If sales for antidepressants such as Zoloft, Lexapro, or Prozac tell us anything, it’s that depression is sweeping the nation. But a new study questions the validity of most of these sales. The study has found that the majority of individuals on antidepressants – a whopping 69% – do not even meet the criteria for clinical depression. These individuals are likely just experiencing normal sadness and hardships that most of us experience.
In addition to finding that over two-thirds of antidepressant-takers don’t meet criteria for depression, the researchers also note how 38% of those taking antidepressants for other psychiatric disorders do not meet that criteria either. These include panic disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, social phobia, general anxiety, and a number of other arguably fabricated mental disorders.
The study, published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, reads
Conclusions: Many individuals who are prescribed and use antidepressant medications may not have met criteria for mental disorders. Our data indicate that antidepressants are commonly used in the absence of clear evidence-based indications.”
The increase in sales of anti-depressants has risen a startling 400% in the past decade. Unfortunately, we are fighting a partnership between the psychiatric community and doctors that exists in the background. An astonishing 70 percent of the panel members of the psychiatric bible, known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, reported having financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies.
If the financial incentive were not enough, doctors are still saying that depression is a result of a chemical imbalance. Most of you have been told that depression is caused by too little serotonin in your brain, which antidepressants are designed to correct. Likewise, schizophrenia is said to be related to too much dopamine, which other psychiatric drugs help lower. Unfortunately for anyone who has ever swallowed these marketing ploys, this is actually NOT a scientific statement.
Instead, these explanations for the “causes” of mental illness were created only after the drugs were found to have these effects. Marcia Angell explains this well:
“When it was found that psychoactive drugs affect neurotransmitter levels in the brain, as evidenced mainly by the levels of their breakdown products in the spinal fluid, the theory arose that the cause of mental illness is an abnormality in the brain’s concentration of these chemicals that is specifically countered by the appropriate drug …
That was a great leap in logic … It was entirely possible that drugs that affected neurotransmitter levels could relieve symptoms even if neurotransmitters had nothing to do with the illness in the first place (and even possible that they relieved symptoms through some other mode of action entirely).”
Unfortunately, the idea that mental illness is the result of chemical balance is a popular one that is now firmly rooted in the conventional psychiatric profession. Not only does it take away the stigma of mental illness, but it gives psychiatrists a solution, one that fits neatly on their prescription pads.
Thankfully, the Maximized Living movement will likely bring our pill-popping addiction down a peg as people are becoming increasingly tired of drugging their problems. After all, natural solutions do exist.
If you feel depressed, you are not alone. 14.8 million Americans admit to being depressed. The problem isn’t in your head and it certainly won’t be CORRECTED with a medication. Part 2 we will discuss solutions. Until then, ask the front desk about the upcoming Holy Hormones Event. You won’t want to miss this one!