When we think about dietary supplements, we usually think of our physical health. But our mental and emotional health can also be helped with vitamins, minerals, herbs, and so on. The usual prescription for our emotional health is drugs.
Antidepressants, for example, are the most widely prescribed type of drugs in the U.S. However, there are also several natural remedies for depression which studies show are as, if not more, effective than drugs. They are also safer than prescribed drugs for the patients. In fact, FTC censorship of natural remedies for depression could even put the family members, friends and neighbors of those patients in danger.
How are antidepressant drugs dangerous to the family, friends and neighbors of the depressed person? According to a recent study, antidepressant drugs are among the top 10 legal drugs linked to violence toward others.
The new study, conducted by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices and published in the journal PloS One, reviewed the items in the FDA’s Adverse Event Reporting System and isolated 31 drugs that have the most reports of violent behavior towards others.
Researchers point out that, although the drugs may sometimes be given to those who already have a history of violent behavior, the propensity to violent behavior while taking these particular drugs stands out – even when history and other factors are considered. In other words, it really looks like the drugs themselves might be the problem.
Here is the countdown on the top ten offenders:
10. Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq), an antidepressant and anti-anxiety drug, is 7.9 times more likely to be associated with violence than other drugs.
9. Venlafaxine (Effexor), also prescribed for depression and anxiety, is 8.3 times more likely than other drugs to be related to violent behavior.
8. Fluvoxamine (Luvox), another antidepressant, is 8.4 times more likely than other medications to be linked with violence.
7. Triazolam (Halcion), a benzodiazepine used to treat insomnia, is 8.7 times more likely to be linked with violence than other drugs.
6. Atomoxetine (Strattera), used to treat the symptoms identified as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), is 9 times more likely to be linked with violence than the average medication.
5. Mefoquine (Lariam), a treatment for malaria, is 9.5 times more likely to be linked with violence than other drugs.
4. Amphetamines, various types, used to treat the symptoms identified with ADHD, are 9.6 times more likely to be linked to violence than other drugs.
3. Paroxetine (Paxil), another antidepressant, is 10.3 times more likely to be linked with violence. And, by the way, is also linked with more severe withdrawal symptoms and a greater risk of birth defects than other similar medications.
2. Fluoxetine (Prozac), the antidepressant everyone’s heard of, is 10.9 times more likely to be linked with violence than other drugs.
1. Varenicline (Chantix), the anti-smoking drug, is 18 times more likely to be linked with violence.
How’s that for depressing?
So, what are the natural remedies that could help with depression so we can avoid this violent behavior? According to the Mayo Clinic, a few of the common herbal remedies and other supplements you might try include the following:
“St. John’s wort. Known scientifically as Hypericum perforatum, this is an herb that’s been used for centuries to treat a variety of ills, including depression. It’s not approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat depression in the United States. Rather, it’s classified as a dietary supplement. However, it’s a popular depression treatment in Europe. It may be helpful if you have mild or moderate depression.
“SAMe. Pronounced “sammy,” this is a synthetic form of a chemical that occurs naturally in the body. The name is short for S-adenosylmethionine. It’s not approved by the FDA to treat depression in the United States. Rather, it’s classified as a dietary supplement. However, it’s used in Europe as a prescription drug to treat depression.
“Omega-3 fatty acids. Eating a diet rich in omega-3s or taking omega-3 supplements may help ease depression and also appears to have a number of other health benefits. These healthy fats are found in cold-water fish, flaxseed, flax oil, walnuts and some other foods.”
The Mayo Clinic also mentions acupuncture, yoga and massage therapy as other options used to treat depression.
Studies have also shown exercise to be effective. In fact, more effective than antidepressants.
It’s not uncommon for depression to stem from physical conditions like nutritional deficiencies and imbalances, hormonal problems, allergies and so on. Strangely enough, antidepressant-deficiency isn’t among them.
Check with your health practitioner to get tested and find out if one of those physical conditions applies to you. Chances are your regular family doctor won’t be trained in how to do that kind of testing – and if he or she does, count yourself very lucky – so it might be best to find an alternative, integrative or functional medicine practitioner to dig in and find out what’s doing on.
When you get your recommended program, and if the FDA or FTC censorship hasn’t already put the manufacturers of these natural remedies out of business, you can follow your health practitioner’s advice and get the supplements you need. You may even get better, without side effects, and without giving your neighbor a black eye!
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