Remember the old doctor’s saying, take two aspirin and call me in the morning? Today, the saying has become take an antidepressant and see me in three weeks. Whether you are depressed or not, antidepressants are prescribed readily. Antidepressants are dangerous psychotropic drugs with side effects of suicide and violence. They should not be prescribed like they are aspirin or candy.
The Center for Disease Control reported that prescriptions for antidepressants have increased four hundred percent since 1988. One in ten people over the age of twelve take this type of drug and it is the most common prescription for all adults aged eighteen to forty-four. Of the top ten drugs linked to violence, half are antidepressants. These statistics need to drop dramatically.
In England, three women of different ages each went to three different doctors to see if they would be prescribed antidepressants. They didn’t have any real mental issues, but told the doctor some fictional symptoms which had been occurring for three to six weeks. It is no surprise that two out of three visits, antidepressants were given as the first and only choice of treatment.
The first woman told her doctor that she wasn’t feeling like herself, she was worried and unmotivated. She also told the doctor that she had recently lost a loved one. Within ten minutes she was diagnosed with anxiety and depression and got a prescription for an SSRI antidepressant. She even said she wasn’t comfortable with taking them, but was told they are effective. The doctor left it to her to learn about side effects by instructing her to read about them online. She was told it would take two weeks for her body to adjust to the meds, so an appointment was made for her to return in three weeks.
This doctor did discuss counseling, but said the waiting list is long and the counseling would be more effective after taking the drugs. However, the doctor did not offer to put her on the waiting list. Clearly, this doctor prefers to diagnose quickly and give a prescription. This is not really caring for the patient. The doctor should have asked more questions about the death of the loved one. Perhaps more time was needed for the patient to get through her grief. Instead of getting the care she needed, she got a prescription.
Apparently in England it is pretty common not to be offered any other treatment than drugs. A survey in 2011 found that half of the women that had taken antidepressants weren’t offered any other treatment options, just drugs. According to government guidelines in England, antidepressants are only to be prescribed to the most serious cases. However, it can take several months to be able to get therapy, so psychotropic drugs have become the solution instead.
The second woman went to her doctor’s office, but wound up seeing a different doctor. She said she was there because friends were worried that she was depressed. The doctor asked a few questions and if she had ever taken antidepressants. She had done so twenty years ago and said they made her sluggish and tired. The doctor said they are different today and offered her a prescription.
This doctor did ask about support from friends and family and did try to figure out a cause, but lacking any answers, the end result was a prescription and no other alternative was offered. This doctor skipped going over alternative treatments and opted for the antidepressant prescription as readily as one would offer a child a piece of candy.
The third woman told her doctor that she had just moved, had trouble sleeping, was anxious and couldn’t enjoy things. The doctor gave her a questionnaire and diagnosed her with mild depression. The good news is that this doctor recommended handling her depression with diet and exercise. This woman thought that if she pushed the doctor for antidepressants she could have gotten them. However, this doctor didn’t recommend antidepressants and flat out said they won’t help. This doctor was smart and didn’t want to just put the patient on a drug.
Being told to change your diet and get some exercise is quite an exception in the scheme of today’s world. It is no different in the United States. We have become a pill-popping society looking for a quick fix instead of finding the cause of the problem or emotions. Antidepressants are too easily prescribed and overuse makes people dependent on drugs to get through life’s ups and downs.
In an article in the British Medical Journal, Dr. Des Spence agrees that antidepressants are prescribed too easily, for too long and are effective for few people if any at all. However, it is the drug companies’ huge influence that has contributed to the big push for drugs as the first line of treatment. While they enjoy ever-increasing profits, people are diagnosed with something that has no cure or any scientific basis, yet they are put on drugs for the long-term.
Additionally, he says those psychiatrists with financial ties to drug companies have made the definition of clinical depression too loose. One would be diagnosed with depression if one experiences low mood for two weeks, even after the loss of a loved one. This basically means normal grief is a “mental disorder.” It is surely the intent of those in charge of defining depression to include more people that could fit the definition with the result of more people on antidepressants and more profits.
The very heavy influence of drug companies is also the reason you don’t read about the link between antidepressants and violence and suicide. The FDA issued Black Box Warning on the bottle plainly states the increased risk of suicide. The DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual) says all antidepressants can cause mania. This is a psychotic condition where one feels intense power, invulnerability, extensive and farfetched plans and the urge to commit violence. Does this sound like familiar, like one of the recent mass shootings?
Despite the fact that almost all mass shooters were either on psychotropic drugs or withdrawing from them, it is noteworthy that the media will tell you those mass shootings occurred because the guy was mentally ill. However, it’s been found that most shooters were not violent or suicidal prior to taking antidepressants, but became violent and suicidal once on the drugs. Other than altering brain chemistry, it is not known what the drug is actually doing. We can only observe the effects it has on the body and behavior. This is nothing less than dangerous and is playing Russian roulette with people’s lives.
With these kinds of consequences, why are antidepressants being prescribed like candy and more importantly, why are they even on the market? It would be wise to cross them off your list of treatment options. Workable alternatives abound. Why take the risk?