It seems like patients aren't the only ones hooked on prescription drugs. Many doctors depend on them too – just in a different way.

When researchers from the World Health Organization reviewed eight studies, they determined that certain antidepressants increase suicide attempts by younger people, especially those in the 18-25 age group. (Their review was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.) The concerns center around drugs known as selective
serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), and include Paxil, Celexa, Prozac and Zoloft.

The studies were alarming enough that most antidepressants now come with a so-called "black box" warning on the label regarding the increased suicide risk in the under-25 group.

That's all well and good, because everyone – not just younger patients – should think twice before taking these drugs, and those warnings certainly have that effect. But there was an unintended consequence of that, one as fascinating as it is disturbing.

Some doctors of course stopped prescribing these drugs to their younger patients. Who can blame them, really? No one who takes the Hippocratic Oath wants to treat a patient by providing something that may kill them.

But these doctors didn't merely stop prescribing these drugs for their younger patients. They stopped treating the depression altogether. They even stopped diagnosing it.

In other words, doctors were so stymied once that crutch of a quick-fix drug was taken out of their medicine bag that they simply behaved as if the condition never existed in the first place.

I guess some of them are as dependent on these supposed cures as any patient.

And that means countless people are suffering needlessly from depression as a result of this. I say needlessly because there are simple and effective treatments for depression that don't require dangerous drugs.

I've found that tryptophan, B6, B12 and other vitamins can work wonders on people in ways no antidepressant can.

Your first step in any condition, especially a mood-altering one like depression, should be to check yourself for deficiencies of vitamins and nutrients, and then turn to a nutritional-based treatment to restore those things that your body lacks.

Restoring that balance is the first step in restoring your health – both physical and mental.