I took most of my blogging time to read an article called My Chemical Romance, reporter Chris Norris. It details his experience of spending 10 years on anti-depressants, and how he finally got off of them. He says going off of them meant going against all doctors orders, and although he claims it was the worst thing he ever did, he “can’t recommend it enough.”
Not even remotely surprised by anything I read in this very interesting article, my mind keeps wandering to health care reform and our current government, financial crisis. In 2009 $10 BILLION dollars was spent on antidepressants. 10 BILLION dollars spent on a medical specialty which doesn’t even have a biologically based test to help make proper diagnosis. Sure, there are behaviors that physicians looks for in diagnosing major depression, such as loss of interest in usual activities, feelings of despair, difficulty concentrating, memory problems and sleep problems, At least 5 symptoms must be present for at least 2 weeks to be diagnosed with severe depression. Most of the people I know that are or have been on antidepressants did NOT have at least 5 of these symptoms. And really, we all have bouts of sadness and most of them are appropriate. Since insurance companies are pretty good about paying for prescriptions, (definitely quicker and more readily than for psychiatric therapy in the form of conversation) we have become a medication nation!
Besides the money this is costing our government (hence, us!) the rebound effect of antidepressants (like pain and other medications as well) causes our bodies to stop producing the very chemicals that we need to be balanced. We automatically produce chemicals and hormones that ease pain as well as make us happy. Once we start flooding the body with pharmaceutical versions of these, our bodies detect levels and signal our natural mechanisms to stop production. The human body is incredibly smart that way.
By 2009, the number of Americans receiving anti-depressants had risen to about 27million! No wonder I have such issues with Big Pharma. Be it anti-depressants, pain killers or even cholesterol and blood pressure meds, we MUST be wise consumers. Take charge of your own health and allow yourself to feel. Feeling isn’t always such a bad thing. I am reminded of that book I recently read, When Things Fall Apart,” and know that I am lucky to feel.
I am off to get my daily dose of medication in the form of exercise. Wherever you are, I hope you will be getting yours, too.
- Patients who use anti-depressants are far more likely to suffer relapse (scienceblog.com)
- 101 Wednesday – Depression (slacktivist.typepad.com)