Let’s just say about 6 years ago I was that person who thought “anti
depressants “ where a conspiracy for Pharmaceutical companies to rip
people off. I thought people should suck it up and go to counseling when
needed. That was all before I had my first panic attack that turned into severe
anxiety where I couldn’t even care for my family. I tried everything
because I hated anti depressants and was not going to be that “one”
that took medication. Nothing worked. I quit a great job, stop talking to
friends, and yes even contemplated suicide. At that point I was so broken I
would do anything. So I went to my doctor. I got the prescription and within
about 4 months of my body getting used to it, it changed my life. I can be a Mom
to my beautiful 6 children, and live my life fully. Do not judge if you have
never been there. It is life debilitating and medicine IS necessary for some,
not all, but definitely some. Anxiety is a true illness. I believe in trying
other natural methods first. But if they do not succeed, holding back medical
help for the ones you love, especially our children, could be fatal. Please be
loving and non judgmental to those that are suffering.
Most people are not running to their doctors for feeling blue or overly stressed
for a few days. Believe it or not, most people don't want to be on
medications.It is often after trying diet, waiting it out, therapy,
exercise etc and perhaps years of grinning and bearing it that a lot of people
try meds.A mental disorder such as severe anxiety or depression can
cause isolation, dropping out from school, fear of driving, difficulty finding
and keeping jobs, trouble focusing, trouble sleeping, just a lot of miser and no
fun.Not everyone needs to try or should be on meds and not everyone
has that miracle response, but if there is help, why suffer and why judge others
so harshly who are suffering.Two of my sister in laws argued on who
was the expert on acne. One felt she was right because she had quite severe
acne, the other was sure she knew everything because she never had to deal with
acne.When people who have never had severe anxiety or depression
tell people who have dealt with chronic depression and anxiety all they need is
a new diet and fresh air and exercise, it typically frustrates them. It just
shows they have no clue, because most often they already tried....
This is in response to *Loaf*, in Boise, ID. I once believed that
mental disorders were caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, too. I
believed it because that's what our family doctor told me in explaining the
cause of mental disorders. But, it's not true. I discovered
the truth only after reading through the scientific literature myself. A really good article you might want to read is "Serotonin and depression: A disconnect between the advertisements and the
scientific literature," published in PLoS Medicine. This
delivered a decisive blow to psychiatry's unubstantiated claim about a
"chemical imbalance" in the brain of people who suffer from depression
--or other psychological and emotional ailments. I guess I'm
not allowed to include the actual URL for this article, but you can just Google
the title of the article, and it will come up for you.
This is such an important topic, and I think we need to be non-judgemental in
listening to and validating the wide spectrum of personal viewpoints and
experiences. *Gee-en* stated his/her viewpoint that "SSRIs
& other prescriptions are miracle drugs". That viewpoint does not
invalidate the opinion of another commentator, *hopeforone*, who shared his/her
experience and advises "teens and young adults should never take
them".I believe antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs are
over-prescribed. The risks are real and should not be negated. For that reason,
I do not advocate the use of any psychiatric drug for the treatment of anxiety
or depression. But, my personal viewpoint should not be seen as a threat to
someone who has found relief from a drug when nothing else has worked for them.
I hope the Deseret News will encourage a broader conversation that
will ultimately validate both divergent points of views. I would like to see a
public forum that addresses the many non-drug solutions that have been proven
effective for not only treating, but preventing depression and anxiety.
Effective remedies with no risk of negative side effects... They do
Great Article! I was really surprised by all the negative comments. Clearly,
many of the commenters have never had to physically move their daughter out from
behind the steering wheel because she is suffering a panic attack so severe that
she can't speak, can barely see, and can't walk. But I have. My
daughter is 23. She is a confident, intelligent, caring girl. She graduated
high school and college with honors, made friends, and landed a great job. But
she also has severe anxiety. In six months time, that anxiety debillitated her
to where she no longer works, and some days, can barely get dressed. Her only
saving grace has been medication and an amazing therapist. She was not over
pressured by parents. She didn't take the decision to go on meds lightly.
She works hard every single day to succeed a little more. Someday, she will
finder her light on her journey through anxiety. But for now, she relies on my
love and support, her therapist, and her doctor to keep her safe and healthy.
Anyone who says anxiety is a myth, drugs are a crutch, or kids are making up,
can come see my daughter on her bad days. You'll leave feeling more
helpless than you thought possible.
Most have anxiety because it's being CAUSED by something or many
somethings.Wouldn't it be smarter to first try reducing or
eliminating those things before worrying about medication??I know a
few teens who, when their parents let up on demanding intelligence and abilities
their kids just didn't possess--and stopped demanding perfection, and let
these kids just be themselves instead of trying to compell them to be what other
friends or family members might be, those teens anxiety levels dropped and they
were much happier. Not all kids have the ability to be what parents
want them to be, or what society and social pressure puts demands on them to be.
Realizing and admitting that is hard-- but when you value your
child's happiness and sanity over requiring them to fit some social success
Facebook-bragging mold, you will find anxiety lowers.Have seen it.
If your doctor is talking any kind of medication you need to slow down and get a
lot of other medical opinions. My entire life was affected because my mom
thought my sister needed some medical help and that did not work well at all.
I am 62 now and I can tell you that drugs are one of the last alternatives I
would try. I also do not have a very high regard for therapists. I have lived
the nightmare so learn from my life. I have seen big messes in my family and
my partners kids from drugs to help with mood and depression. Tread with
these types of drugs can affect teens much differently than adults. chose
your doctor (pediatrician) carefully.
hopeforone & mainlyme- I'm curious to know where your *proof* is that
brain chemical imbalance *is a myth* or that meds make things worse? While brain
scans/ MRI's may not show exact chemical imbalances, they *do* show
damaged/abnormal areas of people's brains that have anxiety/depression when
compared with the norm. If not brain chemical imbalance,
abnormalities or genetics, what causes it? Depression/anxiety has been proven by
medical studies to have about a 50% genetic basis.
(depressiongenetics.stanford.edu) It is a real problem *in the brain*. A
physical organ of the body.I have proof from my life that
antidepressant medication does help me & others. There's no way the
placebo effect could help me out of that hellish pit that depression/anxiety is.
Pills don't magically solve things -you should be careful- but I don't
think you should feel ashamed to take them. I get that meds weren't for
you. But you have no right to say that others shouldn't take them or
"NEVER long term". Correctly taking prescription meds is better than
suicide!Other solutions mentioned- therapy, exercise, healthy food,
omega 3s, also help!!Thanks gee-un & c. scientist- you hit the nail on
Guns n Roses- So if all children get fresh air and work hard there will be no
mental illness in the world? I agree that hard work and fresh air are very
beneficial/important and our media-saturated society needs more of it. But I
don't think it can cure *everything*. Especially if genetics are involved.
But research says it definitely helps!Mighty Mite- Seriously? So are
you saying that only children with "lousy" parents get anxiety? Are you
a perfect parent of children with no challenges? Please be careful not to judge,
unless you've experienced it. I think non sense is believing that good
parenting cures *everything*. Of course it's extremely important, and it
makes a huge difference, but it doesn't make problems just disappear.Mainly Me- Yes. Pharma companies are probably mostly corrupt and greedy.
I'm sure there are some good people in pharmaceuticals that truly want to
help others, but I'm also sure there are many that don't and just want
to line their pockets, regardless. There are out of control addictions to drugs
in our country and drugs are definitely not the answer to all problems! But that
doesn't mean medication doesn't make a meaningful difference for some!
@hopeforone"'Chemical Imbalance' for depression and
anxiety is a myth, it's not true. Drug companies came up with it to sell
pills."Wow! Someone who gets it. What the doctor won't
tell you is that there are no, none, nadda, zip, nil, zero, absolutely not one
single test that proves a "chemical imbalance" exists. There are no
blood tests or urinalysis that can measure the balance of neurotransmitters in
the brain nor establish a baseline for that balance. It is all based on a
theory. The chemical imbalance occurs after you begin taking those mind
Sorry, but from my vantage point some of the SSRIs and other prescriptions are
absolute miracle drugs. Some people in my life have been absolutely
debilitated by depression, anxiety or even both. It's hard to explain to
someone who has never experienced it how depression makes it so you can't
move, can't eat, don't care if you die or not. Similarly with
anxiety...your body just shakes uncontrollably for no reason as adrenaline is
pumped in uncontrollable quantities because your body is reacting as if you were
in the middle of being eaten alive by a shark. Try to imagine sleeping or
working or even thinking clearly and rationally while your body is reacting the
same as if you were being eaten alive by a shark.Sorry folks, sometimes
one absolutely has to use modern miracles such as pharmaceuticals just to be
able to function.Are they perfect? NoAre they 100% effective? NoBut the alternatives are often much, much worse.
This is a very good article. Thanks for publishing it. There are many reasons
why teens (and children and adults) can feel anxious (and/or depressed). Some
of them are things that we can alleviate to some extent with better habits and
choices, or that parenting can help with, but some of it really appears to be
physiological and genetic. For many people, therapy, medications, and other
treatments mentioned can be liberating and life-changing in a positive way.For those who don't suffer with such things either yourself or in
your close family, please don't judge others who do. For those interested
in recent LDS teaching on this subject, please read Elder Holland's talk
from October 2013 General Conference "Like a Broken Vessel" which gives
very wise counsel and insight on this subject. It is important that we break
down social stigmas related to mental and emotional illness rather than
perpetuate unhelpful and untrue ideas.
Loaf says . "So why do we so doggedly question taking medication to help the
brain function properly"?I'll tell you why. "Chemical
Imbalance" for depression and anxiety is a myth, it's not true. Drug
companies came up with it to sell pills. I took those pills for eight
years, never once were my brain levels tested. In fact, no one's is. Plus, we know that if you stop taking those pills, the amount of serotonin (or
dopamine) actually becomes LESS than before you even started taking them, making
the patient even worse off.
Anxiety and Depression prescriptions are up 300% in The US since the 80's.
So we must be less depressed and anxious right? No. At the very least, these
pills do nothing. Unfortunately, the truth is even worse, they make you have
MORE issues in the long run. Just like any pill, your body develops a tolerance
and your bodies natural ability to fight anxiety and depression becomes
compromised (tardive disphoria). I took them for eight years. What the doctors
don't tell you is there are BRUTALLY hard to get off of, I had terrible
withdrawal symptoms for years (yes years) To parents: Do not, ever, let your
teenager or young adult take them...ever. And adults should rarely take them and
NEVER long term.
I think we need a "Parent Whisperer" to train parents and rehabilitate
their children. We are living in a world where many parents think
that their children have to be the best at whatever they do, and if they
aren't, well it's because they didn't try hard enough.
I did not read the entire article, but in skimming it, I saw nothing about diet.
I had acute anxiety for several months as an adult in my 40s. I felt inspired to
see a D.O. He gave me B12 injections just to help me feel better as we sorted
through my symptoms and what possibly led up to them. He later recommended a
drastically changed diet. I eliminated all added sugar, avoided fruit, pasta,
potatoes and some meats. I focused on lean meats, quantities of green vegetables
and other vegetables and only ate whole grain bread made with minimal yeast.
Within a week, the anxiety began subsiding. I had a lot of other symptoms
(extreme thirst, insomnia, aches) and they also diminished. I am still careful
about eating, particularly avoiding sugar. Supplements can also be
very helpful. There are clinics that do extensive evaluation of various mental
illnesses and recommend appropriate formulas. I am not saying that medications
should be avoided, but parents and patients should consider other alternatives.
Medical Marijuana can be a much more effective and safer option, then just
I think it's important to recognize that anxiety & depression (or any
mental illness) have a *physical basis* in the brain. If you have asthma, you
use an inhaler to compensate. If your pancreas isn't working, you take
insulin. No one questions that. So why do we so doggedly question taking
medication to help the brain function properly?When the brain
doesn't produce chemicals in the right amounts, you may feel horrible for
no apparent reason. I also believe, (from research-based books), that what &
how we think about things, does have a real effect on the chemicals in our
brain. So therapy helps as well.I've taken medication for
years, for major depression & anxiety. When I was in high school, I had no
idea why I felt so terrible all the time. When I finally got treatment, years
later, with antidepressants, I felt so much better. It didn't solve
everything, but it helped me function and gave me hope. I get that
you shouldn't take medication lightly; you need to educate yourself &
only take what's needed. I also realize medication may not be for everyone
if other treatment may work better. I just think you shouldn't
automatically dismiss it, when it can possibly help!
A pill for every ill; that's the motto of big pharma. Drugs, drugs, and
Stop the nonsense. Be parents... end of story!
Fresh air and hard work from a young age