Depression is on the rise in the United States and other countries. Statistics show that one in five women and one in 15 men will suffer from at least one major bout of depression in their lifetime, and many will experience repeated bouts of depression. Studies suggest that close to 10% of the US adult population may have regular symptoms of depression – meaning that, at any one time, approximately 19-29 million people may be affected and in severe pain.
One of the most daunting experiences a person who is suffering from depression has to end is to tell their doctor what they are experiencing. Often, people think that they will confide in their doctor about feeling depressed, but when it comes right down to it, they do not. Sometimes the pain will be so great that either their symptoms will betray them and the doctor will "guess", or they will want relief so much that they will open up and share. The most common form of therapy that a doctor will prescribe is anti-depressant medication.
Although it is the most common form of treatment for depression, there are many unpleasant side effects with anti-depressant medications. Some side effects last just a few weeks and some will be with a person for as long as they take the medication. The body often needs time to adjust to new medications, however, negative side effects are the most common reason that most people stop taking anti-depressant medication.
Some of the unpleasant side effects of taking SSRI anti-depressant medications are: nausea, increased appetite, weight gain, fatigue, drowsiness, insomnia, dry mouth, blurred vision, constipation, dizziness, agitation, restlessness, anxiety. Sexual side effects include decreased desire (libido), sexual dysfunction, erectile dysfunction, delayed ejaculation and reduced orgasm. These can last through treatment. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are more likely to cause sexual side effects, particularly delayed orgasm or accessibility to aveve orgasm (anorgasmia). Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are more likely to cause erectile dysfunction.
In this fast-paced, instant gratification society that is touching the world, people want instant relief. Thus, they look to a doctor for some type of a "pill" thinking that they will be relieved of their pain and depression. That simply is not true: our bodies are not built like that. Often an anti-depressant will only complicate the over-all picture with unwanted side effects.
In ancient times, blood-letting was thought to be a cure for insanity or hysteria. The process simply drained enough blood from the individual to make them less healthy, lacking the blood nutrients, so becoming less active and lethargic. It did not cure the illness. Once the body built its blood resource back, the person returned to their former behavior.
Picture this scenario: a person is experiencing depression. They may not be able to function as they previously did. It may be hard to get up in the morning; difficult to go to work; taxing to communicate with friends and family; they may feel alone, trapped without hope in a desolate place of emotional trauma. The dark abyss of emotional depression has closed all around them. They have no way out, so they look to a doctor who will prescribe something "magical" to elevate their pain. They think that they have the magic "pill" to cure all ills. Then, as they start taking these precious pills, they have a series of unpleasant side effects like gain gain, fatigue, dizziness, insomnia, sexual side effects …. and so on. Usually, the depressed person is already fatigued, so to experience even more fatigue can be even more depressed. DO you see what I mean? Is the "treatment" worth it?
Depression is the one mental illness that can be cured. Taking anti-depressants does not eliminate depression … it only decreases the intensity of the symptoms. In order to "cure" depression, often one needs to look beyond the symptoms and the simplistic medical approach in order to have a basic wellness and health foundation.
The truth is, you must work your self out of depression by taking simple small steps, making good choices in the area of diet, nutrition and exercise, along with relieving upon friends and counselors to help you walk one step at a time out of darkness into the sunlight of hope and truth. Disguising your symptoms or trying to cover them up will not cure the real issue. We are made of body, mind, soul and spirit. Thus, each intricate part must receive help in order to cure depression.
From my experience, the best way to treat depression is with diet, nutrition and exercise. If you start with small changes in your diet and you begin with walking or light exercise, you will not experience negative side effects … only positive side effects of feeling better, losing weight, and initiating positive efforts to raise your moods and attitude.
My experience with 4 different types of anti-depressant medications left me feeling lifeless, hopeless, and defeated. Physically I was exhausted, immobile and neutralized in my thinking process. At times, I felt less than human … like a zombie. At this point, my wife and I began a search of natural methods to treat depression. Our journey pasted several years: we read many books, listened to tapes, cd's, watched videos and talked extensively with doctors, counselors and other health professionals. I am a living testament that these "natural" methods work.