Monday, May 10, 2021

Comments by caitcait

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  • Far too many times people are going through divorce, loss of a loved one, birth, career change, move, and just flat out life, and the emotions that go along with them and they are said to have a mental illness because of it. It is far too easy for someone to walk into a doctor’s office and after literally just minutes, be told they are depressed, bipolar, etc. and be prescribed drugs that can do so much more harm than good. I have looked at a few questionnaires that are given to those who see a doctor for sadness or anxiety and they are quite basic and without much more in depth probing, are not very good at determining if they are really experiencing something more than “life”. Some of the questions include do you have difficulty falling asleep at night, are you in a relationship, and are you irritable?

    Now yes, some people truly do have mental disorders and these drugs do help them, but, when these drugs have not been around long enough to gauge their long term effects, and we have people experiencing horrible side effects and even committing murder or suicide while on them, I do not think they should be handed out like it’s no big deal.

    Anti-depressants are so commonly prescribed that they are actually the most prescribed medication for people up to the age of 59. I think that statistic speaks volumes and we should be looking at treating the underlying problem that most of these individuals face, whatever that may be, instead of giving them a pill and letting them believe they will be instantly cured.

    According to an article from April 2012, a study actually suggested that anti-depressants do more harm than good. Previous patient studies were examined by Paul Andrews, an evolutionary biologist, and determined that the benefits the anti-depressants are capable of delivering, compare very poorly to their risks. Andrews said it perfectly, “you’ve got a minimal benefit, a laundry list of negative effects – some small, some rare and some not so rare. The issue is: does the list of negative effects outweigh the minimal benefit?” To me, the answer is without a doubt, no.

    While doing research for this paper I have read absolute horror stories from people who were given these medications and claim they are now a completely different person. There are numerous websites dedicated to life after prescription anti-depressants. That topic alone would cause me to raise an eyebrow and wonder what in the world these drugs are capable of doing if there are support forums and information pertaining to life after.

    One of the most interesting things I came across was the information in regards to adverse reactions to these medications. Some people may have reactions to these drugs after only one dose that can take up to 24-36 months to recover from. That is mind blowing. However, something even scarier is the fact that some people experience what is called Protracted Withdrawal Syndrome or SSRI Discontinuation Syndrome. Some people who have taken these drugs and either abruptly stop taking them or even slowly wean off of them may send their body into a state of chaos. It can impact both physical and psychological well being and the person may experience anxiety, depression, obsessive thoughts, insomnia, pains, cognitive problems, etc. and in some cases, this lasts forever. Having your mind permanently altered and/or damaged, would be enough to make anyone feel that they are “going crazy” when in fact, these drugs that were given to them to help them, is the true culprit. I can only imagine how horrific it must be for someone who is suffering from this.

    There are several things that can be done to help those dealing with everyday stressors as well as those suffering from legitimate mental health issues. The list includes taking a fish oil supplement due to the fact that essential fatty acids help with brain health and mood regulation, exercising regularly because it is a natural stimulant of many of the hormones which can impact a person’s moods, and avoiding sugar completely. Start a journal, spend time alone to take care of yourself but also make sure you are surrounding yourself with friends and family who will lift you up, and of course, seek professional help from a counselor if there is something you just really cannot seem to work through on your own.

    In conclusion, as I previously stated, anti-depressants can be beneficial for certain people in specific situations. However, for most people, by taking the steps previously mentioned, it can truly make a world of difference and completely eliminate the need for these “magic pills.”