Baseball, Apple Pie and Antidepressants?

Mental health issues impact a huge number of Americans. Below we’ll look at some alternatives to improve your mood and mental health, and possibly reduce the need for pharmaceuticals.

One in four American women take medication for a mental disorder.  According to a study published last week by Medco Health Systems, Inc. over 25 percent of women are on antipsychotics/antidepressants and prescriptions for men ages 20-64.  This number has quadrupled since 2001.

In adults 20 to 44, use of antipsychotic drugs and treatments for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has more than tripled, while use of anti-anxiety drugs like Xanax, Valium and Ativan rose 30 percent.

Judging by those disturbing numbers, it is clear that what we are doing with our physical and mental health is not working.  We have more stress, more depression, more anxiety, more drug commercials and more drugs than ever before. In fact, the rise in antidepressant use has largely been attributed to direct to consumer drug advertising on television and in magazines.

The U.S. is one of only two countries in the entire world that allows direct to consumer drug advertising. Pharmaceutical companies often target kids under the age of 12!

According to J. Douglas Bremmer, M.D., “With so many of us popping pills or gulping down spoonfuls of medicine, it’s not surprising that hundreds thousands Americans die every year from the effects of prescription medication.  About a quarter of the prescriptions that doctors write for the elderly have a potentially life threatening error.  Many of these people are getting medications that they don’t need for problems that can be appropriately and safely addressed without drugs.”

No doubt, depression is a real problem in America.  Let’s look at safe, sane ways of dealing with it:

  • Professor James A. Blumenthal and colleagues studied 156 adults with major depressive disorder (MDD) aged 50 years and older. The participants were randomly assigned to one of three groups:
    1. Thirty minutes of brisk exercise three times a week
    2. The antidepressant Zoloft, or
    3. Exercise and medication.
    Conclusion: “After 16 weeks of treatment exercise was equally effective in reducing depression among patients with MDD.”
  • Evidence supports that trauma (in particular mild concussive injury to the head, neck or upper back) increases the risk of onset of depression.  Numerous research studies have documented improvement in depression and related symptoms as a result of chiropractic adjustments which reduce pressure on the lower brain and spinal cord caused by misaligned vertebrae
  • A new study finds that teens who spend long hours watching television are at higher risk for depression as adults, . Participants faced significantly greater odds of being depressed seven years later, and the risk rose with each hour of daily television viewed, according to a report involving more than 4,000 teenagers.

So is there some kind of unexplained epidemic of depression, or do we watch too much TV, eat too much sugar and neglect our posture?

For More Information

Health is year-round priority that often takes a backseat during the holidays. Contact your nearest Maximized Living wellness doctor to learn safe, practical ways to stay healthy and merry this winter.