"Remember in the depth and even the agonyThere are indications Lincoln took a medication for his hypochondriasis (depression) called blue mass. This was a commonly prescribed medication in the 19th century for ailments such as apoplexy, worms, tuberculosis, toothaches, constipation, and hypochondriasis (depression). Blue mass contained mercury and can lead to the neurobehavioral consequences of mercury poisoning. John Stuart said that Lincoln took blue mass "before he went to Washington and for five months while he was President."
of despondency, that very shortly you are to feel well again."
One of the things you should know about Prozac and other SSRI's is that it could take a whole month for the full benefits of the drug to take effect. Another thing you should know is that recent studies have led scientists to discover that taking SSRI's for depression might not be any better than if you took a placebo. In other words, you might be just as likely to get better by taking a sugar pill.
After using the freedom of information rules, they obtained all of the data that was used in the clinical trials done by the drug companies. If you are a doctor, these are the ones your drug rep did not tell you about. They show the true and whole picture of the drugs effectiveness. The exception to the rule was that these drugs did seem to have a significant effect on those who were severely depressed. For every one else, it was no more effective than a placebo. Here is the article that references that study:
Now, let's look at some of the side effects of Prozac and the others. Make sure you ask your doctor or psychiatrist about these.
- The FDA requires all antidepressants, including fluoxetine, to carry a black box warning stating that antidepressants may increase the risk of suicide in persons younger than 25.
- nausea (22% vs 9% for placebo)
- insomnia (19% vs 10% for placebo)
- somnolence (12% vs 5% for placebo)
- anorexia (10% vs 3% for placebo)
- anxiety (12% vs 6% for placebo)
- nervousness (13% vs 8% for placebo)
- asthenia (11% vs 6% for placebo)
- tremor (9% vs 2% for placebo)
- rash or urticaria
- Akathisia or inner tension, restlessness
- Acute dystonia and tardive dyskinesia - movement disorders
- sexual dysfunction, anorgasmia, reduced libido and impotence.
Remember the tragedy of the Columbine High School masacre? The shooter, Eric Harris, was taking Zoloft before he switched to Luvox. Three experts testified that Eric showed symptoms of being "Bipolar." According to the Physicians Desk Reference, antidepressants can induce mania & psychosis, especially in people who are 'bipolar'.
A few weeks ago, we also had a shooting in Illinois where a former student opened fire on and killed 6 people (including himself) at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb. Steve Kazmierczak was not a monster, according to friends. He was kind and gentle. He had stopped taking Prozac a few weeks before the shooting spree. According to a friend, it "made him feel like a zombie."
Click here to read hundreds of stories that document the connection between antidepressant drugs and violence.
So, what to do about depression? Why not try some other things before drugs enter into the picture. Why should they be the first thing that we try? Shouldn't they be the last thing after looking at how inneffective and dangerous they are?
According to Dr. Andrew Weil, a variety of lifestyle, dietary and psychotherapeutic interventions have a much better record of success against depression than these drugs have ever had. Serious depression is a medical problem that in many cases demands serious pharmaceutical treatment, but patients with mild or moderate depression would be much better served trying a prudent mix of exercise, diet and cognitive therapy.
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy, which teaches kids to change self-defeating attitudes and behaviors. It is about as effective as Prozac. Drugs should be reserved for the most severely depressed, who need therapy, too.
- Depressed people usually have low levels of vitamin D in their blood. Have it checked by asking your doctor to do a D25-hydroxy test. Click here to check out my post on vitamin D
- Gabriel Cousens, MD, in his very informative and helpful book, Depression-Free For Life: An All-Natural, 5-Step Plan to Reclaim Your Zest For Living, explained that chemicals called neurotransmitters relay nerve impulses throughout your body. These nerve impulses make up the communication system that your brain and nerves use to carry out many functions. (6)
The neurotransmitters that seem to have the most impact on your moods are...
noradrenaline (also called norepinephrine)
gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA)
Your body produces these important chemicals from the nutrients you consume. Amino acids, vitamins, enzymes, minerals, fatty acids, proteins and carbohydrates are all needed.
- Catherine Carrigan, in Healing Depression: A Holistic Guide, listed ten common dietary substances that are most likely to contribute to depression. These depression diet substances include...
1. Anything moldy, malted, or fermented. 2. Anything processed. 3. Anything dried or aged.4. Anything made with sugar or honey.5. Anything made with yeast.6. Any meat raised with antibiotics or steroids.7. Leftovers unless frozen.8. Alcoholic beverages, coffee, tea, chocolate, and colas.9. Food colorings, chemicals, preservatives, and additives.10. Tap water." (4, pp. 126-7)
- If you have been diagnosed with atypical depression, you might greatly benefit from learning about a mineral called chromium picolinate. Dr. Malcom McLeod, in his book "Lifting Depression, The Chromium Connection," discovers by "accident" that a nutrient deficiency (Chromium) is at the root of a glucose metabolism problem "insulin resistance" that can lead to a suite of health symptoms (above) that include atypical depression. The book outlines how a simple supplementation with Chromium Picolinate at the right dosage along with excerise and diet changes, lead to dramatic and complete relief for many people in as little as 2 days. Dr. McLeod chronicles the story of this discovery as he experiences the joy and surprise of many of his patients as they encounter relief from depression (and much more). Most of them report a dramatic elevation in mood, increased energy, reduced cravings for carbohydrates and vivid color in their dreams. One patient (Sarah) found that chromium picolinate relieved almost all her symptoms of PMS. She said, "Chromium eliminates my irritability, depression, hyper-sensitivity to light and noise, craving for sweets, cramps, and I'm able to work and be around people." Another patient found that chromium reduced their craving for alcohol.
Other blog entries that talk about dealing with depression in a natural way: