Do Depression Drugs Work?
STUDIES COME and studies go, and it seems that on any given topic, some will come to opposite conclusions.
A bit confounding when you’re seeking “expert” guidance about something, particularly when that something involves your health.
Which brings me to a study about antidepressants published in today’s Journal of the American Medical Association. It provides evidence that says, antidepressants, on average, may be little more effective than sugar pills in treating depression.
(More about the study here.)
Wasn’t it actor and Scientologist Tom Cruise who infamously, strenuously argued to this effect when criticizing Brooke Shields for using Paxil to help with postpartum depression?
Well, like I implied, seems that most any viewpoint has some scientific article to support it, and now Mr. Cruise has his.
In any event, the point of this post is not to delve into whether antidepressants are ineffective or not, but to suggest that — with the support of our doctor — we evaluate the use of non-pharmaceuticals to help manage our state of mind.
My bias is to turn to nature. I guess I’m a non-pharmaceutical kinda guy. And now, I’m about to wander in rough waters that are decidedly over my head. So, take this with a grain of salt (water): My thinking is to try nutraceutical supplements that could help with depression before jumping straight to pharmaceuticals that have unsavory side effects; drugs such as Lexapro, Effexor, Cymbalta, Zoloft, Paxil and the like.
If your doctor agrees, consider trying some omega-3 supplement like Krill Oil along with SAM-e.
The Krill Oil has a phospholipid form of omega-3 which is absorbed faster and more efficiently than the triglyceride form typically found in fish oil. Omega-3 fatty acids are reputed to help with stress, promote heart health and lubricate joints. (Read this on the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids and the London Cabbie study.)
SAM-e helps balance Dopamine & serotonin are neurotransmitters that control mood and pain. But that’s just for starters — SAM-e also helps support cartilage-producing cells, and produces glutathione for detoxification, while replenishing the liver’s own SAMe supply.
I’ve written about both these supplements here, and suggest you take look.
Oh, that cartoon at the top of the post was selected for a reason, which is to underscore the value of exercise in positively influencing your state of mind. The hurdle is that when we’re depressed, it’s very hard to reengage in healthy behaviors, let along introduce them if they’ve never been a part of our lives.
Let’s imagine, though, that whether by sheer force of will, or an incoming tide of dopamine, you can take some steps toward the treadmill (or whatever). The Mayo Clinic has some good news about why you should try right here.