Study: Anti-depressants don’t work

February 26th, 2008

Anti-depressants don't workThere is a horrifying trend in the U.S. to put everyone on pharmaceuticals for mood disorders, rather than trying to find and correct the underlying cause. The medical industry wants us to buy into this idea that we are helpless victims of circumstance, rather than in control of our physical and mental health. They dismiss diet, exercise, and environmental factors as possible minor contributors, but even that seems to be too “inconclusive” for them.

As far as I can tell, they will slap a “disorder” label on perfectly normal people, just so they can cure them with pills. I remember a commercial from a few years ago for an anti-depressant that directed people to ask their doctor about some pill if they have felt depressed for longer than 2 weeks. Anyone who has ever been dumped, worked at a job they hated, or suffered a loss in the family has surely felt depressed for at least that long. I have, and I didn’t take any pills, but somehow I turned out just fine.

Aside from the big question of whether we really need all of these pills, there may be a bigger question of whether these pills even work at all. Leave it to the U.K. to tell us what many have suspected all along: Antidepressants don’t work. For most people, that is. This is a very interesting article that offers an alternative view to our current pharmaceutical culture.

Sadly, in their list of treatments that do work (at the bottom of the page) they make no mention of diet. I can tell you first hand, as can many others, that what we eat and drink does affect mood. Because the effect is often not immediate, many people may not see the connection.

  • Alcohol: Without exception, when I drink alcohol, I will feel depressed 1-2 days later. Old, familiar, self-hating comments will repeat in my head.
  • Sugar and processed carbs: After the sugar high wears off, I will barely feel like making an effort to do anything. I may also start feeling like there was no reason to get up in the morning since I’m wasting my life away anyway.
  • Gluten and wheat: Similar effect to sugar and processed carbs only more severe and with the added physical symptoms of lethargy, headache, achy muscles, and sore throat to make me feel like doing anything is too much trouble.

On the flip side, many people who have adopted a raw food diet, or given up dairy or meat, have reported feeling happy and unburdened. Some have given up their medications just from changing the way they eat. I do not know why diet is so often overlooked or considered only a minor player in our mental health. As individuals, we need to take it upon ourselves to find a diet and lifestyle that works best for us. Doctors aren’t going to offer much useful guidance.

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5 Responses to “Study: Anti-depressants don’t work”

  1. Katherine/Aunt Kathie Says:

    I took anti-depressants a couple of times. The first time I didn’t think they did anything at all, but it was a very stressful situation. The second time, I thought there might be some shift in my mood, but the negative side-effects eventually were more significant than any positives. Now I take Sam-e. I can’t say that it makes a big difference, but I do feel a kind of seeping indifference or inertia (greater than usual) when I don’t take it. I read somewhere recently – alas I don’t remember where – that new studies are suggesting that they have been aiming at the wrong part of the brain. That seretonin (where most of these drugs are directed, I think), is only a minor factor and they now think there’s some other imbalance that’s more significant. Who knows. I’m rambling incoherently, aren’t I? Oops. Sorry.

  2. Mary Says:

    I have an anxiety disorder. I’m on Paxil, but I’ve decided that I’m going to try to go vegan to see if it will make a difference with the anxiety disorder. I haven’t found any scientific evidence to support that this works, but there is evidence that people end up feeling better in so many ways. Perhaps one day I can give up my meds too.

  3. vegangirl Says:

    Hi Mary,

    Thanks so much for writing. I highly recommend that you look into eating more RAW vegan foods. I have personally met several people who were on anti-anxiety medications who went off of those meds after going raw. It doesn’t have to be complex. Just start off by making a fresh smoothie every day and eating a salad with every meal.

    If you drink alcohol at all, you may want to notice whether that is affecting you as well. I rarely drink anymore because I noticed that when I do drink (even one drink), I start getting anxious and/or depressed about 1 or 2 days later. Since it doesn’t happen right away, I didn’t notice the connection for years.

    Best of luck to you!

    Diana

  4. Martijn Says:

    Try cannabis it is the best natural anti-depressant

  5. What is the best diet to combat depression? | How To Diet The Right Way Says:

    [...] eating eggs too. So given these constraints, what is the best anti-depression diet for me!? Thanks! I am a vegetarian. I do take milk, and sometimes eggs, although I ideally want to quit eating eggs t… WordPress › [...]

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