1. Going online to battle the blues

    Nearly 10 percent of the nation is on some kind of antidepressant, which just shouldn't be the case – not when there are real, safe alternatives.

    I've had tremendous success in treating depression by focusing on – and correcting – nutritional and hormonal imbalances. But another good alternative is cognitive behavioral therapy – and now there's a new and easier way to get it: online.

    You might remember that study I mentioned back in June, the one which showed just how effective this therapy is for many teens battling depression. (Click here to read, "Saving teens from depression.")  I can point to a number of studies that show this is also true for adults, even in cases of long-term and severe depression.

    The problem for many people has been getting the treatment – but new research shows that online cognitive behavioral therapy is just as effective at treating depression as in-person sessions.

    Now, when I read about this in August in the special "Global Mental Health" issue of The Lancet, I knew it wouldn't be quite as simple as that – and it's not. The online therapy needs to be delivered in real-time by a real, live therapist at a computer of his own.

    But it's still terrific news. Adults who don't have time or don't live near a therapist can now get the help they need. Kids can get appointments without needing a ride to or from the clinic. Everyone wins – everyone, that is, except the makers of those meds that might get tossed out.

    Many patients either forget or are never told how powerful and dangerous most of these drugs can be, so let me lay out two things right off the top that's as true for kids as it is adults.

    First, many of these drugs contain fluorine, the most powerful oxidizing agent on the planet. It also has the ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Once in the brain, fluorine can cause brain damage and degeneration.

    You simply don't want to fool with this stuff.

    Second, these meds do nothing for your depression. They mask symptoms, and that's it. In the rare instances where I need to prescribe an antidepressant, it's a temporary measure while we work on correcting the real issue – often that nutritional or hormonal deficiency I mentioned.

    But for so many doctors, meds are the only answer. They prescribe a drug and send the patient on his or her way, where apparently they're sharing these meds with their friends.

    Instead of looking for drugs, look for treatments that provide real solutions. After all, you can't share a drug if it was never given to you in the first place.

  2. Truly depressing news about meds

    Not everyone is on an antidepressant these days – but it sure seems like it.

    A shocking new study finds that some 10 percent of us take these meds now – more than 27 million Americans.

    The study, published in August in the Archives of General Psychiatry, found that while 13 million Americans took these drugs in 1995, that number doubled in just a decade. By last year, a stunning 164 million prescriptions were written for these meds, worth $10 billion.

    It's frightening.

    Part of the problem is the off-label use of these drugs. Big Pharma tries to get as many people as possible on these meds, and for reasons far beyond their approved use. In fact, a University of Georgia study in 2006 found that some 75 percent of people on antidepressants were given these meds for off-label uses.

    So while it's bad enough that depressed people are taking these drugs unnecessarily, it's far worse when they take these meds for completely different conditions, such as insomnia or pain.

    Making matters worse, most docs have proven to be particularly poor at spotting depression. As I mentioned just last week, doctors miss the key signs at least half the time and incorrectly diagnose it in healthy people 20 percent of the time.

    Not only that, but these meds are some of the worst of the lot, with nasty side effects that I've warned you about before.

    But there's a much larger problem here, and it's about how doctors treat patients today. Or maybe I should say how they don't treat patients. They treat symptoms.

    I'd like to say it's lazy medicine, but there's more to it than that. Most doctors simply don't know better, and it's because of how they're taught.

    This is what happens when the medical schools and professors are bought and paid for by Big Pharma, and its army of drug reps is allowed to wander the once-sacred halls of academia.

    Now, the entire nation is paying for it, with millions upon millions of us being given these dangerous and powerful antidepressants, whether we need them or not. Many of these drugs contain fluorine, a powerful oxidizing agent that's been linked to brain damage and degeneration.

    There are right ways to get yourself healthy and win that battle with depression. It's often as simple as getting more trypophan, essential fatty acids, vitamin B6, or vitamin B12.

    Too bad most doctors don't know this – because they never learned it in the first place.

  3. More bad news for antidepressants

    New research shows that these powerful meds can cancel out the effects of the most popular cancer-fighting drugs used by women who have suffered from breast cancer.

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