Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by JPV, Apr 24, 2010.
With all respect, same as the medical/pharma industry has created this myth of "antidepressants work", the alternative medicine industry has created another one which, from my experience, is even worse.
My life was hard enough when I was on antidepressants for years and they never helped but only caused awful side effects (attributed to my own exaggerated response and hypochondria...), but when I decided to stop all pills and started reading the internet and visiting alternative therapists it was even worse.
Maybe looking for every kind of allergy or trying suppleemnts of Vit D or B12 or B6 or C or magnesium or omega-3 or Sam-e or 5-HTP or St.John's Wort or Inositol or Theanine or Homeopathy or the thousand of different "natural" or "no-side-effects" antidepressants are as harmful as the chemical pharmaceutical ones, but it is also a very expensive and draining process. I mean, me and many like me spend years and years trying and trying and trying and trying things and spending and spending and spending.
Same as I think it is necessary to tell openly that antidepressants don't work for most people, it is also necessary to stop the "alternative" industry which is also very costly and liar. I have read lots and lots of studies on all those "natural" treatments and I think that same as with the reviews of the antidepressants, they are very manipulated. The fact is that after 30 years suffering all this mess I have never met anyone recovered by taking any alternative approach or natural treatment or supplement. Not even one case. That includes for instance mercury detox and amalgams removal, totally non-allergenic or candida diet, etc, etc, etc. All the internet classics.
Please stop presenting all of these as alternatives to antidepressants and shrinks. Or say clearly that the percentage of success is so small that it can perfectly be placebo effect too. For one case of "recovery" there are thousands of failed ones.
Thanks, MNC. You gave balance to this thread. I appreciated the information which JPV posted, minus the promotion for Mark Hyman, M.D., which I am not sure is okay in terms of Forum rules. Posters aren't supposed to be "selling" here, is my understanding.
I took the promotional section out of the article. I initially copied it verbatim without really paying attention to that part.
My beef is with Big Pharma that has no problem selling largely ineffective drugs, yet hypocritically has it's cronies at the FDA constantly harassing vitamin/supplement manufactures for making any health benefit claims...
Ye, I have my problems with big pharma too. In my eyes there is not enough competition in the medical field. Small companies are not allowed into the market, either the FDA blocks them (Ampligen) or they get swallowed by bigger companies. During the last year it semed to be much better to improve existing drugs and sell them for triple the price than to invent new drugs.
It is not Big Pharma to blame. It is the corrupt politicians, health responsibles and doctors the ones that make it happen. Pharma companies are like any other industry, they are there for the money and cheat as much as they can. We pay politicians and health professionals to protect us, we don't pay them to be there doing nothing but getting rich from bribery.
So many doctors say they are against this system where they only learn about meds from their pharma salesmen. And they know they may hurt many patients, but cowardly look somewhere else and just prescribe what they are "motivated" to prescribe. I still have to see doctors in any country protesting against the system. They may go on strike for better salaries or working conditions, but never to do it for something really honest and human such as attacking the corrupted system and defending the ethics and public health.
Still, antidepressants work little and hurt a lot, but have some percentage of positive results. Alternative medicine, being so expensive, has much smaller results if any, so I don't know what side is worse.
My opinion; patients should be warned by the doctors that those antidepressants (or any medication) may be addictive, perhaps for life, that may cause horrible side effects and that the percentage of success is small. As long as the patient knows the truth and takes a well informed decision it is enough. Doctors should be obliged to say this just as policemen have to to tell their rights to the ones under arrest.
And the supplements sellers and alternative therapists should simply be obliged to warn that all of that is a scam but may have some placebo effect.
I think this is great corrective information, or opinion, MNC, a powerful statement. Also vis a vis the alternative stuff. If we had a Consumer Reports on the efficacy of all the drugs, supplements, health treatments and diets, we'd wise up. As for myself, having tried all kinds of stuff with ME/CFS, standard and alternative, I can tell you I can say that very little of it has worked. Not about to jump on the latest bandwagon or follow the latest craze. Right now I am waiting on a standardized test for XMRV; then I will take it from there.
Thanks for this thread!
I personally know two people who have been helped by antidepressants. One hasn't been able to get off them, but he hasn't tried to kill himself lately. Another weaned herself off Prozac with the help of her doctor. (The latter friend would totally agree with the original poster about antidepressants ... they changed her in ways she didn't like, and she believes people don't really need them. All I know is that she was in a very bad place for a very long time, and they rather quickly kicked her out of that deep well of badness.)
Now, "I personally know two people" is not data. Furthermore, if it turns out friend #1 can stop taking them in favor of a lot of B12, he'll be quite happy to do that. But I've seen almost nothing but anecdotal evidence for supplements. When I look at the labels, I often see a disclaimer saying that there's nothing backing up their claims.
Another point I forgot to mention before hitting the post button ...
I find it hard to believe that 10 percent of the entire population are on antidepressants, but many of you have firsthand experience of doctors pushing them on you when depression isn't your problem. THAT needs to be addressed even if antidepressants do work for the much narrower cohort they're supposed to work for.
I've seen both sides of the story.
I was put on anti-depressants in 1998 after a breakdown, which wasn't the correct treatment for me at that time. I've also had to take prescription drugs at various times over the last 20 years, some correctly prescribed & effective, & some with disastrous side-effects.
Having also had some training in herbal medicine, aromatherapy & massage (& having studied alternative therapies for over 25 years) gives me the other side of the coin.
I believe many people are being prescribed anti-depressants (like I was) when they don't have clinical depression. I abhor the one size fits all approach - take a pill. The first psychiatrist I was sent to was a big joke - I still laugh at the memory of those silly consultations I had to attend (as it was a work related breakdown). Many years later, the 2nd psychiatrist I was sent to, had the skill to diagnose my problem as purely, bottled up anger - not clinical depression.
I also believe there are a lot of charletons in the alternative therapies industry. Some people do a small course & think they can practice that therapy. One of the most important things I learned from my courses is that people can have adverse effects from the simplest plant medicine - plant medicine & synthetic prescription drugs can both, fail & have serious allergic responses.
It takes a highly skilled healer (orthodox western trained physician OR alternative therapist) to diagnose the mental, spiritual or physical disorder & prescribe the correct treatment.
You can study for all your life & not be skilled in the healing arts. Or you can study for a short time & develop your natural healing skill for good use all your life.
True healers have not only education & experience, but the intuitive understanding of healing.
I consider my current GP a great healer, because he is not only a good diagnostician, but is open to alternative healing practices.
He is also compassionate & a great listener. Listening & interpreting your health story is becoming a lost art.
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