The idea that depression is caused by low levels of serotonin and that certain antidepressants raise the levels of this neurotransmitter, is a myth, according to a professor of psychiatry writing an editorial article in The BMJ. Prof. David Healy - author of the 2004 book Let Them Eat Prozac: The Unhealthy Relationship Between the Pharmaceutical Industry and Depression - argues in the journal's latest issue that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) have never shown any correlation between a potency of serotonin effect and treatment of depression. Prof. Healy writes that, in the 1990s: "No one knew if SSRIs raised or lowered serotonin levels; they still don't know. There was no evidence that treatment corrected anything." SSRIs are a class of several drugs for mood disorder - they include the high-selling examples citalopram (Celexa), fluoxetine (Prozac and other brands) and sertraline (Zoloft). The idea that low levels of serotonin are responsible for depression … [Read more...] about Low serotonin is mythical cause of depression, says psychiatry professor
Causes of depression
A new study in mice suggests that serotonin deficiency may not play as influential a role in depression as has previously been thought. Since the late 1980s, a popular theory has claimed that increasing levels of the signaling molecule serotonin is central to treating depression. This approach to treating depression is typified by the antidepressant Prozac, which works by boosting serotonin levels. When Prozac was launched in the 1980s, it became a popular treatment for depression very quickly. However, some experts credit Prozac's popularity not to it being more effective than previous antidepressant medications - such as tricyclics, which work by blocking absorption of serotonin and norepinephrine in the brain - but because it had fewer side effects than other antidepressants. Because of the widespread use of Prozac, the theory that low levels of serotonin caused depression also rose in popularity. But was there sound evidence to support this theory? Many experts think not. … [Read more...] about Serotonin deficiency as cause of depression – is it a myth?
Winter’s in full swing and for much of the country (not to mention all of Canada) the majority of our days are spent under cloud cover. It seems as if the weather is perpetually gray. This leads many people, even the best of us, to experience depressed feelings. Sometimes, it is a case of seasonal affective disorder, which goes by the most apt acronym of all: SAD. Roughly 35 million people in the U.S. alone get the blues during gloomy winter months. Changes to sunlight patterns affect our bodies, causing slight shifts in our biological internal clocks or “circadian rhythm.” If turning the clocks back for daylight savings time makes you tired and depressed, imagine what the change of seasons can do to you. The culprit behind SAD is an overproduction of “melatonin,” a hormone produced in the dark that causes symptoms of depression. If SAD is seriously affecting your life, then you can try bright-light therapy. You either get treatments at a … [Read more...] about Realizing the Roots of Depression
When a person is diagnosed with depression by a medical doctor, he or she is often prescribed antidepressant medications. Based on his training and expertise, this is often the best the doctor can do. Unfortunately, such drugs often do not address the root causes of the condition. As such, permanent healing usually does not take place and the patients suffer from recurring, even worsening, depressive episodes. On the other hand, in natural healing, the emphasis is on providing the right circumstances for the body to heal itself. And the first step of that process usually entails identifying the root causes of disease. Are you one of those plagued by depression with no idea what is actually causing your anguish? The causes discussed here may not be known to your doctor and could shed some light on your condition. Could it be life circumstances? Something bad happens, and then depression results, right? This is partly true. Research has shown that life events such as loss, … [Read more...] about Causes Of Depression Your Doctor May Not Know
Your blood work came back normal but you still feel like crap? Why low cholesterol is not as healthy as you were led to believe. You go to see the doctor because you have been feeling depressed, or have anxiety, aggression, low sex drive, memory issues, fatigue or you basically just don’t feel like yourself. It can be good news to hear that your blood work is normal but yet a sinking feeling because you still don’t know why you are feeling the way you are. Today I am only going to address one marker on your blood work that may be affecting your mood, physical and mental health. And this one may surprise you! Cholesterol: Why low cholesterol is not as good for your health as your think Note: in this blog I am only addressing total cholesterol. Many people have low cholesterol either through diet or via medication. This may seem like a great thing-your doctor tells you this is great. You eat low fat food products, limit the amount of … [Read more...] about low cholesterol may be causing your depression and anxiety