Sadness is a normal part of the range of human emotions. People occasionally go through ordinary ups and downs in mood, due to difficulties, frustrations and disappointments.
Are You just “having the blues” or Clinically Depressed?
Unlike ordinary bouts of sadness, clinical depression involves deeper feelings of emptiness and despair that don’t seem to go away easily. They tend to interfere with a person’s personal life in a more pervasive way. A great percentage of depressed individuals report a certain level of functional impairment in their daily productive activities and social functioning.
Are Antidepressants the Only Option for a Cure?
There is a wide range of behavioral, social, and psychoanalytic therapies that are designed to address clinical depression. In reality, however, majority of depressed individuals are choosing to take antidepressants, thinking that it is the most effective way to alleviate their mood and improve sleep, appetite and concentration. Popping a pill may be seen as a more convenient remedy, but studies are now proving that these drugs may actually cause more harm than good.
What are some of the Harmful Side Effects of Antidepressants?
• Increased risk of suffering a stroke – According to one study, antidepressants have an adverse effect on blood clotting and may increase a patient’s risk of suffering a stroke by up to 45 percent.
• Increased risk of bone fractures – Drugs used to treat depression were found to cause brittleness in the bones, which may lead to spinal fractures and other bone fractures, especially in women. It is because serotonin, a chemical in the brain that is linked to depression, is also involved in bone formation. Therefore, changes in serotonin levels due to medication for depression may also affect bone density.
• Increased risk of stillbirth or birth defects – Another study revealed that mothers who are taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) as remedy for depression, were more likely to have a stillbirth, premature delivery, or to deliver babies with low birth weight. The drugs were also attributed to a number of birth defects such as cleft palate.
• Increased risk of type 2 diabetes – Although findings are still inconclusive and a cause-and-effect link is yet to be established, experimental research suggests that there is a clear association between taking antidepressants and developing type 2 diabetes, especially for those who have a higher predisposition for the disease.
• Increased risk of suicidal behavior – While antidepressants are geared towards treating depression, a nasty side effect of antidepressant withdrawal often leads to suicidal ideations and violent behavior.
• Increased risk of immune system disorders – Antidepressants can cause the immune system to become out of whack. SSRIs in particular, may cause serotonin to linger in the nerve junctions, interfering with the normal signals between immune cells of the body.
When the time comes that you feel the need to ask your doctor for an antidepressant prescription, take a moment to consider the risks first and ask yourself if really you’re willing to take that gamble.