While everyone experiences “the blues” from time to time, depression is a kind of low mood that can affect a person’s ability to effectively live and enjoy life.
Depression impacts about 120 million people worldwide, with about 6% of men and 9.5% of women experiencing this condition. The World Health Organization predicts depression to become the second most burdensome disease by 2020, which means it will cost society, in terms of medical care, sickness and days lost from work, more than every other condition except heart disease.
“My Depression Drug Is Not Working and It’s Making Me Fat.”
If you feel your medication is not really helping, and is causing unwanted problems like weight gain and low sex drive, you are not alone.
As one of the most well prescribed types of drug of all time, over 160 million antidepressant prescriptions are written annually, despite the fact that a 2010 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed antidepressants to be no more effective than placebos (sugar pills) in most cases of depression. Anti-depressants are shown to be helpful in the minority of very severely depressed cases, and should be used when needed for these cases.
Studies also show that antidepressants can cause a laundry list of side effects, including sexual side effects, fertility problems, increased weight gain and diabetes risk, blood-pressure problems, increased heart attack risk, heart defects in unborn children – even increased desire to commit suicide.
The Naturopathic Advantage for Depression
The reason why antidepressants do not work in most cases of depression is because these drugs target only one aspect of this complex condition: neurotransmitters, the brain's "mood molecules." When “feel-good” neurotransmitters like dopamine, epinephrine and serotonin are low, artificially raising the levels with the drugs can sometimes help in the minority of the most severe cases.