SSRIs

  1. Feeling depressed doubles stroke risk

    Depressed women face bigger stroke risk

    I've never understood it myself, but many people still feel shame and embarrassment when it comes to depression. They won't talk about feeling depressed, and they certainly won't seek help.

    Well, I'm here to tell you that you've got nothing to be embarrassed about -- and there's certainly no shame in seeking help.

    The real shame is in what could happen to you if you just let it go, because depression can lead to other serious health risks, especially in women. And ladies, if you're feeling depressed right now, you could face double the risk of a stroke, according to one new study out of Australia.

    We've seen this link made before. But in other studies, it's generally been found in older women. One study a couple years back found that depression increases the risk of stroke in senior women by nearly a third.

    In the new study, however, the higher stroke risk was found even in younger women who were feeling depressed -- including women in their 40s and 50s.

    Now, to be clear about this, not all cases of stroke linked depression are caused by the condition. In some cases, it could be caused by treatment -- because depression meds, especially common SSRIs, are also known to raise the risk of stroke in women.

    But whether it's the drugs or the condition, it's pretty clear to me that there are two actions everyone -- men and women alike -- needs to take when facing serious mood problems.

    First, never let depression go untreated. Along with increasing your risk of stroke, unchecked depression can also lead to serious heart problems.  People who are feeling depressed are also more likely to engage in unhealthy behavior, including excessive drinking, smoking, and poor diet.

    And second, avoid medications if you can (especially those SSRI drugs I just mentioned) and turn to natural therapies instead. While drugs do little to correct the underlying causes of depression, supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids and B vitamins can actually give the brain exactly what it's been lacking -- easing the depression and improving your overall health at the same time.

    For more tips on easing depression naturally read my free special report here.

    Some people may need additional treatment, but even in those cases drugs may not be necessary. What you really need is a skilled doctor who can diagnose other potential causes of depression, such as nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalances.

    I recommend a holistic physician who specializes in natural hormone therapies. And if you're in the Southern California area, I can help. Contact my clinic at 855-DOC-MARK for more information or to make an appointment.

  2. Antidepressants fail another trial

    There's no two ways about it: When it comes to beating depression, that last thing you want is your doctor's first choice.

    Tell him you're down in the dumps, and he'll reach for his prescription pad -- but the dirty secret about the depression meds used by some 30 million Americans every year is that they just don't work.

    Too many people have already figured that out the hard way -- and now, a new study in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry confirms it's not just them.

    It's the drugs.

    In this one, researchers put sertraline -- aka Zoloft -- up against both a placebo and a form of psychotherapy. Sixteen weeks later, and there was no statistical difference between any of the three groups.

    Some of the patients on Zoloft were even switched to another med, Effexor -- and still got no relief.

    This shouldn't surprise anyone, since studies have shown for years how even the most popular antidepressant drugs can't beat a placebo.

    But it did.

    "I was surprised by the results," confessed lead researcher Jacques P. Barber, dean of the Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University in New York, according to Reuters. "They weren't what I'd expected."

    I'm not sure what Dr. Barber was expecting, since I tell you all the time about research in which antidepressants fall way short. A study just last month even found that not only do SSRIs get roughly the same response rate as the placebo, but they actually make the depression worse a full fifth of the time.

    That's not the only risk that comes from SSRIs -- and it's not even close to the worst risk. These drugs have been linked to everything from personality changes to sexual dysfunction to death, including death by suicide.

    But you don't have to put your life on the line for a treatment that doesn't work -- because there are real answers out there...answers that can change your life for the better if you're willing to look.

    In many cases, depression is a result of nutritional and hormonal imbalances -- something no antidepressant drug in the world can fix. A skilled naturopathic physician, however, can help you find the real source of your depression and correct it without meds.

    To find a doctor skilled in natural medicine, you may contact the American College for the Advancement in Medicine at www.acam.org, 949-309-3520, or 1-800-532-3688.

    For short-term relief while you look for that solution, you still don't have to turn to antidepressants. St. John's wort has matched or even beaten drugs in some studies, and the amino acid SAMe works so well it's often the first choice in Europe.

    You'll find both of them in any vitamin shop.

  3. Antidepressants make depression worse

    Turns out antidepressants are even worse than ineffective: In a huge number of patients, they can actually make depression worse.
  4. How depression breaks your heart

    The proverbial broken heart can actually do the job for real: Depressed people have double the risk of heart attack and a much higher risk of heart problems overall than non-depressed people.
  5. Antidepressants boost women's stroke risk

    Would you rather suffer from depression or from a stroke? If you're taking antidepressants, you might not have a choice. The answer could be both.
  6. Warning: May cause sadness

    Researchers examined data on 2,876 patients in the STAR*D trial who took selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for 12 weeks. They found that every single patient reported at least three residual depression symptoms, with 75 percent experiencing five or more and some having up to 13 lingering depression symptoms.
  7. Senior cataracts linked to antidepressants

    Love your eyes? Then look away from antidepressants-- because a new study finds yet another awful side effect to add to the list: cataracts in seniors.

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