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YogaorProzac:

HowCanWeMostEffectivelyTreat
Depression?

AlyssaN.Szczelina
LisaMorettiDoherty
May1st,2016


AlyssaSzczelina
LisaMorettiDoherty
May1st,2016

YogaorProzac:
HowCanweMostEffectivelyTreatDepression?

DepressionaffectsapproximatelyoneinfiveadultAmericans,thatis43.8millionor18.5

percentofthepopulation,inanygivenyear(
ArchivesofGeneralPsychiatry
).Unbelievably,thatis
43.8millionpeopleallaroundyouwhosuffereveryday,andyoumayneverevenguesswho
theyare.AccordingtotheU.SDepartmentofHealthandHumanServices,asmanyasonein
everyfiveteens(21.4%)hasclinicaldepression.Thatmeansthatyourveryownchildcouldbe
strugglingwithdepressionwithoutyourknowledge.So,ifyouknewsomeoneinyourlifewas
depressed,wouldntyouwantthemtodowhateverispossibleinorderforthemtoheal?For
manydepressionvictims,gettingthehelptheyneedandmakingtherightchoiceoftreatments
canbeaverydauntingtask.Inasocietywherepillsareaquickfixforanything,itwouldbehard
nottolistentotheopinionsofothersandheadtothedoctorforaprescription.Butshouldyou
trustBigPharmawithyourfragilemind?Itisaseriouschoice,achoicethatwithoutsupport,
canbealmostimpossibletomake.Thereisaplethoraoftreatmentoptionsforthosesuffering
withdepressionandothermooddisorders,butmostwillargueaboutwhichismosteffective.
Somewouldsaythatthecombinationofprofessionaltherapyorcounselingandapersonalized
cocktailofantidepressantsisenoughtodothetrick.Otherswouldarguethatpursuingamore
naturalandholisticrouteisthewaytogo.Eitherway,thepersonseekinghelpmustweighallof
theiroptionsandmakesurethechoicetheymakesupportstheirgeneralwellbeing.

WhatmakesyogabetterthanProzac?Zoloftbetterthansupportgroups?Itisallvery
personalandmaytakemorethanonetryandmorethanonetreatmentmethodtogetitjustright.
Itisthisexperimentalperiodthatcanbecomeverydangerousforthepatient,especiallywhen
dealingwithtraditionalSSRImedications.Thereisaslewofsideeffectsthatcomeswitheach
littlepill,whichmaycauseextremereactions,makingpillsriskybusiness.Manypeopleeven

experienceworseningoftheirsymptomstosomedegree,whichincludesincreasedsuicidal
thoughts,exhaustion,andtheinabilitytofocus.Keepingallofthisinmind,youhavetowonder
whymedicationisthemostpopulartreatmentmethodfordepression,andmostimportantly,
whetheritistrulythemosteffectivemethod.Whenpeoplearefacedwithdepression,thechoices
fortreatmentcanbeoverwhelming.Afterconsideringmedication,manycametotheconclusion
thatdrugsarenotrightforthemandmorenaturalhealingmethods,suchasmeditation,therapy,
orhealingthroughhobbies,canbeamoreappropriatewayforthemtoheal.Therecanbemuch
morepermanent,effective,andoverallpositivewaysofhealingfromdepressionthangoingthe
traditionalpharmaceuticalroute.

Antidepressantsshouldbeusedasalastresortforapatientwhenallothertreatment
optionshavebeenexhaustedtonoavail,theyshouldnotbethefirstoronlystepthatsomeone
takestogetwell.Theyareatemporarysolution,notapermanentcure.Theeffectivenessof
differenttreatmentsisbasedsolelyonthepatientsindividualgenetics,mindset,andeffort.
Becausetherecoveryofthosesufferingwithdepressionissopersonalized,itisnearly
impossibletodeterminewhichmethodworksthebest.Thatiswhyitisextremelyimportantfor
eachindividualtobeeducatedaboutthebenefitsanddisadvantagesofeachoption,sothatthey
maymakeapersonaldecisionthatbestsuitsthemandtheirneeds.

Inordertobestunderstandhowtotreatdepression,youmustfirstfigureoutwhyit

appearsinthefirstplace,andwhyitisapressingissuenotonlyforthepatient,butforAmerica
asawhole.Depressioncanbecausedbyamultitudeoffactorssuchasdeathorloss,sudden
financialinstability,socialandemotionalproblems,drugaddiction,andmanyotherreasons.Or,
amorescientificexplanation,adecreaseIofimportantmoodstabilizingneurotransmittersin
yourbrainincludingSerotonin.Thisdeficiencycausesyourneuronstomisfireandnotsendthe
correctchemicalmessagebetweenthesynapses,causingsymptomsofdepression.Incredibly,
43.8millionAmericanssufferfromdepressionitisquiteobviousthatitisahugeproblem.It
goesevenfartherthanjustdepression,mentalillnessasawholeisthebeastthatmustbebattled.
SeriousmentalillnesscostsAmericaapproximately193.2billiondollarsinlostearningseach

year.Mooddisorderssuchasdepressionarethethirdmostcommoncauseofhospitalizationin
theU.Sforpeoplebetweentheages18to44.Over37%ofstudentswithamentaldisorderend
updroppingoutofschool.Morethan90%ofchildrenwhodiebysuicidesufferwithaserious
mentalhealthcondition.Suicideisthe10thleadingcauseofdeathinAmerica,andthe2nd
leadingcauseofdeathforthoseaged1524(
www.nami.org).
Ifthosestatisticsscaredyouenough,
theWorldHealthOrganizationprojectsthatbytheyear2020,depressionwillbecomethe
leadingcauseofdisabilityintheUnitedStatesandCanada,makingupabout10%ofallmedical
disability.Thisisanextremelypressingissue,soitisonlylogicalthatthosesufferingare
desperatelytryingtoputanendtoit.Butwhyareweasasocietyonlyfocusedontemporary
treatmentsandnotcompletecures?Dowereallyhavethecapacitytocompletelyeradicate
mentalillness?Arepillsthebestweaponstohaveinourartillery?Prescriptionsorprayer?Yoga
studiosorpsychiatristoffices?Itisundeniablethatthereisacureoutthere,butpeoplestruggle
withaccessingit.

Thehistoryofantidepressantstellsataleofalittlepillthatsomehowendedupinthe

majorityofAmericasmedicinecabinetsinanastoundinglyshortamountoftime.
Antidepressantswereafirstdiscoveredbyaccident,inthe1950sbyscientistsatthe
MunsterlingenAsyluminSwitzerland,whiletheywereseekingtofindacureforschizophrenia.
Theydiscoveredtheeffectsthatcertainlevelsofmoodbalancingneurotransmittersinthebrain
hadonbehaviorandemotion.Thefirstantidepressantmedicationtoeverbecreatedwascalled
Tofranilandfirstsoldandmarketedin1958
(TimeMagazine).
About60%ofthepatientstaking
thedrugexperiencedrelief,butquicklybeganreportinghavingnegativesymptomssuchas
sluggishness,weightgain,andsomereportedthedrugtobefatalfromoverdose.Soscientists
quicklybegandevelopinganewtypeofantidepressantscalledSSRIs(SelectiveSerotonin
ReuptakeInhibitors).Youmayknowofthemostpopularones,Prozac(createdin1987),Zoloft
(createdin1991),andPaxil(createdin1992).In1988,onlyayearaftertheFDAapproved
Prozac,2,469,000prescriptionsforitwerewritteninAmerica,andby2002thatnumberroseto
33,320,000
(
www.nytimes.com
).
By1989,Prozacwasbringinginabout350milliondollarsayear
inrevenue.In1990,Prozacbecamethecountrysmostpopularantidepressant,withabout

650,000prescriptionsbeingwritteneachmonth,andannualsalestoppingonebilliondollars.
Prozachadcompletelytakenoverthenation,becomingAmericasnewmiracledrug.By1993,
Prozachadbeentakenbyover10millionpeopleintheU.S,andevenbegantobeusedin
veterinarymedicine
(www.timemagazine.com).
TheEliLilly&Co.company,whoarethe
manufacturersanddistributorsofProzac,hadexperiencedlightningfastsuccesswiththedrug.
ButatwhatcosttotheAmericanpeople?

Soonafterthemedicationsreleaseandrapidsuccess,patientsthathadnopreviousissues
reportedbecomingveryviolentandfantasizingaboutsuicideaftertakingProzac.Aslewof
studiesandreportslinkingProzactopatientsuicidesquicklyfollowedsuit
(
www.mcmanweb.com
).
LawsuitsbegantopileupagainsttheEliLilly&Co.company,which

theyquicklyandeversocleverlybegancoveringup.Thisconspiracyhadbeendubbedthe
SSRIsuicides,anditbeganchangingpeoplesperspectiveonnotonlythesafetyofthedrugs
theyweretaking,buttheintegrityofthecompanythatwassellingittothem.Thisisnotthefirst
timepharmaceuticalcompanieshavebeenlessthanhonest.Fabricatingdataandfailingto
releasenonfavorablestudiesabouttheirproductshasbeenacommonpracticeforBigPharma,
includingtheEliLilly&Co.company,fordecades.Yetprofitscontinuetofloodinaspeople
continuepoppingpillsandreturningformore.Ashistoryexpandsintopresentday,theaddiction
totheseantidepressantsdespitetheiradversesideeffects,seemslessandlesslikeacoincidence,
andmorelikeasecretprofitchurningploy.

Eventhoughantidepressantshavegainedanegativereputationthroughouttheyears,

manywillstillattesttotheirbenefitsandmedicinalvalue.Therearemanyaspectsofpillsthat
appealtothegeneralpopulation.Oneofthemostattractivethingsaboutantidepressantsistheir
convenience.Onlyabout20%ofprescriptionswrittenforantidepressantsareactuallywrittenby
mentalhealthcareprofessionals
(www.mcmanweb.com)
.Thismeansthatmostpeoplecanget
prescriptionsforantidepressantsfromtheirfamilyphysician,sotheyneverendupreceivinga
properpsychologicalexaminationanddiagnosis.Althoughthiscanleadtopatientspotentially
takingmedicationthattheydontneedorshouldntbetaking,mostwillforgothisriskfor

conveniencesake.Whenyoureallythinkaboutit,takingapillonceortwicedailyisquitealot
easierfortheaverageonthegoconsumer,ratherthancommittingtoadailyregimenofyoga,
meditation,orexercise.Therefore,itsunderstandablethatmostwouldchoosethepillsover
otheroptionsbecauseoftheirquickfixqualities.Anotherperkofantidepressantsisthatthey
usuallydowork,ratherquicklytoo,withmostpatients.Thatbeingsaid,mostresultsarevery
temporary,andmostpeoplefindthemselvesrelapsingveryquicklyaftertheystoptakingthem.
Theserapidresultsleadthepatienttobelievetheyaregettingbetterquickly,andthatthereisno
needforadditionaltreatmentstobeused,leadingpatientstodependsolelyonantidepressantsto
treattheirdepression.

Yetanotheradvantageofantidepressantsisthatusingthemisgenerallyacceptedandhas
becomeasocialnorm.Thiseliminatestheembarrassmentthatcomeswithsufferingwithand
treatingmentalillness,astakingpillsisseenasanothingoutoftheordinary.Becausepillsare
sopopular,ithasleadmostpeopletoconsiderthemastheirfirstandpossiblyonlyoptionfor
treatment.Societyhasingrainedthequickfixpillmindsetsodeeplyintous,thatsomepeople
arentevenawarethattheyhaveotheroptions.Anotherbenefittoantidepressantsisthattheyare
discreet,andtheirusecanoftengounnoticedbypeersandfamilymembers.Thiscanbe
extremelyhelpful,especiallytothosethatareembarrassedoftheirmentalcondition,orare
tryingtokeepitasecret.Thistakesawaytheshameofhavingtoseekprofessionalhelp,
leavingjustasmallpillthatyoucantakeeverymorning.Perhapsthemostappealingaspectof
antidepressantmedicationisthatthereareaplethoraofdifferenttypestotry.Thisgivesthe
patienttheoptiontocreateapersonalconcoction.Theycantryoutasmanyasneededuntilthey
findtheonethatworks.Thisgivesthepatientalotofleeway,andalleviatestheanxietyofthe
firstpillnotworking.IfthetraditionalSSRImedicationsarentreactingwell,thepatientcantry
othervariationsofantidepressantsthataffectotherneurotransmittersinthebrain,suchasones
thatspecificallyaffectdopamineornoradrenalin.Theoptionsandflexibilitythatpillsprovide
arewhatreallyattractsmanypatients.Overall,thereasonsforwhypeoplewhoaresuffering
withdepressionchoosethepharmaceuticalpatharequiteunderstandable,buttheyaresuperficial
reasonsthatdonottakephysicalhealthintoconsideration.

Natural,nondrug,andholistictreatmentsformentalillnesshavebeentriedandtested

justasmuchastraditionalmedication.Althoughmostresearchontheeffectivenessofholistic
treatmentshasbeeninconclusive,theirbenefitsandresultscannotbecompletelydisproved.
Mindfulnesstechniquesandeasternphilosophyhaveevenbeenintegratedintotraditional
therapy.MindfulnessBasedCognitiveTherapyorMBCTisafairlynewtypeoftherapythat
perfectlydisplaysthisblend.MBCTusesmeditationandvariousmindfulnesstechniquesto
teachpatientshowtoliveinthepresent,beawareofnegativethoughtpatternsandbehaviors,
howtoaccepttraumas,andcontrolselfdeprecatingthoughtsandemotions.Itgivesthepatienta
senseofrelaxationandcontrol,thusalleviatinganxietyanddepressionsymptoms.Itprovesthat
healingispossiblethroughacceptanceandconsciouseffort.Therearemanyadvantagesto
therapythatcanmakeitappealingtosomeoneseekinghelp.Tobegin,therearejustasmany
differenttypesoftherapyandtherapytechniquesastherearetypesofantidepressantpills.Thisis
especiallybeneficialbecauseiftraditionaltalktherapyprovesineffectiveforapatient,theycan
thenmoveontotrynewtechniquesandapproachesuntiltheycomeuponsomethingthatworks
forthem.Therapygivespeoplethechancetodissecttheirissuesandtraumasinawaythatis
thorough,productive,andgenuine.Itforcesthepatienttofacetheirdemonsheadon,itallows
themtoseethetruthbehindtheirbehaviors,anddoesntletthemcoveruptheirtrueproblems
withachemicallyinducedhaze.Itleavespatientswithtoolsthattheycanuseforalifetime,tools
thattheycanaccessatanypoint,toolsthatcanprovidepermanenthealingbecauseitpromotes
healingfromwithin.

Unfortunately,therapyisntexactlythecosteffectiveoptionforsomeasitcanbevery
expensive.However,thatpricetagisquitesmallcomparedtothebenefitsandhealingthatcan
comefromit.ThefactthattherapyisexpensiveistheexactreasonthatETherapyexists.
ETherapyisanycertifiedtherapy/counselingservicethatisofferedonline.Therearea
multitudeofwebsitesofferingtherapyservicesfromactualcertifiedmentalhealthcare
professionals,andmostofthetimeitcomesatlittletonocost.Thiscanbeacheaperalternative
totraditionaltherapythatstilloffersasimilarexperience.


Anotherpositiveaspectofnaturalhealingisthatitnotonlypromotesthehealingofthemental
self,butalsothephysicalself.Yoga,meditation,andexercise,areperfectexamplesofthis.Yoga
teachespatience,innerstillnessandpeace,aswellasthesacredconnectionbetweenmindand
body.Whilepracticingyoga,youaremadeawareofyourphysicalboundariesandcapabilities,
whilesimultaneouslylearningtosilenceyourthoughtsandfindrelaxation.Thisreleases
dopamine,andcaneliminatesymptomsofanxietyanddepressionwhenpracticedregularly.
Focusingonyourphysicalhealthisjustasvitaltohealingasfocusingonthemind.Therapeutic
servicessuchasacupuncturepromotehealingthroughtheconnectionbetweenthemindand
bodyaswell.Yetanotheradvantagetonaturalhealingisthatthereareendlessoptions.Ifyoudo
notenjoythephysicalrequirementsofthingslikeyoga,youcanchoosetogoaneveneasier
route.Therearemanynaturalsupplementsmadeoforganicsubstancessuchasvariousplants
andherbs,availableonthemarketthatcanreplaceantidepressantmedications.These
supplementsinclude,St.John'sWort,FishOil,Saffron,SAMe,anddebatably,Cannabis
(www.health.com).

Theeffectivenessofthesesupplementsisnotcompletelyproven,butthereissoliddata
pointingtowardstheirhealingability.St.John'sWort,asmallyellowflower,isoneofthemost
studiednaturalsupplementsfordepression.TheNationalCenterforComplementaryand
AlternativeMedicineanalyzedthirtysevendifferentstudiesofthesupplementandconcluded
thatitwasjustaseffectiveasantidepressantmedication.Natureanditsbountyhasthepowerto
healandthelargestbenefitofnaturalhealingoptionsisthattheyareallbasicallyriskfree
.
There
arenodetrimentalphysicalsideeffects,becauseeverythingisnaturalanddoesnotinvolve
harmfulchemicalcompounds.Onecanswitchthroughavarietyoftechniquesandsupplements
foraslongastheyneedtoinordertofindtheperfectpersonalizedhealingroutine.Theoptions
thathavealreadybeenlisteddonotevenbegintomakeupevenatinyportionofallofthe
optionsavailabletothosewhoneedthem.Manypeoplehavebeenabletohealthroughgoingon
aholisticjourneyofselfdiscoveryandconsciousintentionaleffort.Despiteallthatisavailable,
unfortunatelymanystillchooseamanmadechemicalsolution.

Manywillclaimthattheyhaveonlybeenabletohealusingnaturalmethodsbecause

medicationneverreactedproperlywiththeirbodies.Studyingthecountlessadversesideeffects
ofvariousmedications,caneasilymakesomepeoplefearantidepressants.Withsomanyrisk
freeoptionsavailableforhealing,antidepressantsseemobsolete.Whyriskyourphysicalhealth
forsometemporaryrelief?Althoughitisunderstandablewhysomeseepillsasaconvenient
choice,theystilldonotseemlikethemosteffectivetreatmentfordepression.Theycanbevery
costly,makingithardertofilltheprescriptionseachmonthifyoudonothavesufficientfunds.It
isthebeliefofmanythatantidepressantpillsshouldbeusedasalastresortwhenallelsehas
failed.Theissueisthatmanyareusingantidepressantsastheirfirstoronlyformoftreatment.
Thiscancausethepatienttoexperienceirreversiblephysicallydamagingsideeffectsfromthe
medicationthatmightpotentiallyperpetuateorworsentheissuesthattheywereattemptingto
combatinthefirstplace.Thosethathaveresearchedthecountlesslawsuitsandconspiracies
revolvingaroundantidepressantsandbigpharma,canbeleadtobelievethatthepharmaceutical
industryisdeceitful,dishonest,greedy,andmanipulative.Therefore,manydonottrustthem
withtheirbodynormind,andchoosenottogivethemtheirmoneyorsupport.Someadviceto
thosesufferingfromdepressionistocarefullyconsideralloptionsbeforechoosingone.While
antidepressantsareavalidoption,theydonotneedtobeyourfirstchoice.Naturalandholistic
healingtacticsareworthlookingintoaswell.

Forthe43.8millionAmericanswhoaresufferingwithdepression,findingtreatmentcan

beanextremelydauntingtask.Withsomanyoptionsavailableandnoconcreteevidenceproving
whichismosteffective,itisunderstandablethatthereisalotofdebateonwhatapersonseeking
treatmentshoulddo.Manywillarguethatantidepressantsarethequickestandmosteffective
waytogetwell,whileotherswillarguethattakingamorenaturalroutewillpromoteamore
permanenttypeofhealing.Allinall,thereisnoonetruewaytotreatalldepression(thatwe
knowof)becauseitissodependantonthepatient.Eachtreatmentmustbepersonalizedforthe
patientsindividualneeds.Thatbeingsaid,itisextremelyimportantforeachpersonseeking
treatmenttobefullyeducatedaboutwhatisavailable,andtheyshouldalsobewillingtotry

multiplemethods.Weliveinaworldwheresomuchtrustisplacedinmedicationsthatmost
knownothingabout,andincompaniesthathavethroughouthistory,continuedtoprove
themselvesuntrustworthy.Withdepressionbecomingahugeepidemic,weneedtobeableto
trustthosethatwegotoforhelp.Whiletherearesomebenefitsoftakingantidepressantssuchas
convenience,rapid(yettemporary)results,andgeneralsocialacceptance,therearemany
disadvantagesaswell.Theycangetverycostly,andtheycanalsohavehorriblephysicalside
effects.Ontheotherhand,naturaltreatmentmethodshavetheirveryownsetofprosandconsas
well.Acupunctureandtherapycangetextremelyexpensive,andsomeofthesemethodsmaybe
toodemandingforthepatienttohandle,buttherearealwaysoptionsintheworldofholistic
healingandmanyareoflittletonocostwithverylowrisk.

Itisconfusingtolistentosomanyargumentsaboutwhatworksbest,soyoumustkeepin
mindthatifyouaresufferingfromdepression,youmustlistentoyourself.Thebestwayto
determinewhichtreatmenttogowithistotrulybeconsciousofwhatyourmindandbodyneeds.
Eventhoughtherearesomanytreatmentsavailable,depressioncanbechronic.Depressionhas
beenagrowingproblemforcenturies,withsomanymoresufferersbeingchildrenand
adolescents.Manypeoplearoundtheglobehaveasincerehopethatonedayapermanentcure
fordepressioncanbefound,sothatwecanstopthesufferingofthosethatalreadyhaveitand
preventnewcasesfromemerging.Onedayourworldwillbedepressionfree.

WorkCited

Fitzpatrick,Laura.""ABriefHistoryofAntidepressants""
TimeMagazine
.7Jan.
2010.Web.

Mukherjee,Siddhartha.""PostProzacNation""
NewYorkTimes
.19Apr.2012.
Web.

McManamy,John.<
www.mcmanweb.com
>

Pratt,LauraA.""AntidepressantUseinPersonsAged12andOver""
CenterFor
DiseaseControl
.Oct.2011.Web.

Wrobel,Sylvia.
TheFasebJournal
.Nov.2007.Web.

<
www.nami.org/learnmore/MentalHealthByTheNumbers
>
<
www.statista.com
>
<www.mayoclinic.org/diseasesconditions/depression/multimedia/antidepressants>
<
www.beyondblue.org.au/thefacts/depression/treatementsfordepression/psycolo
gicaltreatmentsfordepressio
n>
<
www.health.com/alternativeremedies/depression
>