The numbers may surprise you, but one in six people in the US alone takes some type of psychiatric drug, and most are antidepressants . Antidepressants are only prescribed for depression. But they are also being used to treat anxiety, insomnia and PMS, among other ailments. While antidepressants may help – initially – people suffering from these health problems, they can also cause other symptoms to surface.

Antidepressants damage the brain and heart

The supposed benefits of antidepressants have been in the spotlight for quite some time in the health world, and the ease of prescribing them as candy to patients who need a quick and easy solution raises the question, Is medication really useful? for depression?

At best, the tangible results that patients feel are comparable to those caused by consuming sugar pills. That is, the drug itself does practically nothing to improve the mood of the patient directly. But at worst, antidepressants cause decreased mental stability. 

These medications can make you even more vulnerable to the most serious mental illnesses. In the most recent studies, it has been shown that antidepressants cause problems in the main arteries. Research specifically points to an increase in the thickness of the carotid artery lining by up to 5% in men, thus increasing the risk of heart disease, substantially putting more pressure on the heart.

This occurs when selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs, the main form of antidepressants) are taken, as well as antidepressants that affect other chemicals in the brain. The evidence is not entirely concrete, but it points towards the change in serotonin in the body caused by medications.

Another study of women who have gone through menopause found that women who took a variation of antidepressants were up to 45% more likely to suffer brain damage, causing more chances of a stroke . This same study also found that mortality rates for women increased, while also increasing, 32% more than the drugs on the market.

Other documented side effects are much more prominent, but certainly no less detrimental to health. This includes:

  • suicidal / homicidal thoughts
  • an increased risk of diabetes
  • an increased chance of stillbirth
  • decreased immune system support
  • reduced bone density – resulting in an increased risk of fractures, especially in the spine.

There are also some long-term risks with the use of these medications: turning unipolar depression into bipolar depression, and a general cognitive decline in most patients. The total loss of your mental capacity should be enough to raise a warning flag.

Antidepressant-induced nutrient depletion

Another look at research has shown that antidepressants have the ability to deplete the body of critical nutrients in several different ways . They can promote increased excretion of nutrients, causing poor digestion, absorption, and storage of nutrients. Eventually, this process can result in nutritional deficiencies , which can cause additional symptoms and increase the side effects of the medication.

[irp posts = ”30202 ″ name =” 10 nutrient deficiencies that can cause depression ”]There is a major problem when it comes to drug- and antidepressant-induced nutrient depletion or depletion: nutrient deficiencies can be one of the main causes of mental illness . If someone struggling with depression, anxiety, or another mental illness, due in part to nutrient depletion, is prescribed an antidepressant, the medication has the potential to further deplete their body’s nutrients, making symptoms worse.

Nutrient depletion takes time, which means that a patient may even develop new symptoms or side effects months or even years after starting a drug. This makes the connection between the original drug and the new symptoms difficult to diagnose.

New symptoms can lead to a new prescription that further depletes the body’s nutrients and once again makes symptoms worse. This can create a downward spiral consisting of multiple medications for many misunderstood or difficult-to-explain symptoms.

Key Nutrients Depleted by Antidepressants

1. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Coenzyme Q10 plays a key role in energy production. It is a molecule that is found in every cell in the body. It is also an antioxidant that helps protect the body and brain from damage caused by free radicals. Studies show that several different psychiatric medications, including antidepressants and antipsychotics, deplete CoQ10. Low levels can cause brain fog, mental fatigue, memory lapses, depression, and irritability. Other symptoms include increased blood pressure, muscle cramps, high blood sugar, and shortness of breath.

Foods rich in CoQ10 include peanuts, sesame seeds, soybean oil, oranges, strawberries, and broccoli.

2. Magnesium

Magnesium is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, including neurotransmitter, enzyme, and hormonal activity. Low levels of magnesium can have a huge negative impact on mood and brain function. Adequate levels of magnesium in the body reduce anxiety, depression, and irritability.

Research has shown that many antidepressants and stimulants deplete magnesium from the body , increasing the chances of developing a deficiency. A magnesium deficiency can cause increased blood pressure, insomnia, migraines, nausea, abnormal heart rhythms, and even seizures.

Foods rich in magnesium include almonds, spinach, peanuts, black beans, edamame, avocados, and bananas.

3. B vitamins

B2, B6, B12 and folate are among the B vitamins, which can be depleted by psychiatric medication. Vutamine B2 plays a key role in energy metabolism. Low levels can lead to low energy, weight gain, and thyroid problems. Lower levels of B2 have been found in people with depression, making a prescription for psychiatric medication even more dangerous.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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