In 2011, the CDC conducted a study which revealed that 11% of Americans older than 12 take antidepressants. Even more concerning, 60% of them have been taking them for more than a few years. Although doctors prescribe antidepressants against depression, there’s an ongoing heated debate among scientists if these pills are indeed the solution.
In general, most doctors consider depression a result of chemical imbalance in the brain. More specifically, it’s the lack of neurotransmitters such as monoamine in the brain causing the disease. The lack of these neurotransmitters can deplete the levels of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain, resulting in depression. In order to prevent these problems, experts consider antidepressants the best way of treatment.
The idea of chemical imbalance causing depression has been so hard-coded in our psyche that considering anything else is seen as heresy. Big Pharma has been pushing the idea constantly, and it’s easy to see why, as selling antidepressants lines their pockets nicely. According to statistical data, American spends more than $10 billion on these pills every year. They are the most commonly prescribed pills after statins, with about 254 million antidepressant prescriptions issued only in 2010.
However, there’s mounting evidence which says that depression may actually be linked to inflammation instead of chemical imbalance in the brain. Recent studies have shown that most depression patients have a high level of C-reactive protein in the brain, which is actually a protein marker for inflammatory diseases. Although more research is required on the matter, the study definitely opened up a few well-closed doors.
In her book A Mind Of Your Own, Dr. Kelly Brogan explains that depression may be a symptoms of different imbalances which include hormones and our poor lifestyle and diet. We’re constantly exposed to environmental pollution and chemicals and we take way too many pills, which, combined with our unhealthy lifestyle, may indeed be the reason for depression.
According to scientists, besides poor diet, lifestyle and inflammation, exposure to immunomodulating agents and high stress levels can also cause depression. In order to avoid this difficult disease, we suggest leading a healthy lifestyle and avoiding exposure to pollutants as well as learning how to relax. Antidepressants may not be the best treatment for depression, which is why you need to start making some lifestyle changes.
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