Life is stressful, and everyone experiences fear, sadness, grief, anxiety, and negative emotions. But that doesn’t mean you have a psychiatric disease or need a drug that messes with your brain chemistry. One in 10 Americans takes a prescription antidepressant. In addition to increasing risk of suicide and violent behavior—side effects that are clearly stated on medication labels—antidepressants are notorious for causing loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, weight gain, and gastrointestinal problems.
Dangers aside, these drugs are no more effective than placebos for the overwhelming majority of the people who take them. A study published in JAMA concluded, “True drug effects were nonexistent to negligible among depressed patients with mild, moderate, and even severe baseline symptoms….”
There is no magic bullet for depression. Because symptoms are often a normal response to life’s challenges, your initial step should be to address those challenges. Psychotherapy is the first-line treatment, and talking to a friend, family member, or spiritual counselor may be an acceptable substitute.
At Whitaker Wellness, we look for and treat underlying conditions that may be linked with depression, such as hormonal imbalances, heavy metal toxicity, food allergies, insomnia and sleep apnea, and nutritional deficiencies. Pain and other health challenges affect mood as well, and depression often disappears with appropriate treatment of chronic disease. We also treat our patients with therapies that boost mood and facilitate brain recovery, such as bioidentical hormone replacement, regular exercise, targeted nutritients, acupuncture, and neurofeedback.
Speak with a friendly Patient Services Representative to learn more about the Whitaker Brain Recovery Program.