Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Medication Mendacity?

February 28, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 184

Seventeen million Americans today are taking antidepressants, spending 11.3 billion dollars for the privilege of doing so. Kind of depressing, wouldn't you say? Rather than get depressed, however, I get angry.

Why? Because we have been fed so many phony "facts" about depression, we now simply accept them as true when we should really be applauding the drug companies for a super successful relentless marketing campaign.

You hear the ads everywhere. But here's what you won't hear about anti-depressant drugs.

They don't work for about 86% of patients. (Wow, that's a high number.) They are least effective for those who are mildly or moderately depressed. They are sometimes prescribed for children as young as 6 years old. They have dangerous side effects, including an increased risk of suicide, particularly for the young. (Go figure!) They have unpleasant side effects. Weight gain and lack of libido are the two big ones. But let's not leave out dry mouth, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, sweating, fatigue, headaches, diarrhea, constipation. (Are you kidding me? If I weren't depressed before taking these meds, I'd be now!) It has not been proven to be true that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain. Repeat something often enough, however, and everyone believes it. If depression is supposed to be caused by low serotonin levels, then how come doctors don't monitor your serotonin and prescribe only when your levels are dangerously low? Answer: Your serotonin levels are in a constant state of flux, depending upon what you're thinking, feeling and doing at the moment. Oh, and one more reason: it would entail an invasive brain procedure. And who wants that? So we operate under an assumption that depression is caused by a lack of serotonin and prescribe medication to fix the problem. Even when anti-depressants work, they don't address the underlying problems. They don't increase your coping skills. They don't teach you how to manage your emotions. They don't provide you with what you'll need to deal with the inevitable ups and downs of life. Though anti-depressants may create an initial boost of positive emotion, the body inevitably adapts to it. Then, a higher dosage or an alternative drug or a cocktail of drugs is prescribed. " 60 Minutes " recently broadcast an "explosive" report on "new scientific research" that shows that antidepressants were no more effective than placebos for treating mild and moderate depression. Will this finding affect the ever increasing trend for Americans to search for solutions in a pill? Don't bet on it. Studies linking the placebo effect to antidepressants have been around for more than a decade. In 2010, Newsweek and Time magazines ran major stories about the "depressing news about anti-depressants." Yet, the number of prescriptions written keeps climbing. There are safer and better alternatives for treating depression. Cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy has been proven to be an effective treatment for those with mild or moderate depression. Psychotherapy comes with no disturbing or dangerous side effects.And its benefits last a lifetime, as one learns to cope with difficult situations and overwhelming emotions.

So, why is it that people remain hooked on anti-depressants?

The typical scenario goes something like this. You're feeling down, helpless, unsure about what to do or whom to turn to. As you flip through the magazine, watch the commercial, surf the net, you're repeatedly exposed to a melancholy, mournful lost soul. Twenty seconds later, this person has morphed into a lighthearted, unflappable, joyful soul who's running through the daisies to embrace loved ones.

The rational part of us recognizes this as Madison Avenue hype; yet the emotional part of us gets hooked. We long for an easy, effortless solution. Modern medicine is constantly delivering miracles, perhaps it can also help with depression. As the ad advises, you speak with your doctor. You describe your symptoms in the 12 minutes allotted to you. Your doctor checks for somatic signs that may be a causal factor. If there's nothing significant, he'll probably prescribe an anti-depressant. Typically there's no mention of psychotherapy, physical exercise, or nutrition. It's not the way the system works. It's not the doctor's forte. It's not in the time budget of a doctor's busy day.

And the beat goes on; the beat goes on.


Linda Sapadin, Ph.D. is a psychologist in private practice. She specializes in helping people enrich their lives, enhance their relationships and overcome self-defeating patterns of behavior.

To subscribe to her FREE E-newsletter, go to Contact her at Follow on twitter @DrSapadin or Facebook Linda Sapadin, PhD.

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:



Anti Depressants







Your body needs glucose in order to get energy for cell and tissue function. Without energy, the cells do not function properly and the immune system is compromised. When your blood glucose levels

By: Clifford H Woods l Health & Fitness > Diabetes l July 09, 2013 lViews: 2618

Heavy Metals - Free radicals (tissue damaging molecules that cause aging and bodily deterioration) are the result of the ever-present toxins within our environment. Heavy metals are contained in

By: Clifford H Woods l Health & Fitness > Supplements l July 09, 2013 lViews: 607

Braun shavers and trimmers are very standard brand and their new curser beard and head trimmer is big for trimming beards. This trimmer was specifically made to be able to trim down your beard and

By: Lovey Blackburn l Health & Fitness > Beauty l December 20, 2012 lViews: 464

On this website you will find latest makeup reviews and swatches from real people. You will know how makeup products look in real life, and you can also participate! Post your photos, tips and

By: l Health & Fitness > Beauty l December 09, 2012 lViews: 321

You can either seek referrals from friends and associates or search for consultants on the internet. The latter, in our opinion, would be a viable option for those pressed for time.You can either

By: Simon Liva l Health & Fitness > Diseases l December 07, 2012 lViews: 269

Healthy living is essential in today's world, to ensure one's well being. Learn how to relax and improve your mood now! Be it exercising, or indulging in one's passions and hobbies, be sure to set

By: Clarinda l Health & Fitness > Mind Body Spirit l December 02, 2012 lViews: 263

Today’s is the busy world, where there are constant activities leaving little time for one to relax.In such a state of hurry and flurry and scrambles, people can not spare moments after standing in

By: Adam Nicolsonl Health & Fitness > Medicinel August 09, 2012 lViews: 255

The Adaman tribe, inhab­it­ing a tiny island in the tsunami-tossed Bay of Ben­gal, pos­sesses a unique count­ing sys­tem. Here it is: One. More than one. That's all. That's it. If you have one,

By: Patricia L Raymondl Health & Fitness > Medicinel July 05, 2012 lViews: 163

Medical technology is helping people move and live, even if their heart can't function. The developments are something worth looking into the next time you have orthopedic or cardiovascular surgery.

By: Lyndsay Flagell Health & Fitness > Medicinel July 04, 2012 lViews: 155

Human beings need iron to stay alive; yes, for it is iron that enables the transportation of oxygen to the cells. A healthy adult will have between 4 to 5 grams of iron in the body. Almost 65% of the

By: Tim Lakerl Health & Fitness > Medicinel July 04, 2012 lViews: 156

The mineral calcium is the most abundantly found mineral in the human body. And we all know that along with phosphorous and Vitamin D, calcium is essential for strong teeth and bones. The average

By: Tim Lakerl Health & Fitness > Medicinel July 04, 2012 lViews: 158

A healthy child is a happy child. Ensure that your child is up to date on all their vaccinations, so they will stay healthy and happy in the future.

By: Anders Abadiel Health & Fitness > Medicinel July 03, 2012 lViews: 162

The classifications of mental illness are changing with the times. What is a true mental illness and what is simply a reaction to the world around us? We've all felt crazy at times, but very few of

By: Dr. Linda Sapadinl Health & Fitness > Mental Healthl February 28, 2012 lViews: 139