Have you ever seen a friend, a family member, or a life partner go down the rocky road of depression because extreme feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and unimportance crushed their self-esteem and will to live?
As a direct quote from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), depression is among the leading reasons why Americans who are aged between 15 and 44 ends up with a disability. On the other hand, the 2015 depression statistics issued by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that there are approximately 350 million out of the over 7 billion people in the entire globe who are still in a depressive state.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), regardless of the severity of the depression, it can be cured. They suggested psychotherapy as one treatment, but what most people are aware of are medications better known as anti-depressants.
How Effective Are The Anti-Depressants?
In TIME’s A Brief History of Anti-Depressants, it has been said that an anti- was initially developed by scientists in the 1950s for the people with schizophrenia in a Swiss asylum. However, they later found that it was more fitting for those suffering from depression.
By 1987, Prozac has been marketed in the US and soon became the top-selling anti-depressant. Not long after that, Zoloft and Paxil followed suit. These drugs have different names, but they all do one thing: inhibit serotonin – a mood regulator in the brain.
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) has gathered that 11% of the US population at the age of 12 and above were taking anti-depressants from 2005 to 2008. Their effectivity, though, remains to be uncertain because the research led by Dr. N. Kennedy of the University of Cambridge in 2003 has concluded that high relapse rate is still evident to the people who got medical treatment for depression for over 20 years.
Furthermore, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the public in 2004 that patients below 25 years old should be watched closely in the first few weeks of taking the happy pill because it elevates a person’s suicidal or impulsive tendencies.
Below are the other side-effects of anti-depressants.
Loss Of Serotonin
Serotonin is categorized as a monoamine neurotransmitter. According to the Medical News Today, a person needs enough serotonin in his system to balance his mood, to maintain or increase his sexual function, to regulate digestion, and to aid in blood clotting, among others.
Therefore, not allowing serotonin to flow in the body can be detrimental to the patient. There is a PubMed review that states that anti-depressants can cause more abnormal internal bleeding to people taking them since almost 90% of the serotonin in the body are in the gastrointestinal tract.
A bipolar disorder that is ‘treated’ with anti-depressants tends to turn into bipolar depression due to prolonged usage of the drugs. A study led by Alexander Viktorin established that 1117 out of the 3240 patients who received anti-depressant monotherapy were twice more likely to experience mania because the chemicals in it stimulate anxiety.
Drugs that are supposed to combat depression can hardly make anyone high, but it does not deter patients from taking anti-depressants in large doses daily. According to the Addiction Center, over 60% of US citizens have taken the happy pills for more than two years, and the anti-depressant users have leveled up to 400% just in between the years of 2005 and 2008.
Trying to prevent a person who is going through depression from committing suicide is the reason why many people turn to a doctor’s prescription. Based on the United States’ National Institute of Mental Health, however, seven among 100 men and one among 100 women who experience major depression tend to end their own life.
Researchers from Boston University’s Slone Epidemiology Center have gathered that among the widely-prescribed anti-depressants, Zoloft is most likely to cause congenital disabilities on babies born from depressed mothers. Because of it, the FDA wants its maker, Pfizer, to change its product label and include a hazard about birth defects.
In a separate study, scientists from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have reported that Prozac and Paxil cause skull and internal organ defects on newborns.
What Seems To Be A Likely Cure To Depression?
Based on everything mentioned above, drugs – for sure – cannot offer a long-term cure to depression. According to spiritual healers, it is not even a mental disorder. The problem may be in line with the belief that the patient has merely abandoned themselves; that’s why they find it difficult to get better on their own.
Thus, you may be able to overcome depression once you start praying, raising your spiritual vibrations, and aligning your whole being to Mother Earth and the universe. This way, your energy can be rinsed off of impurities. It won’t them seem impossible to pull yourself out of the dark abyss you may still be in.
Learn more about spiritual healing today!