11% of Americans on Antidepressants
According to the US National Institute of Mental Health, 11% of Americans over the age of 12 are on antidepressant drugs. Among women in their 40’s and 50’s, the statistic is 1 in 4. Millions of Americans are walking around in a mind-altering state.
Natural Causes of Depression
There are so many conditions in the body that can cause depression and yet doctors think nothing about prescribing antidepressants if a patient complains about anxiety or depression. A hormonal imbalance, low blood sugar, vitamin D deficiency and even sugar can cause severe depression.
Ah so sweet, and oh so dangerous, is that substance we call sugar. Sugar can cause a tremendous amount of problems in the body. It promotes inflammation (pain), destroys the good bacteria in the gut, wreaks havoc on the immune system and creates a host of other problems. Any of these conditions, alone, or combined, can really affect mental our happiness.
Other Prescription Medicines Can Cause Depression
My mother is 87 years old. For over 20 years she has suffered tremendously with osteoarthritis and has had numerous knee and hip replacements, not to mention broken bones. She was never a drug taker. Mom always had a huge basket of supplements she would take everyday. She was also one of the most upbeat and positive people I have ever known with a huge circle of friends, usually significantly younger than she was. But over the years I saw a change in my mom. I understood. She was in excruciating pain and I didn’t know how she could endure it without drugs. Well, apparently she couldn’t.
My mother and I live in different countries and I don’t get to see her as often as I would like. For over 20 years I have phoned her on a weekly basis. Even though mom isn’t a complainer, I did see a big change in her personality in recent years. Of course I understood the pain and deterioration of her body was certainly going to have an effect on her happiness.
About 6 weeks ago mom called me out of the blue and seemed so happy and bright. She said she had a new lease on life and was going to start exercising. I was surprised but very happy to hear my old mom was back. Each subsequent week when we spoke she seemed happier and happier. I wasn’t sure what had happened, but was very pleased for her. Well, last week she dropped a bombshell on me. She said casually during our weekly phone conversation “Did I tell you I was addicted to pain medication?” Ah, no mom, I think I would have remembered that conversation. “Well”, she said, “I was on several drugs for pain and arthritis and I stopped taking everything. I went through hell for 2 weeks coming off the drugs but now I feel like a new person”. She then announced her pain was not any worse now that she stopped taking the pain killers. She was eating again, had put on weight and sounded like her feisty old self.
Drugs are not the answer. Even drugs for pain and other conditions can cause depression.