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Many people are weaning off depression and anxiety medications to get to the root of their problems. It's not something to try cold-turkey, but here are some tips for determining if you're ready and how to get ready... [Read more]
Many people are weaning off depression and anxiety medications to get to the root of their problems. It's not something to try cold-turkey, but here are some tips for determining if you're ready and how to get ready... [Read more]

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Kiss Those Psych Meds
Many peopleare weaningoff depressionand anxietymedications to getto the root theirproblems. It’s notsomething to trycold-turkey, buthere are some tipsfor determining if you’re ready andhow to get happy.
By Lisa Moretti
ore than having just a bad week, depressionis a very real condition that can leave youeeling sidetracked rom your lie. There areserious psychiatric conditions that requiremedical interventions to change the brain’s chemistry,but the ast-draw-rom-the-hip response o prescribingpharmaceuticals or even the slightest case o the bluescan have disastrous consequences. According to WebMD,here are some o the common symptoms people withdepression experience daily or an extended period o time:
diculty concentrating, remembering details and makingdecisions
eelings o guilt, worthlessness, helplessness, emptiness
eelings o hopelessness
insomnia, irritability, restlessness
excessive sleeping
loss o interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable,including sex
overeating or appetite loss
thoughts o suicide, suicide attemptsDr. David Sack, CEO o Promises Treatment Center,notes that antidepressants serve a purpose: they relieveacute symptoms quickly and they can oten hold deepdepression at bay. He cautions, “When people come outo depression their nervous system remains vulnerable tostress or at least one year. During this time they are muchmore likely to get depressed again.” Antidepressants are the ourth most commonly pre-scribed pharmaceuticals in the United States according toIMS Health, a company that analyzes the pharmaceuticalindustry, and they pull in about $9.9 billion a year. Accord-
ing to the National Institute o MentalHealth, close to 15 million people inthe United States suer 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 oten lead to adomino eect o more medicationsto deal with the side eects.
Medication Madness
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 sideeects: massive weight gain, sexualdysunction, 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 odepression or anti-anxiety medicationscan be tricky! Dr. Tara Peyman and Dr.Sara Gottried, both integrativephysicians, agree that the rststep is to acknowledge andaddress why medicationwas begun. Dr. Peyman, anaturopath at ArizonaNatural Health Centerwho specializes inthe treatment obipolar disorderand mental illness,recommends talkingwith your doctor aboutyour goals. I your doctorisn’t sympathetic – nda new doctor! She alsocounsels people to write down theirquestions beore a visit. Doctors otenexpress 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. Gottried, a Berkeley, Cali.gynecologist, also recommendsnding 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. Gottried alsoencourages her patients to nd andtreat their nutritional deciencies andood allergies as both o these can belinked to anxiety and depression.Surprisingly, gut infammation islinked to depression. The gut is otencalled 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 oten 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 successul in reversingbipolar disorder, depression andanxiety. Fisher Wallace Labs(sherwallace.com) manuacturesa home-use device that has beencleared by the FDA since 1991and has more than 90 studiesbehind it. The device uses radiorequencies 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 ahelpul 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 oers peoplea valuable service and thoughtulevaluation 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 restul 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!

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