Antidepressents: Are They Reall Effective? + Raw Pecan Pie Preview!

Hi Everyone, this is The Healthy Advocate.

With over 230 million prescriptions of antidepressants being filled annually*, I thought it was about time to blog my own views on this matter. However this blog will not just contain my opinion, but scientific research that is just beginning to emerge (finally) in mainstream media.

The term “antidepressants” literally means ‘against depression’, giving you the illusion that the companies who produce them (and those “heads” who approve them” are there to fight for your health and well-being, against your depression.

However, more and more facts are coming out of the head guys at the FDA and big pharma. Whistle blowers and cover-ups have shown that our current healthcare is not at all what it used to be, or what it seems.

My Antidepressant Story

I was put on antidepressants when I was 17 years old due to an eating disorder. How antidepressants could cure and eating disorder was beyond me, and I was against the taking of it at the start. However, being this young, I decided it wasn’t a matter of choice but a matter of necessity. My parents quickly bought the drug which I was sure I didn’t need. This started me on my road to independence and finally thinking for myself, rather than relying on my parents.

I initially stuck by it, intending to be a “good patient”. My eating problems and behaviors never subsided, and I found that my thinking became quite worse after starting on the medication.

I started receiving adverse reactions to the drug, and to the one they prescribed me after that one, until I found out the truth about the antidepressant and pharmaceutical industry. Below will show you why I decided to stop taking antidepressants and start implementing healthy alternatives that did far better for me than a chemical in a pill.



Research Studies Flawed

In 2008, The New England Journal of Medicine published an article showing that the majority of antidepressant research to be biased, and held in its published after effects as positive results. This meaning that data that turned out negative for the effectiveness of the drug was actually changed to being positive toward its effectiveness.

Why would researchers do this? There is much speculation about why research is manipulated in ways that would undoubtedly affect others health, but the biggest theory is the funding from the drug industry.

Many drug research attempts are funded by the drug industry. In fact, the majority of the time the pharmaceutical company who is producing a drug usually funds the research on the effectiveness.

PloS Medicine also published a study showing the raw data of a research study on the ineffectiveness of an antidepressant. Even though this research showed that antidepressants were no better than placebo, the FDA continued to approve this drug, and many other “ME TOO” drugs ( a term describing the plethora prescription medications devoted to the same topic, ex. Diet pills, statins, antidepressants, etc.).



Conflict of Interests

According to PsychCentral.com, two researchers which led studies into antidepressants and alternative treatments, failed to report that they earned $1.6 million over a seven year period from “big pharma”.Here’s what is a little interesting: One of these researchers conducted a study showing how St. John’s Wort was ineffective in treating ADHD.*

One of the researchers mentioned in the above paragraph also worked hard with Johnson & Johnson to push a new bi-polar drug, and, according to the article in The New York Times,

“ [. . . ] e-mail messages and internal documents from Johnson & Johnson made public in a court filing reveal that Dr. Biederman pushed the company to finance a research center at Massachusetts General Hospital, in Boston, with a goal to ‘move forward the commercial goals of J.& J.’”

Citing The New York Times once again, Dr. Biederman led a forty-fold increase in the diagnosing and prescribing of bipolar disorder in America from 1994 to 2003.*



Mainstream Media Finally Catches On

The Journal of the American Medical Association has just published a study this month showing that treatment with a well known antidepressant paroxetine (GlaxoSmithKline’s Paxil) in mild and even sometimes severe depression to be no better than placebo.*

This research has been known for quite some time now, although the suppression of such information has been keeping the majority of the public in the dark.

Mainstream media, however, is finally catching on. CNN, ABC News and The New York Times are reporting on these issues, as well as other city publications and online newsletters.



Should I Continue Taking Antidepressants?

This is a question I cannot answer for you, as you must speak to a trusted physician over your mental health. It is, after all, YOUR health, and you are the only one who can take control (as Dr. Mercola says, “Take Control of Your Health!”).

However, if the effect of these drugs are only based upon the belief that they work, then why continue to take them? After all, will people want to take a useless and pricy pill, if all they are receiving are the side effects?

It is my hope that these studies will open the eyes of many of the public so they can start finding more natural and safe ways to beat depressions.

21,000 adverse reactions to prescription medications have been reported to the FDA, with over 4,000 deaths, in 2008. Are there safer ways to protect yourself from depression, or even help fight its effects?

I believe that depression can become a debilitating illness, and at times needs to be treated appropriately. However, with the majority of cases of minor and somewhat severe depression, I believe there to be amazing alternatives, producing none, or little , side effects.



Fighting Depression

Antidepressants only treat the symptom of the depression, and never address the actual cause. When you do this, you will guarantee to be on these sort of medications for the rest of your life. Only when you address the actual cause of disease and illness, will you be able to understand and deal with it, and hopefully release it.

Here are my top 5 things I have researched (and have found helpful in my own life) that brings up mood.

1. Diet

There are a number of different ingredients, additives and preservatives in our food system today, many of them unnatural and unrecognizable to the human body. In fact, many of these have been known to be carcinogenic: nitrites and nitrates in pork, bacon and lunch meats, artificial sweeteners in diet foods, BPA in the linings of canned food, etc.
Also, the wrong types of fats in the diet play a crucial role in mood. Making sure you get plenty of omega-3 fatty acids, found mainly in fish, is very important, as it regulates many functions in your brain to keep you healthy. As we have become increasingly inclined to consume vegetable oils, many people get too many omega-6 fats (inflammatory), coinciding with the increase in depression (hmm, interesting…).

2. Exercise

Plenty of physical activity helps promote clean oxygen to your brain and aids in production of serotonin, the “feel good” hormone. Being active also helps reduce the body’s craving for sugar, which is also a contributing factor in many brain related disorders and diseases. (including depression).

When you exercise, you give yourself a motivation to live and to happy again. You feel strong and alive, and you might find yourself ready to take on the world. I usually do interval training, balancing cardio and stretching one day, flexibility (with yoga and Pilates) the next day, and then minor strength training the next day. I keep this cycle going throughout the whole week.

It’s important to break up your exercise routine so that you don’t “over train” different parts of your body and tire it out. Also, it helps you keep interest in your exercise regime. Also be sure to rehydrate yourself after an exercise program as it helps maintain a good fluid balance in your body, and supports the proper function of your brain.

If you are just starting out with exercise, a good way to start is to walk. I love to walk. I don’t do it exclusively (anymore), but it’s a great way to ease into a great workout program.

3. Meditation and Hypnosis



This is my absolute favorite, because research has actually shown that these types of therapies actually change physical structures within the brain, particularly around the interior cortex’s where mood, memory and behavior is associated.

Deep breathing before you go to bed, along with visualizations of pleasant experiences are quite common in meditation, as its goal is to release your thoughts and to become one with your breath. It actually does not help treat the cause of the depression.

Hypnosis is more “cause based” oriented, and very different than meditation, as it helps in finding the initial onset of a problem, and it helps you deal with it in your mind, ultimately releasing it. There are certain methods that don’t even deal with releasing it, but working with it in a way to turn toward a more positive, possible future behavior.

************************************************************************************
*PharmaTimes, January 2010
*CBSNews, December 2006
*PsychCentral.org, A Year in Review
*The New York Times, November 2008
*Seattle Times, October 2008
************************************************************************************

Now away from this depressing topic, here is a recipe preview.

It’s Kimberly Snyder’s Raw Pecan Pie! No white sugar, flour, animal products, and is complete VEGAN and RAW! This was so perfect when we had it for Christmas, and now I’m sharing it with you!

Until then, this has be The Healthy Advocate.

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