Dangerous Side Effects of Antidepressants

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New research shows the dangers of SSRI antidepressant meds

The best antidepressant meds are SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, but they don’t always work. In rare cases, SSRIs can cause more severe side effects, such as suicidal thoughts.

Other food sources allege to boost serotonin naturally, such as Laminine supplements. But for decades, drug chemicals seem to work better but do not provide a long-term cure.

Current SSRI FDA-approved medications

Sertraline (Zoloft)
Paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil CR)
Venlafaxine (Effexor XR) — a serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor (SNRI)

1. Activate neuroplasticity

Some studies suggest antidepressants (like Prozac and Zoloft) activate or reactivate neuroplasticity in adult human brains. In short, these drugs can affect how our minds organize and form synaptic connections.

Some recent studies show people who took SSRI had a 14% higher risk of heart attacks and strokes and a 33% greater risk of death, according to a meta-analysis of 17 studies published in 2017. [Journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics]

2. Disrupting serotonin has long-term side effects

Serotonin is involved in critical processes like growth, digestion, and immune function; disrupting it has widespread adverse health effects.

“For the sake of treating depression, you might be disrupting things,” said Marta Maslej. She is a fellow at the Toronto Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

The argument that antidepression drugs do not work long-term is sometimes blamed on poor compliance may be to blame and social-economic status. Nonetheless, even with significant improvement, it does not cure depression. [Penn; Tracy 2012]

3. Creates a new synaptic connection

The fact that some common side effects include feeling agitated or anxious, shaky or palpitations, among others, demonstrates these meds are simply tricking the brain into creating new synaptic connections—not removing the root cause of depression.

Medication may alter how the brain handles anxiety, stress, or depression, but it is temporary. It also causes side effects such as palpitations and restlessness.

Why antidepressant meds may not work for you

  • It does not help motivate those with mild depression, according to a report.
  • Helps improve the condition of about 50% (survey of 100 people) within a month, with relapse.
  • Antidepressant meds are not a permanent fix. A study shows 20% to 44% recurrence.
  • A survey of 400 psychiatrists to assess depressive relapse said about 89% observed re-emergent depressive symptoms after a favorable SSRI response, despite continued treatment. [Medscape]
  • Despite considerable improvements in antidepressant drugs, there are treatment-resistant types of depression, which, by definition, fail to respond to two or more antidepressants. [NCBI]
  • Antidepressants may not help with mild depression. [NCBI Report]

Alternative to antidepression meds motivation found in spirituality

A study published in 2014 shows “greater spirituality” improves depressive symptoms, hopelessness, and cognitive distortions. Patients were clinically treated for their depression with one of three SSRIs (Escitalopram, Sertraline, Paroxetine).

The result shows those who believed in God (Believers) had a greater mean change score than those who did not (Unbelievers). [See graph]

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