DEPRESSION | The Little Pill That Causes Big Problems

According to the Center for Disease Control, roughly one out of twenty Americans is clinically depressed, with 121 million people being affected worldwide. Because of this, 230 million prescriptions for antidepressants are issued every single year in the US alone. However, the rate of depression diagnoses is continuing to rise. Something obviously isn’t working, and tens of thousands of people are dying each year because of antidepressant use.


Depression is defined as a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration, according to the World Health Organization.  Most people go through some or all of the above named feelings at some point in their lives, but it is how we cope with and adapt to these feelings that can determine whether we enter full-blown depression. 

According to medical journalist Robert Whitaker, research shows that people in this pre-depression state tend to overcome the episode rather quickly without outside help (i.e. antidepressants); however, if people in that state were to be prescribed antidepressants in order to “speed up” that process, a whopping eighty-five percent are shown to develop continuing relapses and become chronically depressed once on the medication. In children with unipolar depression who are prescribed antidepressants, fifty percent will develop bipolar disorder after taking the medication.

It’s been shown that the United States, known for its prescription drug use, comprises only five percent of the world’s population yet consumes approximately seventy-five percent of the world’s drugs. In the United Kingdom, however, medical doctors are less likely to prescribe antidepressants as a first line of treatment to a patient coping with depressive symptoms. According to recent research, more than twenty-five percent of these doctors will actually prescribe exercise and other natural remedies ahead of chemical treatment. These doctors have done their due diligence and researched the effectiveness of natural treatments that have been proven to improve symptoms better, faster, and for the long-term than antidepressants.

Feeling depressed is a painful situation.  It is understandable why someone may reach out to what seems like a medical solution.  The question is, are there safer, better solutions without side-effects that are exponentially greater than the problems you face right now?

A 1990 Duke University study compared the effectiveness of exercise versus antidepressants on depressed patients. Three groups were compared: An exercise-only group; an exercise and antidepressant group; and an antidepressant-only group. After 10 months, the exercise-only group had the highest remission and stay-well rate.

Cutting out sugar, primarily in the form of fructose, will significantly reduce depressive symptoms according to William Duffy. Duffy’s book “The Sugar Blues” totes sugar as a major factor in deteriorating mental health. Duffy recommends no more than 25 grams of sugar per day- in any form (includes limiting grains and some fruits as well). 

Proper supplementation is effective in reducing depressive symptoms as well. Increasing Omega 3 fatty acids has been proven to improve mood. Research has shown that increasing vitamin D will have similar results as well. One recent study demonstrated that eighty-seven percent of schizophrenics were able to eliminate their symptoms by supplementing with vitamin D. 

Another important factor for reducing depressive symptoms is improving sleep. Some tips for improved sleep are noted above (exercise, decreasing sugar, and proper supplementation). Meditation and relaxation techniques can be beneficial as well.         You may also not know that many studies exist linking properly applied Chiropractic adjustments to mood elevation, brain chemistry balance, improved brain wave function – and the net effect to you; being happier emotionally.

 Maximized Living doctors will teach you how to transform your mindset, which is critical for preventing depression as well as overcoming it. If you don’t have a Maximized Living doctor, find one near you at www.maxlivingdev.wpengine.com.