Sadly, Antidepressants Don’t Work

April 26, 2010

A growing number of Americans are taking Antidepressants, but there’s serious concern about how well they actually work.  Depression is among the most common problems seen in primary-care medicine and soon will be the second leading cause of disability in this country.  But the very important question must be asked:  Are drugs the best answer?

Practicing physician  Dr. Mark Hyman writes a sobering, if not depressing, report for The Huffington Post, which explains the most recent study to support the growing evidence that pharmaceutical companies only release information that makes their drugs look good.  Consumer Warning Network has written about this unfortunate situation before.  Dr. Hyman explains this practice warps our view of antidepressants, leading us to think they do work.  Click here to read his article.

Dr. Hyman suggests that perhaps, instead of immediately taking an antidepressant, individuals might want to explore simpler, less invasive ways of treating mood concerns.  He suggests trying these steps:

Seven Steps to Treat Depression without Drugs

1. Try an anti-inflammatory elimination diet that gets rid of common food allergens. As I mentioned above, food allergies and the resultant inflammation have been connected with depression and other mood disorders.

2. Check for hypothyroidism. This unrecognized epidemic is a leading cause of depression. Make sure to have thorough thyroid exam if you are depressed.

3. 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.

4. Take omega-3 fats. Your brain is made of up 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.

5. 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.

6. Get checked for mercury. Heavy metal toxicity has been correlated with depression and other mood and neurological problems.

7. Exercise vigorously five times a week for 30 minutes. This increases levels of BDNF, a natural antidepressant in your brain.