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Thread: Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

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    Default Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

    Hiyaguha Cohen
    03/21/2017

    If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you know we’ve written many articles about depression and anxiety cures. Exercise, magnets, therapy, antidepressants, diets, herbs, music—all have been explored. But what works best, and what works fastest? Should you just take the pill prescribed by your MD? Or fork over $200 a week for psychotherapy? Should you simply put on your running shoes and do a mile while listening to Bach through your headphones?
    The relevance of these questions can’t be underestimated, because so many of us are depressed, anxious, and in need of help. A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine reveals that that one out of every six people in the US has taken psychiatric drugs, and the great preponderance of those prescriptions are for antidepressants or anti-anxiety pills.1

    Keep reading: https://jonbarron.org/depression/why...tidepressants#
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

    Thank heavens, a sensible article that doesn't 'blame the victim' for lifestyle choices, and acknowledges that antidepressants can work, and are not necessarily a placebo.

    It probably wouldn't help anyone, but I would love to be involved in a discussion about why so many are anxious and depressed. Not every depressed person lives in the USA with a mentally-challenged president, so you can't blame Trump for everything!

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    Default Re: Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

    I had the same thought, Julieanne! The article asks Why in the title but never really answers the question. Yes, we in the U.S. live in perilous times. I look to Facebook to engage with family, friends and interesting people but lately it's all politics, all the time (almost) and it gets so tiresome that having to disconnect while my computer is balky is no real punishment.

    Yes, I'd like to have a discussion about why so many are anxious and depressed. At 76, most of my friends are no longer in the work force, although almost every single one is busy with farming and/or gardening and/or volunteering or working at something part-time for supplementary income. A lot of us are living on the thin edge of a dime but we're not in any real hardship. Being on Medicare, we're not involved in the turmoil of the current health insurance fiasco here.

    So... what about my children's generation? Or the Millennials? Just judging from what I read in news magazines, hear on the radio, or see in videos (e.g. traffic on California highways), it seems that everyone who's working 1) has a long tedious commute, 2) has a boring, tiresome job, 3) lives in an apartment with no place to relax outdoors or 4) has a lawn and landscaping to be maintained, and 5) is too tired in the evening to cook or do anything but sit and watch tv. They spend sedentary days, get little or no sunshine and survive on a Western diet, which I'd call a sub-nutrition plane. They fire up with caffeine in the morning and alcohol to kickback in the evening. If they have kids, leisure hours are often spent taking them to sports, music or other lessons, scouting or some other activity after school and weekends. Lately, although this has not been my experience, I hear people complain that dealing with any kind of public interaction, like customer service or food service, is met with inattention or rudeness.

    So I wonder, what is their motivation for living? Does everyone hate their job, and is everyone too tired to be courteous or kind? Do we live in fear of losing our job, our insurance, our health? What is going on with all the people I don't know? Why the anxiety and depression?
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Moderator Julieanne's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

    Rats, rats, rats! I just wrote a long answer, but I lost it as I had forgotten to log in first! Now it will have to wait till I can get back again.

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    Default Re: Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

    I think we need to differentiate between situational and endogenous depression, without making value judgements. I think the long-continued situational depression can become somatized, making it a true physical condition. I've had episodic major depression since I was a child, am no stranger to situational depression, and am currently depressed.

    endogenous depression, in my experience, can strike out of a clear sky. It may resolve just as fast, and without any apparent reason: no change in circumstances, no change in diet, no new minerals/vitamins/herbal essences. It's as if the chains of darkness suddenly fall off, and you raise your head, take a deep breath, and smile. However, it can also drag on for years, making every day a long-drawn-out weariness, as Tolkien says in Lord of the Rings.

    Depression is not a modern phenomenon. It's described in very old Mesopotamian, Chimes, Indian. Greek, and Rimsn medical texts. It's used as a dramatic device in ancient plays, clearly because it was so easily recognized by the audience. Old English herbals give remedies for easing of the black humours - nothing to do with dark jokes! The JudaeoChristian bible describes depression: Moses suffered an horror of great darkness, Saul was likely bipolar to go with it.

    I'd like to know why some people get depressed while others don't. I really would.

    This is what hat has not worked for me:
    valerian
    st. John's wort.
    chromium.
    lavender buds.
    B2, B6.
    tricyclics
    ssris
    CBT
    Burns therapy
    exercise
    acupuncture
    Magneto-therapy
    bach flower essences
    Solomon's Seal
    Scullcap


    These help a little:
    B12
    magnesium
    vitamin D
    bome broth

    This is the only thing that actually works:
    Wellbutrin

    Looking at my own situation, depression is allied to chronic migraine, chronic fatigue syndrome, peripheral neuritis/neuropathy, and IBS. I suspect that they spring from the same root. I suspect that it's the central nervous system. Migraine is closely related to epilepsy.

    Triptans work for my migraines, about 95% of the time. Apparent they work by increasing the uptake of serotonin. This rang bells for me - SSRIs did nothing for me. Maybe some of us have faulty serotonin systems; maybe it's like being insulin resistant. Maybe that's why some depressed people have normal serotonin levels. We make it, but it doesn't get into the cells, so anything that slows down uptake is going to be ineffective!

    Wellbutrin works by regulating dopamine. When people tell a depressive to do things they enjoy, they're just not getting it! Without dopamine, you don't enjoy anything. It's physical. I was startled by my body's response: my skin came alive, water and foods have flavour, I experience colour instead of seeing it, I experience sound instead of hearing it, I feel the ground beneath my feet. The fog has gone from the convolutions of my brain. Even now, when I am situationally depressed (Global Distress Score of 24), my body is alive and my mind functions. I'm me, is the closest I can come to it. I'm not hunched in the back right hand corner of my skull, peering wearily at the world.

    id like to work out how to reliably reproduce, without the drug, this delightful state of aliveness. So far, I haven't cracked it - but I will.

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    Veteran Member Maurya's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

    Does anyone have any personal experience with the supplements Humanofort and/or MMB750? Any personal info would be appreciated. I would try these on myself, except that Vitacost once again has seen fit to ship my order to outer Siberia, and will think about replacing the entire order in a month or so. (A pox on the house of Vitacost.)

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    Default Re: Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

    Maurya, not only do I have no personal experience, I've never even heard of any of those. Once you and Vitacost connect, please let us know what, if anything, is effective.

    Suzanne, IIRC SAM-e is also supposed to be a mood elevator but I don't see it on your list.
    I went through the last few years moderately depressed and constantly anxious, especially upon waking. I struggled to find a reason to get out of bed every morning. Since I was basically doing what I loved, there was no apparent reason for this moodiness. One morning, just as an experiment, instead of making the usual pot of coffee, I switched to tea. After three days on that regimen I noticed that most of the anxiety and depression were gone. I can't say I never feel disheartened, although sunny days have a great deal to do with my mood — but eliminating caffeine made a difference for me.

    Funny: at one time I was diagnosed with clinical depression by my (at that time) very conventional doctor. (I later figured out why that happened at the same time every year, a story for another time). He put me on Wellbutrin. I gave it about 90 days. It didn't lift the clouds much and it made me anorgasmic, and I decided that life under those conditions was truly not worth living, so I tossed the meds. I'm always interested to hear how others' experiences differ from mine, like those people who hate tomatoes.... Glad it works for you, Suzanne!
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Default Re: Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

    I won't go into my history of depression, except to say it has been on and off since late teens - though no diagnosis then. Re SAM-e: it made me extremely anxious, so I stopped taking it after a few days. Perhaps the dose was too high, though I don't remember now, but I have heard it can have this effect on some people.

    Trying to find anything to overcome my chronic insomnia, I bought (expensive!) Zembrin, an African plant-based tablet which is used for anxiety. It didn't help with sleep at all, but last week I became extremely anxious, and gave it a try. Within half an hour I had calmed down - my heartbeat slowed and breathing normalised. Depression in the past has been satisfactorily managed with Lexapro (escitalopram). I have taken it for the shortest time possible, them weaned off as/if the situation improved.

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    Default Re: Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

    I'd forgotten SAM-e! I lasted only a few days on it: it made me dizzy and so anxious that it felt as if my skin was crawling.

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    Default Re: Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

    And after all this discussion, we still haven't answered the foundational question of why we get depressed — and apparently, neither has medical science.

    Now I'm wondering what role, if any, sunlight and vitamin D play in depression. We all know that most people are low in vitamin D. The member who administers our Facebook page lived most of her life in sunny South Africa, spent time gardening, and was sure she was sufficient... until she got tested as part of a group program and found to her surprise that she was rather seriously deficient. The fact is that sunlight on face, arms, legs does very little; for full benefit, we need to expose our torso to those UVB rays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. local time — in other words, during the window around high noon. 20 minutes is usually enough.

    Personally, my mood is always cheerier on a sunny day. And we all know about people with SAD. So... could sunlight (or lack thereof) be complicit in endogenous depression?

    How about you silent members? Or the hundreds of guests who log in daily? Howzabout joining up so you can add your thoughts to these comments? If you can't figure out the magic word that punches your ticket, use the "Contact us" email and I'll giver you a hint!
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

    [QUOTE=Islander;76517]And after all this discussion, we still haven't answered the foundational question of why we get depressed — and apparently, neither has medical science....Now I'm wondering what role, if any, sunlight and vitamin D play in depression. We all know that most people are low in vitamin D....How about you silent members?

    OK from a silent member, as this is not something I'm very knowledgeable about, so please correct me if you think I'm wrong. It seems to me that with all the drugs, alcohol, Vit D, etc. the root cause(s) are not being addressed, which is getting in over one's head in life with stressful situations and lifestyles, ruts, etc.. But that's not to say that there maybe some stressless and content people with a lack of certain bionutrients or bad diet at play here also, causing depression. Just my two cents.

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    Default Re: Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

    I agree, Grulla; I suspect a lot of families with children are financially stressed and anxious about an uncertain future as more jobs go offshore or are replaced by automation.
    But you are not one of the members I was addressing; you're not silent, you're an active participant. I was speaking to the 346 members who read but never post or reply. There are also between 90 and 140 guests online at any hour of the day or night that I look (125 right this minute). The site is busy, there's a lot of interest, and if I sold ads I could probably be on the next train to Scotland. I'd really like to hear from some of these lurkers!
    ➤ Happiness is the frosting on the cake of contentment.

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    Default Re: Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

    Re sun and vitamin D: I grew up in sunny Southern Africa, farmed, gardened, and walked long distances. I wore shorts, tank tops, flip flops. and my hat. I was outside most of the day. I was depressed.

    A few years ago, my doctor decided to test my vitamin D level. It was so low that he went into
    panic mode and gave me a shot of 30,000 IU. No upward trend! Another shot, no result. Then I went to Croatia for 3 months. I was outside in the sun every day, lightly clad, swam nearly every day (including between 10 and noon), wearing a bikini if at the top end of the bay, naked if at the nude end of the island. When I came back, my doctor did another test -my serum level was a couple of points lower than when I left!

    So I went into research mode, and found that it's not as easy as sun hitting cholesterol on the skin and turning into vitamin D in the blood. There are many intermediate stages, and things can go pear-shaped at any one of them. If you don't produce the necessary enzyme, or not enough of it, at any stage, that's the end of that.

    People who are hypothyroid are really bad at making vitamin D. Any pituitary disorder rips out the rails.

    I refused any more of the painful and ineffective megadoses, and started to take my 2,000 IU every day. Slowly, I came up to just below the low end of normal, where I've hovered ever since.

    I've come up with two possible explanations.

    1. I have dry skin. Maybe my skin just doesn't produce enough surface cholesterol to make useful amounts of vitamin D.

    2. My ancestry is all that of people who relied heavily on dairy products. Plus, it's only fairly recently that people, especially women, started exposing their skin to the sun. My South African ancestors, whether Afrikaner or British, were covered up! The women not only wore long dresses with high necks and long sleeves, with bonnets designed to keep the sun off the face, but even wore veils when outdoors. These might be gauzy for British women, while Afrikaner women might go as far as goatskin masks to protect their skins. Men wore long trousers, long-sleeved collared shirts, coats, and broad-brimmed hats. White skin was highly desirable.

    Populations can lose genes when they're not used; the Inuit are a case in point. Because they had no access to fruit, they lost the sucrose gene, and suffer intestinal problems when they eat fruit or white man white food, which is often loaded with sucrose. My idea is that, after several hundred years of sun avoidance and heavy use of dairy products, and the very small gene pool of the heavily intermarried Afrikaners, they lost the genes for converting sunlight to vitamin D. It may be that multiple copies are needed and they lost some copies. Their high intake of dairy produce would have supplied ample vitamin D. The early British settlers were also a small, tight group, and cousin-cousin marriage was common.

    Both ethnic groups liked animal fat, which can contain large amounts of vitamin D. Lard can be a very rich source if the pigs are pastured or at least exposed to sun, as was standard in the first couple of centuries of South African colonization. Again, this might have pushed the populations toward low innate ability to make their own vitamin D.

    I do have doubts about the vitamin D-depression connection, given the long time span in which it's been recorded, over very wide geographic distances. Greeks and Romans never lacked sun, and men worked out naked or with just a loincloth; their gymnasia were outdoors, behind high walls to keep out the impure gaze of women. That's the upper classes. The lower classes wore short tunics, often slipped off the shoulders to leave the torso naked. Depression is recorded in folk tales and ethnographies of peoples who lived at or very close to the equator, and were very lightly clad.

    I know this doesn't help with the question of why people get depressed! If we ever do work it out, we'll be very famous!

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    Default Re: Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

    Well...half of me is Lithuanian, where my mother was born, a very dairy-oriented culture; the other half is northern European Gourmet Blend, also dairy consumers, with a few French genes in the mix. (Eagerly waiting for ancestry.com to tell me more). I do consume foods high in vitamin D (including chix, eggs and pastured pork lard). Still, I can easily raise my D level with a few hours of noontime sun. I was diagnosed as hypothyroid with my first pregnancy, which we know now to be invalid, but it made me a slave to thyroid meds for a lifetime — the only prescription drug I take — so that's irrelevant. I wonder whether South African ancestors lost that conversion gene in the same way that we early primates lost the ability to manufacture vitamin C.

    Also, thank you for the reference to the Inuits' inability to metabolize fructose. I'm fascinated with Inuit culture, have read a great deal, but never heard of that particular aberration, although I'm familiar with the damage that has been done by the Western diet. I've visited an Inuit village that was relatively recently discovered on the south coast of Greenland where it was assumed that no one had settled, its not being in the path of the Gulf Stream. They apparently lived well on a marine diet until Denmark assumed responsibility for them. Now they have access to the worst of Western food and disposable diapers, and most of the adults are missing teeth... need I go on?

    I've come across more "causes" for widespread depression... bedtime for Islander. Tomorrow...
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    Veteran Member grulla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Why Everybody (Almost) is on Antidepressants

    HAH! These 50 state stress stats just now popped up on the TV morning news. I haven't had a chance to closely examine, but am posting quickly for others: https://wallethub.com/edu/most-stressful-states/32218/

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