More than likely you or someone you know is currently taking an antidepressant, as 253 million prescriptions were written in 2010. Our country has become over prescribed and dependent upon these drugs, and physicians are handing them out like candy. It was reported last week that antidepressants were the second-most prescribed drugs in the U.S. last year. The article also noted that the percentage of patients who were prescribed antidepressants without being diagnosed with a mental illness more than doubled from 1996 to 2007.
The physicians who are writing these prescriptions are probably not asking why the patient is feeling depressed in the first place. Is it because they have low levels of Zoloft in their bloodstream? Or is it due to one or numerous underlying health issues? Every individual has several puzzle pieces that make up the symptoms they are experiencing. No two people are exactly alike and it’s important to piece together several factors including their family history, hormone levels and diet before determining the appropriate treatment.
If you are currently taking antidepressants, you should never stop them abruptly. We recommend reading, “The Antidepressant Solution: A Step-by-Step Guide to Safely Overcoming Antidepressant Withdrawal, Dependence, and ‘Addiction,’” by Joseph Glenmullen, M.D. If you aren’t currently taking them, and are experiencing symptoms, we urge you to consider looking at the underlying causes of depression first and taking a natural approach to treating them.
For example, one often unsuspected culprit of depression is untreated or misdiagnosed hypothyroidism. Most people are surprised to learn that the root cause of their depression is an illness that is most commonly associated with their inability to lose weight. To evaluate the likelihood you suffer from hypothyroidism, take our symptom checker quiz and determine if you are experiencing some of the symptoms of hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism should be treated by using desiccated thyroid hormone, which unlike the synthetic drug, Synthroid, contains both T3 and T4. Hormonal imbalance can have a serious impact on a person’s mood so it is important to ensure that your body is producing adequate amounts.
Another link to depression is vitamin deficiencies. Our bodies do not make vitamins, therefore it is essential to supplement with quality vitamins and minerals daily. Studies have shown several supplements help with symptoms of depression.
Depression is a real illness and should be taken seriously. Antidepressants only mask the symptoms, and have a host of serious side-effects including suicidal behavior. We encourage you to do your research before becoming one of the millions of Americans dependent upon these drugs.