Someone you love seems different all of a sudden. They’re sad all the time. They may even be clinically depressed. What do you do to help this person?
Probably your first reaction is to run to a psychiatrist or a doctor for help. Depression is among the most common problems in medicine and soon will be the second leading cause of disability in this country. Women have up to a 25 percent risk of suffering severe depression during their lifetime. Men have up to a 12 percent risk.
The Drs first response may be antidepressants. There are millions of prescriptions for antidepressants written every year.
But do they really work? Well the pharmaceutical companies have found a way for us to believe that they do.
However a brand new study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine, shows that drug makers only publish the studies that promote benefits, and none that don’t. They looked at 74 studies that involved 12 drugs and over 12,000 people. They found that 37 out of 38 trials with good results were published.
But just 14 out of 36 negative studies saw the light of day.
The New England Journal of Medicine study shows antidepressants are no more effective than a placebo. In fact, they can do a great deal of harm and have significant side effects.
Studies show that antidepressants may:
- Cause a life-threatening irregular heartbeat
- Cause urinary retention
- Cause an uncomfortable dry mouth
- Be destructive
- Be disabling
- Increase suicide risk and the risk of suicidal behaviors
- Result in emotional numbness
Eighty-six percent of people taking antidepressants have one or more side effects that include sexual dysfunction, fatigue, insomnia, loss of mental abilities, nausea, and weight gain.
So taking drugs is not the answer to our mental health epidemic. It is so much better to rebalance the systems in the body.
5 Tools to help fight Depression without Drugs
1. Take vitamin D. Deficiency in this essential vitamin can lead to depression. Supplement with at least 2,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day.
2. Take omega-3 fats. Your brain is made of up of this fat, and deficiency can lead to a host of problems. Supplement with 1,000 to 2,000 mg of purified fish oil a day.
3. Take adequate B12 (1,000 micrograms, or mcg, a day), B6 (25 mg) and folic acid (800 mcg). These vitamins are critical for metabolizing homocysteine, which can play a factor in depression.
4. Get checked for mercury. Heavy metal toxicity has been correlated with depression and other mood and neurological problems.
5. Exercise vigorously five times a week for 30 minutes. This increases levels of BDNF, a natural antidepressant in your brain.