Antidepressant Side Effects – Proceed With Care

Every drug, because it is an artificially produced combination of chemicals not found in nature, produces side effects. Not all prescription drug side effects are serious, and not all people will experience the same side effects from the same drugs. Some prescription drug side effects, in fact, have proven beneficial enough that they become selling points

for the drugs.

But as far as antidepressant side effects are concerned, the news has been, for the most part, somewhat alarming. Antidepressants are more widely prescribed than ever, and are now used to treat anxiety disorders as well as clinical depression, and antidepressant side effects are affecting an enormous number of people.

Because none of the three classes of anti-depressants–SSRIs, MOIAs, and TCAs–has proven more beneficial in treating depression then the other two, doctors will often prescribe them not on the basis of their effectiveness but on the basis of their antidepressant side effects.

SSRI Side Effects

When the SSRIs, or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, first became available, they were hailed as a breakthrough in the treatment of depression. Believed to have far fewer antidepressant side effects than either MOIA or TCAs, they quickly became the depression medication of choice among doctors.

One of their apparent virtues was their lack of toxicity; TCAs, or tricyclics are extremely toxic to both the central nervous and cardiovascular systems when taken in excess. Tricyclics antidepressant side effects are of such concern, in fact, that they are use is generally discontinued after three months. Elavil, Tofranin, and Norpramin are among the better-known TCAs.

But after SSRIs had been available for a while, their antidepressant side effects [http://www.treatdepressionhelp.com/Depression_Alternative_Treatments/] began to surface, and they were not pretty. One serious one was their effect on may of their users’ sexual performances, which ranged from erectile dysfunction, to becoming aroused when they yawned, to a complete loss of libido.

Other of their side effects were insomnia and weight gain, but by far the most alarming was the increased rate of suicide or aggressive behavior among SSRI users below the age of 25. In 2006, in fact, the FDA recommended that “black box” warnings be placed on all SSRIs warning of that risk.

MAOI Side Effects

The antidepressant side effects of the third family of depression medications, the MAOIs, make them the least prescribed. MAOIs, because they block the action of the brain enzyme monoamine oxidase, which helps control blood pressure, can cause sudden severe blood pressure spikes and even strokes or death.

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A Holistic Approach to PTSD and Depression for Veterans

So many veterans suffer from post traumatic stress disorder and depression. Conventional treatment does not seem to heal these diseases. Conventional treatment includes talk therapy and pharmaceutical drugs. We do not know all the side effects from long term use of these drugs. We do not really know how these drugs affect brain chemistry. The holistic approach uses natural products, foods and techniques to temper anxiety and depression.

Talk therapy tends to dwell on the trauma and the negative effects of the trauma. It often focuses on behavior issues that stem from the trauma. The holistic approach uses techniques to flush out and let go of the trauma and stored negative emotions related to the trauma.

It is time for treatment of PTSD and Depression in Veterans to include a holistic approach. A holistic approach can be integrated with conventional treatment.

A holistic approach focuses on the whole person -mind, body and spirit. It includes positive thinking and mindfulness techniques (mind), natural supplements, diet/nutrition and exercise (body) and meditation, yoga, Reiki, acupuncture, visualizations and spiritual prayer (spirit).

Mindfulness, combined with positive thinking techniques and inner work, train us to be in the moment with full attention and awareness. They relax us. The inner work includes daily heart centered meditation and prayer. Mindfulness teaches us to identify when our thoughts and emotions are negative or agitated and then move back to a place of calm and balance. They teach us to center ourselves in our hearts/body centers, to focus on our breath and the details of what we encounter in the moment through our senses and without ongoing negative thoughts.

Positive thinking techniques teach us to develop focused and controlled thoughts oriented toward work, errands and other positive activities. Theta (along with alpha, beta and delta) brain wave entrainment also helps us to relax the mind and body and enhance positive thoughts. Theta (along with alpha, beta and delta) brain wave entrainment exercises along with many meditation exercises can be found on YouTube.

Spiritual techniques include heart centered meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga and heart centered prayer, Reiki and chakra cleansing and balancing exercises. These techniques help to calm and balance us, while raising our vibrations. Spiritual techniques also include emotional release, which ends the energetic grip of trauma.

Reiki, acupuncture and other forms of energy therapy also help cleanse and heal our energy bodies and free us from the energetic grip of trauma. Emotional release of the trauma has a therapeutic effect on our thoughts and emotions. Spiritual techniques include methods to raise our spirits/vibrations. This includes visualizations, deep breathing, music, color and essential oils.

Herbal supplements are effective to treat depression and anxiety when combined with mind-body-spirit techniques. For depression, these supplements include St. John’s Wort, Sam-e, 5 HTP, Kratom and Colloidal Gold among others. For anxiety, they include Chamomile, Valerian Root, Ashwaghanda, Kratom, Passion Flower, Kava, GABA, 5 HTP, Hops. Hawthorn, Theanine, Triptophan, Lavendar, Lemon Balm and Dark Chocolate/Cocoa, Magnesium, B Complex Vitamins and Kratom, DPLA, DHEA, Co Q 10/Ubiquinol, Fish Oil, Flaxseed Oil, Hemp Oil, Coconut Oil, Lion’s Mane Mushrooms and Medical Marijuana and CBD oil among others. For sleep, they include Valerian Root, Ashwaghanda, Holy Basil, Tryptophan, Melatonin, Inositol, Choline and 5 HTP. Holistic research also indicates the benefits of N-Acetyl-L-Cysteine (NAC), Lactium and L-Theanine along with amino acid supplements and medical marijuana and CBD oil for depression and anxiety.

For positive thinking, it is also important to incorporate positive affirmations into one’s daily routine (to change beliefs from negative to positive) and silently express gratitude each day for life and the blessings of life.

Diet is important. A whole food, plant based diet will help de-toxify your body and provide the nutrition it craves. This diet will also help improve brain chemistry. The foods in this diet include organic vegetables, fruit, whole grains, nuts and seeds. The brain is composed primarily of cholesterol. So, plant based fats are very important to consume to improve brain chemistry. These fats include avocado, nuts and seeds (especially walnuts, almonds, cashews an pumpkin seeds), peanuts, coconut and coconut oil. Omega 3, 6 and 9 is also essential for brain health. You can get these fatty acids from fish oil, flaxseed oil and hemp oil.

Also, on a daily basis, take good sized doses of vitamins a, b complex, c, d3, e, k1 and k2 along with Co-Q 10 or ubiquinol, turmeric or curcumin, fish oil and flaxseed oil supplements along with coconut oil.

Daily exercise is important along with getting outdoors and into nature often. Daily exercise includes cardio, light weights and stretching. It is also important to avoid conflict, drama and stress when you are healing and to drink mostly pure water.

This article is for information purposes only. It is not intended to be used to diagnose or treat disease. It is not intended to be medical advice. For medical advice and to diagnose and treat disease, consult a licensed medical doctor.

How Can I Not Feel Depressed?

It is safe to say that there is not a single person in the world that woke up one morning and decided that they would like to go through the rest of their life being sad, withdrawn, blue, un-excited, sluggish, irritable… depressed. No one wants to feel like that for day, much less every day. There is a reason that many people though do chose to feel like this, and that is because they do not care for the way that western medicine has told them to treat their condition. Anti-depressant medications can make the person feel worse and or take what little joy they do have out of life.

The number one complaint as to why people that are dealing with depression stop taking their meds is that they don’t like the way it makes them feel. The good news is that from now on you don’t need to feel depressed and you don’t need to take toxic medications to feel better. There are natural treatments that you could start today and you could actually start feeling better tomorrow. Here are just a few of the natural treatment options you can follow if you are feeling depressed.

Exercise, while it may not be the most fun thing to do, it is very effective in treating and alleviating depression. Exercise gets the natural mood booster going in the body so that you feel better. You don’t have to hit the gym, you can go for a walk, go for a swim, pop in your favorite CD and dance your pants off. All you need to do is take that first step and the rest will come naturally. Each step will make you feel better.

Yoga, which is all about the mind spirit and body connection. You can tell when you look at a person that they are an avid Yogi. They look younger then what they are, they almost glow because they are serene and peaceful. They are less stressed, not depressed and enjoy life. Yoga is not all that hard, not as hard as everyone seems to think it is. You can learn Yoga from a book, from a class or from a video. Give it a try, and practice it everyday, not just when the feelings start to come on. Yoga can actually free you from feeling depressed ever again.

Music, music is very effective at changing and setting mood. I recommend that you create a “happy” CD, for lack of a better word. On that CD you can record music that makes you feel good. There are songs that we all know that we can’t help but smile when we hear. It just makes us feel good. Make a CD of that music so that when the feelings start you can pop in the CD and hum your way to smiles.

These suggestions are by no means exhaustive. There are a number of natural treatment options that you can try including the supplements, dietary changes and “mind makeover.” You need to find the natural treatment option that is going to work for you, that is going to make you feel better.

How Henry Ford’s Invention Inadvertently Caused the Depression

In early 20th century America the vast majority of people living in rural areas eked out a living in agriculture. Farms were small, often sharecropped. The planting and harvesting was labor intensive and horses provided the only source of energy for mechanized tilling. The vagaries of weather and drought have always made farming difficult. Crops were mainly grown for consumption by the farmer’s family, with any extra produce bartered for needed goods.

We are all aware of the history of Henry Ford and his invention of the production line to mass-produce Model-T’s. Ford did not invent the automobile, he simply invented a method to produce cars in mass volumes and make them available for virtually anyone wishing to purchase a horse-less carriage. He also revolutionized the agriculture business with totally unforeseen consequences.

The Ford Motor Company was always seeking new avenues of distribution and business opportunities. Ford had grown up in then-rural Michigan and was immersed in the farm world of the age. In the 1920’s Ford introduced the first mass-produced farm tractor, the Fordson. The machine sold for under $400 and revolutionized farming. It quickly became cheaper and less costly to own and maintain a Fordson tractor than a horse.

Farmers quickly gravitated to the Fordson tractor. Crop yield per acre expanded exponentially. Farmers produced so much crop yield per acre that by the middle of the 1920’s we were growing far more food than the country could consume. Prices plummeted. The need for day laborers declined precipitously and rural unemployment exploded.

The collapse of crop prices, unemployment, and the Great Plains drought were significant contributors to the start of the Great Depression. The Fordson was an amazing improvement in the productivity and ability of farmers to lead more comfortable lifestyles. However, the “Law of Unintended Consequences” reared its ugly head in this instance. The creative disruption caused by this product was thrust on a market that could not adjust efficiently or quickly to its significance.

We have a seemingly similar situation occurring today. We constantly read headlines about the dying manufacturing sector in the United States. Politicians love to visit deserted factories and decry the decline of manufacturing in a wide range of formerly profitable industries. And yet, manufacturing in America is setting records for volumes produced, shipped and invoiced. How can this dichotomy exist?

As with the Fordson tractors 1920’s introduction to farmers, today’s manufacturing has evolved dramatically and created disruptive technologies. Robots, software, customized computer models, computer assisted design and modern communications mean that we produce ever more sophisticated products, in greater volumes, and at lower prices, while needing fewer workers per unit of production. The workers that are needed today require better education, and skills than the production line workers of yore.

When I was growing up in an industrial area of America in the 1960’s many of my contemporaries went to work with their fathers at the local mill or factory. These were overwhelmingly union jobs. Each of my buddies at that time thought they would be employed for life like their fathers had been. It has worked out that none are where they started, not one.

The displacement is as painful today as it was on the farm of the 1920’s. However, the benefits to society accruing from modern manufacturing technologies and systems, just like the advances in farming owing to mechanization, cannot be denied. Only the Luddites of the 19th century and there modern adherents believe life is not more comfortable today and more people have more access to more goods and services at lower prices that at any time in history.

Change is hard and often inconvenient. We live during an age of massive change unlike any time in history. The understanding of and acceptance of modern realities insure that most people will benefit from advances in technology. Those that do not want to change and accept the new order of things will be left behind.

Henry Ford did not sell the Fordson tractor to instigate the Great Depression. The product was a small, inadvertent contributing factor. The inability of markets of that day to allocate resources and find markets for the massive increases in crops harvested was a systemic failure. Today, we manufacture products that are consumed quickly and create the thirst for more inventions and technologically advances. We are all better off as a result.

Depression in Teenagers – Now What Can We Do?

No doubt you have seen the recent news headlines about a federal panel that recommended to the FDA that anti-depressant medications carry the strongest possible warning label for use in children and teenagers. This recommendation to the FDA shook the medical community, especially those who work with depressed young people. The biggest problem from the treatment community’s point of view was not the recommendation for the warning label, but the way that the media portrayed the panel’s recommendation. The panel reported that 2% to 4% of children and teens who were given anti-depressants for the treatment of depression became suicidal, that is they had suicidal thoughts, or made suicidal attempts of one kind or another. None of the 4,000 children and teens studied committed suicide. What the media did not report well is the fact that 15% of children and teens with depression who receive no treatment will commit suicide. These 15% will not just think about it, but will actually kill themselves. So what are we to do? If the media had their way it seems that no teens with depression would receive anti-depressants. As a result the suicide rate for those who could be using the medication would rise from nearly zero percent to about fifteen percent. But at least we wouldn’t have to be concerned about evil medications. Look, I understand that there actually are young people, even adults, who have become suicidal only after beginning treatment with an anti-depressant. Some have in fact gone on to take their own lives. This is absolutely tragic. But so is the fact that untreated depression is potentially a fatal disease. Fifteen out of one hundred young people with depression take their own lives. They should be allowed to receive a treatment that will lower the suicide rate dramatically, and without any stigma attached to it by the media. Recently we had a patient brought to our counseling center named John (not his real name). John was rebellious, angry, withdrawn, and in trouble often, and yet he was diagnosed and treated for depression. When we think of someone who is depressed, we usually picture a sad, tearful, lonesome person. But teenagers with depression don’t look like adults with depression. Current studies show that there are about as many teenagers who are depressed as there are adults that are depressed. However, depression is exhibited far differently by teenagers than by adults. Teenagers do not commonly display gloom, self-depreciation, or talk about feeling hopeless like adults do. Teenagers with Major Depression are described in diagnostic manuals as often becoming negative and antisocial. Feelings of wanting to leave home, or of not being understoodand approved of increase. The teen often changes, and becomes more restless, grouchy, or aggressive. A reluctance to cooperate in family ventures, and withdrawal from social activities, with retreat to one’s room are frequent. School difficulties are likely as concentration is affected. Sometimes there is inattention to personal appearance and increased emotionality. Often there is an increased sensitivity to rejection in love relationships as well. Teenage boys will often become aggressive, agitated, and get into trouble at home, at school, or with the law. Teenage girls will sometimes become preoccupied with themes of death or dying, and become decreasing concerned about how they look. Suicidal thoughts are common. Some studies suggest that 500,000 teens attempt suicide each year, and 5000 are successful. Increased use of alcohol or other drugs is common, along with other forms of “self-destructive behaviors.” Poor self-esteem is common with teenagers, but especially with those who are depressed. Parents are often confused and frustrated when their teens begin to act like this. Sometimes parents become stern disciplinarians, or even put the teen down, which only serves to increase feelings of guilt and depression. Other times, parents feel helpless, and stand by waiting for adulthood to arrive. Of course neither course is the right one to take. If you know of a teen whose behaviors have changed to look like what has been described above, let the parents know that there is help available, and encourage the family to seek help from a professional. With proper diagnosis and treatment a depressed teen, or adult, can be greatly helped. If someone close to you is suffering from depression, first please understand that depression is a very emotionally painful condition. For some people with depression it turns into a “terminal illness” due to suicide. Please take the situation seriously. 1) Get a medical evaluation. Symptoms of depression can be the result of a wide assortment of illnesses, including thyroid problems, viral infections, and other factors. 2) Deprex is an amino acid and homeopathic medicine for the treatment of depression that we have seen work well with our patients. It may be worth trying as long as the situation is “stable” and there is no suicidal thinking on the part of the depressed person. 3) Medications such as Prozac can be very helpful for more difficult cases. Consult your doctor. These medications are often prescribed by Family Practice Doctors, but in most cases ought to be monitored by Psychiatrists. 4) Increase intake of Protein somewhat. Use a protein powder supplement, just like a weight lifter. 5) Exercise daily. Just get out and walk for about 15 minutes. 6) Seek out counseling from someone who is good at treating depression. This can do a world of good for you. However, always use great wisdom and common sense when choosing a therapist. Some are good, and some are not, so choose wisely.