Most Antidepressants Make it Harder To Get Better, Study Says.

Image via Shutterstock

Image via Shutterstock

A new study from Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Review asserts that the science behind most anti-depressant medications is entirely backwards.  Rather than easing symptoms, the authors of the study argue that serotonin boosting medications may be actually making it harder to depression-sufferers to recover.

The low-serotonin theory is the basis for commonly prescribed serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressant medications which keep the neurotransmitter’s levels high by blocking its re-absorption into the cells that release it.

Those serotonin-boosting medications actually make it harder for patients to recover, especially in the short term, says lead author Paul Andrews, an assistant professor of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

“It’s time we rethink what we are doing,” Andrews says. “We are taking people who are suffering from the most common forms of depression, and instead of helping them, it appears we are putting an obstacle in their path to recovery.”  READ MORE

This latest research adds to the body of literature pointing to the ineffectiveness of serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (the most common type of anti-depressant).  For more information go here and here.

In God Help Me, This Stress is Driving Me Crazy:  Finding Balance through God’s Grace, I point to a number of different psychotherapeutic techniques that have been shown to be effective in helping people overcome depression and anxiety disorders.  My associates and I have a great deal of success helping depression-suffers make use of techniques that can significantly improve their mood and quality of life.  Although medication can be an important part of recovery for many depression sufferers, the truth is, compared to the public’s perception of its effectiveness, most research shows that medication only helps about 50% of the people who take it and may only decrease depressive symptoms by about 30%.   As I noted in the posts I linked above, medication can help, but as with illnesses such as hypertension, depression can only be cured through lifestyle and psychological changes.  Unfortunately, the vast majority of depression sufferers either believe or are led to believe that taking medication alone can be sufficient.  That’s simply not the case.  If you or someone you love are suffering with depression, seek professional counseling help so that you can get the most comprehensive treatment.

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