Taking Antidepressants Nearly Doubles Your Chance of Relapse
Not only does this study demonstrate that antidepressants worsen the condition, it also shows that the underlying theory of a chemical imbalance is a bunch of hooey.
by Heidi Stevenson
21 July 2011
Woman in Anguish, by Gina Tyler
This wonderful painting is by Gina Tyler,
both a talented artist and a talented homeopath.
A new study demonstrates that using antidepressants nearly doubles the chance of suffering a major depressive relapse—and soon after discontinuing the drugs. This, of course, creates a vicious cycle that results in dependence on the drugs.
Published in the journal, Frontiers of Evolutionary Psychology, another highly signficant finding was made. Not only do antidepressants worsen the condition they're meant to treat, the underlying theory that there is a chemical imbalance in the brain is pure nonsense. Antidepressants do not treat an imbalance. These drugs actually create it!
The study, entitled "Blue again: perturbational effects of antidepressants suggest monoaminergic homeostasis in major depression", shows that these drugs interfere with the brain's homeostasis. The meta-analysis discovered that people who don't take any antidepressants have a 25% chance of relapsing, while those who do have a relapse rate of 42%.
The studies reviewed included virtually every permutation of antidepressant use: those who started on placebos and were switched to the real medications, those who started on real medications and were switched to placebos, those who took placebos throughout the studies, and those who took only placebos.
The authors looked at studies of four types of antidepressants; MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitor), SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), SNRIs (serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors), and TCAs (tricyclics). Each of these affects at least one of the following: serotonin, norephinephrine, or dopamine. The specific drugs were:
The result of the study, in a nutshell, was expressed by the lead author, Paul W. Andrews in Science Daily:
We found that the more these drugs affect serotonin and other neurotransmitters in your brain—and that's what they're supposed to do—the greater your risk of relapse once you stop taking them. All these drugs do reduce symptoms, probably to some degree, in the short-term. The trick is what happens in the long term. Our results suggest that when you try to go off the drugs, depression will bounce back. This can leave people stuck in a cycle where they need to keep taking anti-depressants to prevent a return of symptoms.
Antidepressant drugs may do a little bit to relieve symptoms, though note that Andrews is less than enthusiastic about that effect. However, they result in more depression, and that results in a vicious drug-taking cycle.
Is There a Positive Side to Depression?
We tend to think of negative emotions as being harmful. In today's society, we're expected to be happy and perky all the time. When we aren't, we're often treated as if we're ill and should either just snap out of it or take drugs to somehow fix it. As anyone who's been there, we can't just flip a switch and be over it. But, as Andrews' study documents, the drug-taking approach doesn't work.
Andrews is inclined to believe that the symptoms of depression, such as tiredness, low appetite and sex drive, and loss of interest in associating with people, may be survival techniques for coping with stress. In other words, our bodies are simply forcing us to avoid more stress to give us a chance to resolve the problems we're facing.
When we take drugs to avoid the feelings that go with depression, we're working against our own nature. We're literally avoiding the issue and thus destroying our ability to learn how to deal with our problems.
By taking antidepressant drugs, we avoid facing our problems. By not facing our problems, we never get a chance to heal. Instead, we end up stuck in a genuinely addictive cycle of drug-taking.
None of this even addresses the adverse effects of these drugs, which are significant. Truly, is there any upside to antidepressants? Any benefit they have is minimal. They double the depression relapse rate. They cause some horrible adverse effects, including violence and suicide. Dr. Peter Breggin documents that they cause brain damage and describes their effect as a chemical lobotomy.
But, it seems to me that the worst effect of all is that antidepressants destroy the opportunity to grow and become truly fulfilled human beings.