Sun, 15 Apr 2012 19:25 UTC
The beneficial results of antidepressants have been under the spotlight for quite some time in the health world, and the validity of giving them out like candy to patients in need of a quick and easy solution is under question as well; just how useful is medication for depression?
At best, the tangible results felt by patients are comparable to sugar pills. That is to say, the medication itself does virtually nothing to improve the mood of the patient directly. At worst, antidepressants cause decreased mental stability. Wanting to kill yourself or others around you are feelings which antidepressants have been shown to ignite.
There is even the possibility that while on these terrible drugs you can become even more vulnerable to more serious mental illnesses - all whilst other legitimate non-medication methods for treating depression are being tread underfoot by the FDA.
In more recent studies, there has been surfacing evidence that antidepressants cause arteries to thicken at a faster rate. Research specifically points to an increased thickness of the lining of the carotid artery by up to 5% in men, thereby increasing the risk of heart disease substantially by putting more pressure on the heart.
This occurs when taking either selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs, the primary form of antidepressants), as well as antidepressants that affect other chemicals in the brain. The evidence isn't completely concrete, but it points towards the change of serotonin in the body caused by the medications.
Another study in women who have gone through menopause unveiled that women who take either variation of antidepressants were up to 45% more likely to suffer from life-threatening brain damage from a stroke. This same study also found that women's death rates rose 32% more whilst on the drugs.
Other documented side effects are much more prominent, but certainly no less detrimental to your health. These include those suicidal/homicidal thoughts mentioned earlier, as well as an increased risk of diabetes, an increased possibility of stillbirth, lowered immune system support and reduced bone density - resulting in a higher risk of fractures, primarily in the spinal column.
There are also a few long-term risks with using these detrimental drugs: a conversion from unipolar depression to bipolar depression, and an overall cognitive decline in most users. If becoming bipolar unnecessarily does not steer you away from these, then the overall loss of your mental capacity should be enough to raise a warning flag.