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.