.† She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.† Lissa blogs at†LissaRankin.com and also created two online communities -†HealHealthCareNow.com and†OwningPink.com. She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.

166 comments

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2:46AM PST on Jan 5, 2013

It's advisable for us to rely on tuning our thoughts rather than taking pills

4:34PM PST on Nov 29, 2012

"No single reproducible abnormality in any transmitter or any of it's enzymes or receptors has been shown to cause any psychiatric disorder" Dr. Stephen M. Stahl, Psychiatrist

"I think the commercials on TV really create this illusion that there's a set chemical (imbalance) thing going on when someone has a mental disorder....we certainly have theories...but truly they remain theories" Dr. Mary Braud, Psychiatrist

"There is no rational science behind what they (psychiatrists) think is the cause of these ('mental disorder') symptoms. The medications that are being given to people are, without exception, introducing chemicals that are altering the brain in ways that can be very damaging" Dr. Grace Jackson, Psychiatrist

"We really see these (psychotropic) medications as having very significant side effects..." Mike Fitzpatrick, executive director National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI)

"We know for a fact the (psychiatric) drugs don't work very well" Dr. Colin Ross, Psychiatrist

"The antidepressants are really causing this massive epidemic in diagnosis of bipolar disorder, because a certain percentage of people given antidepressants, and stimulants for that matter (eg. Ritalin), have a manic reaction. There have been studies that show this"
Jim Gottstein, attorney


6:41PM PST on Nov 28, 2012

It depends, id the individual has a need for such because the synapse are not connecting within the brain properly then yes, they are extremely productive and outweigh many of the reported risks that accompany the package insert. The blessing in this for those in need is that there are so many on the market so should a person have an uncomfortable reaction, they can be switched to something else. Of course there is a little poison in every pill (Medication) but one must ask themselves... if the medication serves the problem and many side affects are far rarer than purported, then isn't it worth one's quality of life. The down side is that more people are hooked on pain killers than anti depressants and this can do extreme damage to the kidneys, liver, as well as the heart.

4:15PM PST on Nov 9, 2012

exercise its much better

7:15PM PST on Nov 4, 2012

Thank you :)

8:04AM PDT on Sep 25, 2012

Considering almost all psychiatric drug trial 'studies' are slanted, that is, any negative results are hidden, so the FDA will approve them, skewers the 'good or evil' question at square one. Considering most psychiatric drugs are only slightly better than placebos in the short-term (except with many and great side-effects possible) and no better or worse than placebos in the long-term again makes the 'good or evil' question moot.

2:43PM PST on Feb 7, 2012

Anti-depressants, given the sheer level of addictiveness, general lack of efficacy, side-effects, and toxicity, would, if given a value judgement, be assessed as "evil." Nature has provided us a simple plant to treat depression and many of our other ills, cannabis.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/sacred-blessing-cannabis-01/

2:03AM PST on Dec 20, 2011

i've been on both sides

5:50PM PDT on Jul 21, 2011

Thank You very much. As one who has taken antid. for 15 years I wish I knew all this and would of have listened to the small voice inside of me. but now I am listening. This is my story and I realize antid. can be wonderful while you are learning new ways to cope.
But when the apathy controls your life it is time to look for alternatives and now I am trying to do that.

5:45AM PDT on Jul 20, 2011

In this very stressful world with rejection for many people it is not surprising that people need help....

NOT everyone has a steady job,a wife and a happy family life!!!!

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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