So What’s Wrong With Antidepressants?
The truth is antidepressants work well for many people. Popular antidepressants such as Paxil®, Zoloft®, Prozac®, Lexapro®, Wellbutrin®, Effexor®, Desyrel®, Elavil®, and Celexa® offer relief to thousands of people suffering from anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.
But antidepressants are far from the perfect cure for anxiety and panic attacks. As new studies are completed on antidepressants many disturbing facts are beginning to emerge:
- Antidepressants can cause serious side effects including risk of suicide
- Antidepressants can increase symptoms of anxiety & depression in some cases
- Antidepressants are completely ineffective in up to 50% of cases
- Antidepressants can be as addictive as narcotics
- Antidepressants frequently cause serious withdrawal symptoms upon discontinuation
Let’s analyze these problems in more detail:
Side Effects Of Antidepressants:
-Increased heart rate
-Nervousness and insomnia
-Agitation (feeling jittery)
While the side effects of antidepressants listed above are the most common there are also more serious side effects possible too. In some cases people have experienced fever, confusion, muscle rigidity, and cardiac, liver, or kidney problems.
In rare cases suicide and homicidal rages have been blamed on antidepressant drug use. According to the FDA “Several recent scientific publications suggest the possibility of an increased risk for suicidal behavior in adults who are being treated with antidepressant medications.”* This concern lead the FDA to mandate black box warning labels on all antidepressant drugs disclosing the increased risks of suicidal thinking and behavior, known as suicidality.
The 2007 FDA Black Box Warning For Antidepressant Drugs:
*Source = U.S. Food & Drug Administration
Are Antidepressants Effective In All Cases?
No. In fact, a recent study by the independent medical journal PLoS Medicine (which accepts no advertising money from Big Pharma) reported that in as many as half of all cases antidepressant drugs work no more effectively than a sugar pill (placebo).
Needless to say this report sent shockwaves through the entire medical community.
While the study focused on patients with depression the results of the study called into question the viablity and effectiveness of antidepressants entirely.
I have posted articles on the study from four different independent sources:
The Guardian (UK): http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2008/feb/26/mentalhealth.medicalresearch
Becoming Addicted To Antidepressants:
Along with horrific side effects and the possibility the drugs won’t even work is the very real possiblity of becoming addicted to antidepressants. In fact, there is ample evidence that for some people it is nearly impossible to stop taking them.
This fact is described below by someone who tried in the following excerpt from MSNBC.
When Gina O’Brien decided she no longer needed drugs to quell her anxiety and panic attacks, she followed doctor’s orders by slowly tapering her dose of the antidepressant Paxil. The gradual withdrawal was supposed to prevent unpleasant symptoms that can result from stopping antidepressants cold turkey. But it didn’t work. “I felt so sick that I couldn’t get off my couch,” O’Brien said. “I couldn’t stop crying.
Overwhelmed by nausea and uncontrollable crying, she felt she had no choice but to start taking the pills again. More than a year later she still takes Paxil, and expects to be on it for the rest of her life.’
Antidepressant Withdrawal Problems:
The problems don’t end there however. If you able to escape addiction and stop taking antidepressants there’s are also the horrible withdrawal problems commonly associated with discontinuation.
‘Critics of the pharmaceutical industry complain that drug companies downplay the severity of drug discontinuation symptoms. The prescribing information drug companies provide to doctors warns that patients occasionally experience mild symptoms when they stop taking SRI antidepressants, but imply that tapering off the medication can prevent problems. Medical journals describe the ill effects of going off the drugs as “mild and short-lived,” and usually avoidable if the dose is tapered.’
Is There Such A Thing As A Natural Antidepressant Alternative?
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