A recent article featured in the August 6th issue of U.S. News & World Report revealed that depression is overly diagnosed in America and over-treated with anti-depressants. What the article did not say is that the main treatment for depression used by physicians worldwide - anti-depressant drugs- doesn’t work, even on those who are correctly diagnosed with depression.
The problem is two fold: First, too many people are diagnosed with clinical depression, when they actually just have sadness or grief. Secondly, those that are accurately diagnosed get a bad treatment in the form of anti-depressant medications - a misnomer of a name for a class of drugs that are not “anti” depressants at all. Rather they are more akin to zombie creating drugs that calm people down.
I am not worried about physicians being overly aggressive in diagnosing depression. Frankly, even grief reactions and sadness could use a little help and uplifting for those who are experiencing it. There is a continuum of severity of depression ranging from melancholic to frank clinical depression and everyone needs help.
But when the only treatment in mainstream medicine is a toxic drug that tops the top 10 sales list year in and year out and doesn’t even alter the clinical course, then this is a miserable attempt at correcting the problem.
We see the same sort of approach with other maladies like migraine headaches, menopause and Pre-Menstrual Syndrome or PMS (also called PMDD). Here, mainstream medicine usually does a good job of diagnosing, but is clueless on how to make them better.
The proper approach to all of these problems is to assess them hormonally. Hormones, (or the deficiency of them more accurately), are the driving factors that cause a migraine headache, various headache symptoms, depression, PMS or PMDD. Replenishing the deficient hormone(s) is the more natural, effective and safer alternative.
As far as anti-depressant drugs are concerned, society would be better off without them. Diagnose as many people with sadness or grief, but give them a little encouragement and bio-identical hormones.
Andrew Jones, M.D.
Medical Director, Women’s Health Institute of Texas