Treating a disease you don't have
Imagine being diagnosed with a disease you don't even have -- and on top of that, being given powerful and dangerous brain-altering drugs to treat it.
Now, stop imagining -- because if this hasn't happened to you (yet), it's almost certainly happened to someone you care about.
And it might even be happening right now.
The disease in question is mild depression, as new research confirms that nearly two-thirds of the people who've been diagnosed with it -- people for the most part being drugged for it -- don't actually have it.
This doesn't mean they're not sad or blue. Of course they are.
But in many cases, these forms of mild depression are just part of life. They're perfectly normal responses to certain situations, such as loss and death.
It's part of what makes us human -- not a condition to medicate away.
Clinical depression on the other hand is something very different. It's doesn't fade over time, doesn't always have an obvious cause and -- most importantly -- it has to actually impair daily function in a number of very real ways.
We're talking about people who can barely get out of bed, or people who practically stop eating and start wasting away.
This isn't just my definition of depression. This is the mainstream definition of depression -- the definition doctors and shrinks are supposed to use when they diagnose and treat their patients.
But in the new study, researchers re-examined 5,639 adults who had been diagnosed with depression and found that just 38.4 percent actually met the definition for the disease, according to the study in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics.
That means nearly 62 percent showing signs of mild depression weren't depressed in the clinical sense, and hadn't been depressed for the entire previous year, according to the study.
And if you think that's bad, I've got an even more shocking number to share.
Seniors are thought to be more prone to depression than others, and doctors are quick to give older folks both the diagnosis and the drugs. But according to the study, six out of seven supposedly depressed seniors aren't depressed!
Once you crunch the numbers, it means that nearly 25 million Americans -- including 5 million seniors -- have been misdiagnosed and are being mistreated right now. It's outrageous!
That doesn't change the fact that any form of the blues is no picnic. If you're facing ordinary sadness, mild depression or full-blown clinical depression, you want help -- and you want to get better.
But I'm here to tell you that you've got much better options than drugs, and I've got the latest science on one all-natural mood-booster coming up next.