The Depressing Story of Antidepressants
Lifetime Wellness is a Better Choice
Article contributed by Dr. Eric Plasker, Marietta, GA
While it is common knowledge that people suffering from de-pression are more likely to attempt suicide, did you know that many antidepressant drugs, which are intended to alleviate depression, have been linked to increased suicide rates? According to an article in the May 15th, 2000 issue of the Boston Globe, internal documents from Eli Lilly and Co. showed that the firm had been aware for years that their antidepressant drug, Prozac, could cause suicidal reactions in a small, but significant, number of patients. Dr. David Healy of the University of Wales estimates that, “Probably 50,000 people have committed suicide on Prozac since its launch, over and above the number who would have done so if left un-treated.”
Furthermore, did you know that doctors may prescribe drugs to children even if the medications have not been shown to be beneficial or safe for children? There is an increasing trend among physicians and psychologists to do just that since nearly all pharmaceutical company research on antidepressant drugs has been limited to adults. Only Prozac has been tested on children and found to have benefits by Eli Lilly. However, the side effects may be detrimental to a child’s healthy growth and development and include suicidal feelings, anxiety, insomnia, weight loss and headaches.
Many are now questioning the practice of prescribing antide-pressant drugs to children. In October 2003, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a health advisory alerting physi-cians to a possible link between antidepressant drugs and sui-cidal feelings in the young. An article from the British Medical Journal contained a clinical review that found “significant shortcomings” in using antidepressants such as Effexor, Pro-zac, Paxil and Zoloft in those under 18 years old. These researchers concluded that, “Antidepressant drugs cannot confidently be recommended as a treatment option for childhood depression,” and that due to biased reporting by drug manufacturers, “many [doctors, patients and families] will undervalue non-drug treatments that are probably both safer and more effective.”
Chiropractic care is one such non-drug option. While chiro-practic care does not specifically target depression, it has been shown to reduce pain throughout the entire body. This may in turn lead to a reduction in depression since studies in the scien-tific journal Spine and the Journal of Clinical Epidemiology linked spinal back pain to an increased likelihood of de-pression.
Chiropractors correct vertebral subluxation which creates pres-sure in the nerve system and can be one of the most common causes of back pain and many other health problems. Yet subluxations can be present and alter nerve function and body chemistry for years, prior to causing any physical pain or de-pression. This pressure can cause mixed signals in the nerve system and affects children as well as adults. Thus many people diagnosed as depressive who do not have back pain symptoms may suffer anyway from vertebral subluxations that could be contributing to their feelings of depression.
Counseling, tutoring, changing teachers or schools, creating harmony in the home, good nutrition and chiropractic care are just a few of the holistic solutions patients can explore before resorting to antidepressant drugs that may actually increase their likelihood of attempting suicide. Please pass this informa-tion on to those you know who may have questions about chi-ropractic care and lifetime wellness.