At present, over 10% of people over the age of 12 in the United States take some type of antidepressant, and depression is the number one cause of medical disability in both the United States and Canada. is big business, and financial analysts are forecasting notable growth in the antidepressant market in coming years, while yearly sales in the US top $5 billion.
Apparently, the accepted cure for depression is pharmaceutical antidepressants, typically selective serotonin uptake inhibitors, SSRI’s.
For the last fifty-plus years, the medical community has based depression treatment on the scientific reasoning that depression is the result of a chemical imbalance, or more specifically, “that depression is related to low levels of serotonin in the gaps between cells in the brain.” Serotonin is a chemical neurotransmitter associated with feelings of well-being and happiness, and SSRI antidepressants are prescribed to “keep the neurotransmitter’s levels high by blocking its re-absorption into the cells that release it.” This regulates the amount of serotonin available, and theoretically at least, cures the chemical root-cause of depression.
But, what if this theory is completely wrong, and the millions of people who are addicted to antidepressants are actually making their problem worse by taking SSRI’s?
A recently released scientific study published in the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews claims that the entire theory behind the usage of SSRI’s is completely backwards, even going as far as to suggest that SSRI’s actually make more difficult, especially in the first weeks of taking antidepressants.
‘”Those serotonin-boosting medications actually make it harder for patients to recover, especially in the short term, says lead author Paul Andrews, an assistant professor of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster.’
This new research gives us an explanation as to why so many people do not improve once they begin taking SSRI’s, offering evidence that taking SSRI’s may actually make it more difficult for people to heal depression, as the medication interferes with the brain’s natural processes of recovery.
“When depressed patients on SSRI medication do show improvement, it appears that their brains are actually overcoming the effects of anti-depressant medications, rather than being assisted directly by them. Instead of helping, the medications appear to be interfering with the brain’s own mechanisms of recovery.”
Because there is no way to measure exactly how the brain is releasing or using serotonin, there is no way to entirely prove that the presiding theory of depression is correct, so this new study examined measured evidence about already metabolized serotonin levels in studies involving animals.
“The best available evidence appears to show that there is more serotonin being released and used during depressive episodes, not less, the authors say. The paper suggests that serotonin helps the brain adapt to depression by re-allocating its resources, giving more to conscious thought and less to areas such as growth, development, reproduction, immune function, and the stress response.”
The potential side-effects of taking antidepressants are quite terrible and most SSRI’s even come with a warning about the increased risk of suicide while on these drugs. Once taking SSRI’s it is very difficult to quit, and most patients are advised to take these medications for very for years at a time. The expense of dependency on pharmaceuticals is outrageous, and an entire economy has been built around the prescription of SSRI’s.
The mental health industry is founded on prescribing mood-enhancing drugs rather than uncovering and confronting the physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and environmental root causes of depression, and attention deficit ‘disorders.’
As independent research continues to chip away at the validity of prescription-based healthcare, the industry continues to grow, making it obvious that individuals will need to become more personally responsible for their mental health in order to survive so many of these modern day ‘chemical imbalances.’ Last year a renowned pediatrician and leading neuroscientist made headlines by proclaiming that ADHD is not a real disease, but a blanket term used to explain away a host of obvious social and dietary problems. More and more people are speaking up in favor of finding new ways to address mental health problems.
”It’s time we rethink what we are doing,” Andrews says. “We are taking people who are suffering from the most common forms of depression, and instead of helping them, it appears we are putting an obstacle in their path to recovery.”