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Antidepressants to treat depression

Deciphering the facts

You wake up a little depressed one day from events in your life (financial problems, illness, marital problems, loss of job, etc.) and hope that your attitude will improve as the day progresses, but in the end instead of feeling better you start to feel a little bit worse.

After a few weeks, you don't seem to shake off the persistent negativity associated with the sadness and slowdown in mental functions that have affected your quality of life, not to mention your sleep and appetite. At this point you begin to realize that you are experiencing depression and need help before this dangerous condition gets out of control.

So your next step is to consult your doctor, where you will be asked some questions, and then quickly send a prescription for this popular antidepressant that you advertised on TV. You know that. Here, the time it takes to report side effects is longer than the time it takes to describe the benefits of the medication.

You are now among the 11% of the population who take these potentially addictive drugs.

It is probably not surprising that last year antidepressants were the second most prescribed drug and were simply caught by cholesterol-lowering drugs. This corresponds to 254 million prescriptions with a total volume of $ 10 billion.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most commonly prescribed class of antidepressants.

It should also be noted that doctors regularly use these dangerous drugs for "off-label" purposes, e.g. B. for the treatment of chronic pain, fatigue, menstrual cramps and many other diseases that are not associated with depression.

Who is mainly responsible for the outbreak of antidepressants?

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the dizzying growth of antidepressants was caused by non-psychiatrists. An insightful study found that almost eight out of ten antidepressants were prescribed by health professionals other than psychiatrists, many of whom were written without a psychiatric diagnosis. The NIMH goes on to say that they do not know whether this is due to poor judgment, deterrent factors for the use of psychiatric diagnosis in accounting records, or other reasons.

How do antidepressants compare to placebos?

You now have a prescription on hand and take a few tablets hoping to feel better right away. Is your optimistic hypothesis really justified?

The answer is actually a little yes and a little no. There are currently around 25 antidepressants approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). At least a dozen others are in the pipeline. The approved drugs have been approved because they have been found to be more effective than a placebo. What may surprise you is that the differences are sometimes very small.

One of the big puzzles that is currently emerging in the approval process is that the placebo effects have increased dramatically over the past two decades in studies with psychotropic drugs.

European doctors generally prescribe far fewer antidepressants to treat depression than American doctors. In fact, herbal remedies that contain ingredients from St. John's wort and passion flower, or homeopathic remedies, are prescribed much more often.

Studies have shown that mild depression often improves with a placebo. This means that the difference between taking antidepressants and taking placebo is minimal or sometimes absent.

On the other hand, if severe forms of depression are the goal of treatment, antidepressants are much better, especially when combined with behavioral therapy.

* Clinical trials focused primarily on reducing symptoms of depression rather than a wider range of results. Examples would be mental skills, problems with the quality of life and changes in daily functions.

* Clinical trials that evaluate the effectiveness of these medicines typically use a rating scale that is not necessarily the most accurate indicator of effectiveness.

In summary, it seems that the antidepressants taken under the watchful eye of your doctor can be a necessary evil in some severe cases. On the other hand, there is little evidence that the modest results in treating mild cases of depression are sufficient to compensate for the risk of side effects with natural herbal or homeopathic medicines in combination with a behavioral therapy, a safe combination that is difficult for many people in Must be considered. with depression.

Kava Kava Root Powder - How Does It Work in the Brain?

Kava Kava is an ancient shrub that grows in the western Pacific. It is grown and widely consumed in the Pacific Islands of Polynesia, Hawaii, Vanuatu, Melanesia and in parts of Micronesia and Australia.

The term "kava" refers to both the plant and the beverage made from the roots of the kava plant. It means "pepper" in Latin and "intoxicating" in Greek. It is a kind of herbal drink that the royal families in the South Pacific preferred.

Kava kava root powder is made by grinding the roots of the kava plant, and the resulting brownish powder is mixed with water and drunk as a beverage without going through a fermentation process. It is sold in powder and capsule form as a dietary supplement.

However, not everyone who drinks kava juice will feel the same. This is expected because our body's biochemistry is different. In addition, the kava-kava products available on the market vary in terms of content and formulation depending on the geographical and climatic conditions of the place of cultivation, the processing method and the time of harvest.

However, kava has earned a very good reputation as an effective remedy for stress and anxiety. It works in the brain by abolishing its antidepressant properties, especially by fighting the blues and giving those who take it with careful moderation a happy and calm mood. It has the ability to soothe frayed nerves, treat migraines and muscle cramps, and best of all, it keeps the mind awake when the body relaxes and fights fatigue naturally.

The substances responsible for these medicinal and euphoric effects are called kavalactones and pyrones, which are present in high concentrations in the roots of the kava plant. There are six main components of kavalactone that trigger mild euphoria, mental alertness and calm. These are Kawain, Dihydrokawain, Methysticin, Dihydromethysticin, Yangonin and Desmethoxyyangonin.

Kava Kava is not recommended for children and teenagers. This substance, which is widely used in Australia as an anti-anxiety drink, should only be taken in moderation by healthy adults. Studies show that the substance has harmful effects on the liver when used regularly in adults. This can also be the case with children and adolescents. So always be careful.

If you take kava-kava root powder and suddenly notice anorexia, vomiting, fever, abdominal pain, unexplained tiredness, dark urine, pale stools and eyes or skin If you turn yellow, you should see your doctor immediately.

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