Dangers of Antidepressants: Natural Depression Support

by Dr. Nick Zyrowski January 02, 2023

With mental health getting more attention in the medical community lately, it’s important to talk about one of the leading issues many are facing today. It’s estimated that around 350 million people are dealing with depression worldwide. (1) In fact, it’s so common that many doctors are writing prescriptions for antidepressants as a regular part of their health practice.

Depression and anxiety can be debilitating. There are different causes for everyone, and the same treatments and approaches may not work for every situation. We live in a world where stress is the new normal. Many people live with more stress than ever and feel like it’s a part of life that can’t be controlled. In this article, we’re going to cover the dangers of antidepressants that you may not know about and natural methods that will help with depression support.

What are antidepressants?

By now almost everyone has heard of antidepressants, but you may not know how they work and what they do. There are different types of antidepressants that get prescribed today. These medications are used to treat depressive disorders by realigning chemical imbalances of the neurotransmitters in your brain. (2) These are the dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine that control your mood and emotions. The most popular forms of antidepressants prescribed are:

  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) - These are the most common antidepressants prescribed for depression. They block the brain’s ability to absorb serotonin, making it easier for your brain cells to stabilize moods.
  • Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) - These medications are used for major depressive disorders that involve anxiety. They can even be given to people who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and OCD. SNRIs increase serotonin and norepinephrine levels to regulate moods.
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)- These also treat depression and fibromyalgia, with anxiety issues.
  • Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) - These medications prevent brain enzymes from breaking down serotonin. Some doctors feel that when less serotonin is broken down, your mood will improve.

The Dangers of Antidepressants

Unfortunately, what happens often when someone goes to the doctor and mentions having issues with depression, a short talk turns into a prescription for a pharmaceutical. Your doctor may simply hear a few words about depression and think you need a pill to help. That may not be the case at all, but most doctors are not trained in natural medicine. You also won’t hear about the many dangers of being on an antidepressant, along with all the possible side effects you may experience. (3) Here are just some of the dangers of being on antidepressants:

  • Weight gain
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased libido
  • Blood clots
  • Addiction issues
  • Brain fog
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • High blood sugar
  • Developing a tolerance to the medication
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches

With all of these dangers listed, you may wonder why these drugs are given out like candy to patients all over the globe. These treatments are risky and can be scary when you see the enormous list of dangerous side effects. The problem is we live in a society that promotes taking a pill to solve our problems. Think about the commercials you see on television. There are ads for everything from depression to diabetes that promise help from a new drug. Then at the end of the commercial, you’ll hear a quick excerpt of complications that may come from taking the drug.

Natural Methods that Work

There are some natural methods that you can use to fight depression. Some of them may surprise you, but you can use them in combination to be most effective. Before you agree to take an antidepressant, you can implement these techniques for natural depression treatments.

Exercise

When you move your body, you release endorphins that act as natural antidepressants. You’ve probably heard of a runner’s high, but there are many forms of exercise that can help you feel better. It also takes your mind off of the things that may be depressing you.

Yoga is a great form of exercise that has been shown to be beneficial for reducing depression. (4) Yoga involves relaxation and utilizes different principles to help you feel better. It increases blood flow and reduces breathing and heart rates, along with lowering blood pressure.

Meditation

Regular meditation can help you manage stress better and calm the anxiety that can cause depression. When you practice meditation, you train your brain to react more positively when you have negative feelings. You can begin meditating for five minutes a day. Find a quiet place where you can be alone to start learning how to meditate. It doesn’t have to be complicated. There are plenty of tutorials online that can help you get started. (5)

Supplements

There are quality supplements that have been proven to help support a healthy lifestyle. That includes your mental health, as well. You don’t have to spend tons of money on things that don’t work. There are some simple vitamins and minerals that can support your brain health and reduce depression. You won’t always hear about these when you visit traditional health practitioners, but the data supports their use.

Omega-3 fatty acids - Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids are effective for the treatment of major depression. Increasing omega-3 fatty acids can act as a natural antidepressant.

Vitamin D3 with K2 - It’s estimated that we all need at least thirty minutes of direct sunlight to get enough vitamin d. Most of us have inside jobs and don’t spend nearly enough time outside. If that’s the case for you, supplementing with vitamin d can have a direct impact on your physical and mental well-being. (6)

B vitamins - If you’re low on b vitamins, you could find your mood affected. Vitamin B6 and B12 play crucial roles in producing brain chemicals that regulate mood. It’s important to make sure you’re getting enough B vitamins, but it’s hard to get adequate amounts with diet alone. A quality B complex will include the clinical amounts to avoid deficiencies.

Magnesium - Most of us are deficient in magnesium, which could be why some are suffering from depression. Not having adequate magnesium can be linked to agitation, anxiety, insomnia, and even suicidal ideation. Studies show that supplementing with magnesium can help recover from depression.

Nutrition

You know you need to eat a healthy diet, but you may not realize how the food you eat affects your mental health. When you don’t eat quality foods, your brain suffers. Many people who eat the Standard American Diet filled with processed sugars and carbs may have more bouts of depression. That is because you cannot reap the benefits of health with bad ingredients.

Eating a balanced diet with healthy fats and foods that lower inflammation is a key component of fighting depression. Limiting junk food and increasing your intake of whole foods will give you the nutrients your body needs. Remembering to shop the perimeter of your grocery store is a good idea. That’s where you’ll find the meats, produce, and dairy.(7)

Doing All the Right Things

When it comes to depression, you don’t have to try one thing at a time. Depending on how severe the problem is, you may want to combine everything to tackle the issue. With natural treatments, you can find what works for you. Depression is not something to take lightly. It is a serious issue, and you want to treat it early on so you can feel like yourself again.

Sometimes prescriptions are written too soon and there are more effective treatments without harmful side effects. Before you opt for a pharmaceutical medication, we urge you to try some of the natural techniques in this article. You may be surprised how quickly you start to feel better once you implement these methods. If you have any questions that we can answer about our services or products, don’t hesitate to contact us today. We have comprehensive educational resources that make healthy living easier!

 

References :

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression

https://www.banyanmentalhealth.com/2021/03/09/the-dangers-of-antidepressants/

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-hidden-harm-of-antidepressants/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/owning-pink/201103/11-natural-treatments-depression-md-s-tips-skipping-the-prozac

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/depression-and-exercise/art-20046495

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5871291/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4812317/

https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/how-meditation-helps-with-depression

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5481805/

https://www.usnews.com/wellness/mind/articles/vitamin-d-for-depression

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/vitamin-b12-and-depression/faq-20058077

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/318428#diet-and-depression-link

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16542786/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/expert-answers/natural-remedies-for-depression/faq-20058026

Dr. Nick Zyrowski
Dr. Nick Zyrowski



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