4 Myths about Antidepressants: Replacing them with Functional Medicine Approach
Ever since I have been diagnosed with Major Clinical Depression, PTSD, and Generalized Anxiety Disorder back in 2000 when I started my graduate studies in marriage and family therapy at the University of Miami, I have struggled with having minimal results with being prescribed medication. I have tried a few of them over the years and nothing has brought me any long-term relief. Even though depression and anxiety was a result of abuse and significant trauma in my childhood and adolescence, this only partly explained my inability to get any permanent relief and it affected my relationships with others, especially the opposite sex.
I have not been able to find a medical professional who could provide me with an alternative and more natural solutions, as opposed to, taking daily antidepressants. The exception is Dr. Milana Kaplan who told me about taking L-Theanine for anxiety; she still prescribed Lexapro for depression. As a result of taking medication, I suffered a low sex drive, I felt nauseous at times, and put on over 20 lbs that in which I have not been able to keep off, in spite of different diet plans and exercise. I even experienced suicidal ideations to which medical doctors’ response was to only prescribe me with more medication. One male psychiatrist said that I need to accept that I will have to take medication all my life!
What helped me most is changing my lifestyle including doing yoga, having a daily meditation practice, and changing my diet. I didn’t realize the havoc I was causing to my body by consuming supposedly “healthy” soy products, whole grains, and dairy not to mention processed food as many times I didn’t have time to cook. I made it my mission to learn more about natural, alternative, and holistic approach to treating mood disorders and many of my clients seek my services precisely because they are tired of popping pills to feel better.
Only in 2014, I started to see the light when I started to learn about the correlation between my constant GI issues and depression from my colleague and health coach, Sandra Tribioli. Since then, I came across more holistic oriented doctors and today I want to share what I learned from Dr. Kelly Brogan’s eBook “Change Your Food Heal Your Mood.” In addition to her, I also highly recommend reading a book by Dr. James Blatt, “Breakthrough Depression Solution.”
She advocates for functional medicine approach to treating depression basically by changing diet and healing the gut.
To understand why this is still not common and why medical professionals continue to prescribe meditation, you need to be aware of 4 myths that stand in the way, as described by Dr. Kelly Brogan.
Depression is caused by a brain imbalance.
The truth is that neuroscience hasn’t been able to really explain how a balanced brain looks like. Antidepressants such as Lexapro can be effective to treat symptoms, but don’t heal root causes that caused depression in the first place and instead, they are just masking the symptoms.
Compared to placebo – sugar pills – in two studies (Khan et al) reported that antidepressants were only 10% better than placebos.
Drug companies and the government have your best interest in mind.
Drug companies who sponsor studies are really manipulating the science in myriad ways – their first priority is their profit/bottom lane and not patients.
That many doctors can’t be wrong.
Wrong again. Many practices are outdated and don’t make an effort to educate themselves about new developments in the field and also doctors are dependent on pharmaceutical companies!
My advice is to find a doctor that practices functional medicine in your area and even though investment might be costly in the beginning imagine how great would be to finally start feeling better – without spending a fortune on doctors and medication!