Depression affects many people around the globe – and most take antidepressants or go to psychotherapy. Those who receive both are considered to be optimally cared for from conventional medicine. Many of those affected are still not doing well. Because often the cause is not searched for, which in some cases would not be so difficult to remedy. Natural aids from the field of nutrition, exercise, naturopathy, neuropathy and nutritional supplements, which everyone can implement themselves, could offer great support here and should accompany every conventional therapy.
Do drugs help against depression?
But antidepressants don’t heal. According to some experts, they do not work much better than corresponding placebo preparations. For example, Irving Kirsch – a professor of psychology at various universities and a lecturer in medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston – has received a lot of attention in the past for his studies, in which he showed that the effectiveness of antidepressants is largely based on a placebo effect.
In an article in the Journal of Psychology in 2014, he explains how antidepressants can be approved. The approval criteria of the FDA (US Agency for Food and Drug Safety) are the problem, writes Kirsch. There, at least two clinical studies are required, which can show a significant difference between the medication and the placebo preparation. The trick, however, is that you can do an infinite number of studies in order to be able to show the two required studies ultimately. The studies with a negative outcome would simply be ignored.
Studies on the ineffectiveness of antidepressants are not published
A very good example of the selective publication of antidepressant studies – according to Kirsch – is Vilazodone, an antidepressant that was approved by the FDA in 2011. A total of seven controlled efficacy studies had been conducted for this drug. The first five showed no significant effects on depression. In two of them, the placebo preparation even performed better.
So, the manufacturer had two further studies carried out and finally managed to show a small but significant difference compared to the placebo preparation – the drug was quickly approved by the FDA. In the information given to doctors and patients about the appropriate antidepressant, one could read that two studies demonstrated the effectiveness of the drug, which sounds impressive, but only because one knows nothing of the five unsuccessful studies. As a precaution, these were dropped under the table.
Three years earlier, Turner et al. in The New England Journal of Medicine, that mostly only those studies were published in the specialist literature that certified antidepressants to be effective. Between 1987 and 2004, twelve antidepressants based on 74 studies were approved. 38 of these studies attested to the medication’s effectiveness and 37 of them were published. The remaining 36 of the 74 studies showed no effect after taking antidepressants. Only 3 of them were published with this result. 22 were never published, while 11 were published, but their conclusions were suddenly formulated as if the antidepressants had shown a helpful effect. Turner and colleagues, therefore, advise that you always read the results of a study and not just the conclusions of the scientists.
An interesting side result of all antidepressant studies is those placebo preparations – even if they often have a positive effect – have NO or fewer side effects than the real drugs. So the helpful effects can be imagined well, luckily the side effects of the antidepressants are not so good.
Doctors prefer to prescribe antidepressants rather than psychotherapy
Unfortunately, doctors prescribe the true side effect-rich variant – and much better than psychotherapy. Especially in the case of moderate depression, when psychotherapy would be particularly important, according to a study presented in the Ärzteblatt in 2017, only medication is often given.
If you get a referral to psychotherapy, it is not uncommon to practice patience. Because the waiting lists of some therapists are so long that months can move in until you get the first appointment. When it is finally your turn, you get the information that psychotherapy does not work overnight, but you have to count on months, if not years, that you will spend “on the couch”. Conventional medicine is still a long way from “optimal care” for depressed people – and there is no waiting for help to help themselves.
It should not be forgotten that it is not uncommon for conventional medicine to lead to depression in the first place because many drugs can cause depression as a side effect or at least lead to symptoms that can be confused with depression.
What drugs can cause depression?
Cortisone therapy, for example, can lead to cognitive changes, which can result in word-finding disorders and poor memory. Besides, cortisone therapy can lead to psychological problems such as mania, psychosis, and even depression – in the first weeks of taking it, which has already been verified in several studies. Therefore, it is recommended in some places that if you have to take cortisone over a longer period, you should counteract it with antipsychotics.
Those who take cortisone, but also those who have to take antibiotics, pain relievers, etc., are prescribed so-called stomach protection medication at the same time. Most of them are proton pump inhibitors (PPI), such as B. omeprazole, pantoprazole or similar. You can recognize them by the ending -pyrazole. And as if all the known side effects of this group of drugs weren’t enough (we present them here: PPI – The Vicious Circle of Acid Blockers ), you read in September 2017 in the journal International Psychogeriatrics that depression can also occur if you use PPI type acid blockers occupies.
It is understandable that taking PPI is not exactly the best idea if you get heartburn from antidepressants, even if that is what is practiced frequently – approved by the doctor. Other acid-reducing drugs, such as H2 receptor blockers or antacids (Rennie & Co.) do not have this side effect.
We describe naturopathic alternatives to acid blockers here.
British researchers also published a list of 110 other medications that have been shown to cause depression in BMC Pharmacology and Toxicology in September 2014. These include medicines for acne, malaria, hair loss, epilepsy, migraines, hepatitis and asthma, as well as drugs to quit smoking, appetite suppressants, statins, some antibiotics (gyrase inhibitors), pain relievers, Parkinson’s medication and last but not least the birth control pill. You can read more about this here: Side effect of depression
No matter which medication you are taking, look at the package insert, speak to your pharmacist or google the Internet to see whether depression can also be a side effect. If your medication can cause depression, ask your doctor for alternative medication.
What are the possible causes of depression?
Now conventional medicine can not only contribute to depression or prevent it from healing with what it does and prescribes, but also with what it does not do. Because depression is diagnosed again and again, although in reality, there is a completely different problem that is simply not recognized. Depression can develop as a result of physical dysfunctions and thus accompany other diseases.
A malfunction of the thyroid, for example, can be the reason for depression, since it has an extremely negative effect on the psyche; it is the same with a disorder of the adrenal glands and the parathyroid gland. Also rheumatism, intestinal inflammation, anaemia as well as autoimmune diseases and tumors, even viral diseases, such as. B. the Epstein-Barr virus can lead to depression.
All of these problems should therefore always be ruled out or treated accordingly before the diagnosis of depression occurs and, of course, before the patient takes antidepressants and then wonders why he is still feeling bad.
An estrogen dominance (hormone disorder in women) can also promote depression. So have your hormone level checked to rule out the cause of your depression.
If the underlying disease can be remedied, such as For example, an underactive thyroid or an estrogen dominance, then the depression often subsides very quickly.