ing to the National Institute o MentalHealth, close to 15 million people inthe United States suer rom majordepression and another 40 million livewith anxiety. Records show that Amer-ican use o antidepressants doubled inthe last decade!To be sure, just “get over it” is notthe solution to depression. However,at the other end o the spectrum, yourphysician’s “cure” can be worse thanthe disease and can oten lead to adomino eect o more medicationsto deal with the side eects.
by Dr. PeterBreggin (breggin.com) provides morethan 50 ascinating, rightening anddramatic cases in which psychiatricmedications played a role in suicide,murder and other violent/criminal/ bizarre behaviors.Dr. Sack notes that most peoplestop antidepressants and anti-anxietymedications because o the sideeects: massive weight gain, sexualdysunction, emotional blunting andtotal loss o motivation. But stoppingmedications too ast can result insevere anxiety, nightmares, insomniaand agitation, according to Dr. Sack.
Come On, Get Happy!
Many people are now looking toreclaim their lives, but getting odepression or anti-anxiety medicationscan be tricky! Dr. Tara Peyman and Dr.Sara Gottried, both integrativephysicians, agree that the rststep is to acknowledge andaddress why medicationwas begun. Dr. Peyman, anaturopath at ArizonaNatural Health Centerwho specializes inthe treatment obipolar disorderand mental illness,recommends talkingwith your doctor aboutyour goals. I your doctorisn’t sympathetic – nda new doctor! She alsocounsels people to write down theirquestions beore a visit. Doctors otenexpress rustration that their patientsdon’t bring up the true reason theycame in until the doctor believes theappointment is nished and is walkingout the door. So, be prepared and alsobe prepared or some resistance.Dr. Gottried, a Berkeley, Cali.gynecologist, also recommendsnding and addressing hormonalimbalances that may be causingdepression. She points out thatwomen are more than twice as likelyto be treated or depression, whichsuggests hormones may be anunderlying cause. Dr. Gottried alsoencourages her patients to nd andtreat their nutritional deciencies andood allergies as both o these can belinked to anxiety and depression.Surprisingly, gut infammation islinked to depression. The gut is otencalled the “second brain” and whenit’s broken by oods like gluten andcasein (two common ood allergies),neurotransmitters are impaired. Youcan try an elimination diet or oodallergy testing to determine how yourbody reacts.Dr. Michael Wald o the IntegratedMedicine and Nutrition Clinic in NewYork uses several laboratory teststo determine i patients are ready totransition rom medications. He testsurinary amino acids or neurotransmitterlevels, salivary melatonin levels, redblood cell magnesium and does anoverall evaluation o nutrition, sleephabits, exercise habits, thyroid unctionand blood sugar. He oten turns tocustom ormulations o amino acidsmade by compounding pharmacies torebalance and restore hormones andneurotransmitter levels.
big handful ofcashews
provide between1,000 and 2,000 mg oftryptophan and can
as well as a prescriptionanti-depressant!
It’s All In Your Head
At the Physician’s Institute,doctors rom around the worldlearn a precise protocol tointerrupt the electrical impulsesin the body’s circuitry thattransmit signals resulting inpain, addiction, anxiety andchronic distress – all withoutdrugs or pain. They have beenvery successul in reversingbipolar disorder, depression andanxiety. Fisher Wallace Labs(sherwallace.com) manuacturesa home-use device that has beencleared by the FDA since 1991and has more than 90 studiesbehind it. The device uses radiorequencies to stimulate serotoninand dopamine production in just20 minutes a day. O specialinterest, the product is beingused by the military to helpalleviate Post Traumatic StressSyndrome (PTSD).
Got a Drug Question?
Dr. Curtis Alexander is a doctoro pharmacy. He maintains ahelpul website (ask-curtis.com)and readily answers questionssubmitted to him as quicklyas possible. Not one to readilydismiss home remedies becausethey aren’t backed by clinicalresearch, Dr. Curtis oers peoplea valuable service and thoughtulevaluation o their questions.Dr. Curtis also recommendsnatural therapies like SAM-e andexercise or depression. In all, hehas a wealth o knowledge justwaiting at your ngertips.
Get Good Rest!
Dr. Steven Park, an Otolaryngolo-gist and respected author, notesthat many people with anxietyand depression aren’t gettinggood sleep. Lack o restul deepsleep can trigger hormonal andother biochemical changes.Many sleep medications actuallysuppress deep sleep making theproblem worse. I you are wean-ing o o depression medications,be particularly attentive to yoursleeping patterns, says Dr. Park!