Millions of prescriptions for antidepressants are written every year. In fact, antidepressants are one of the most prescribed medications in the United States. However, antidepressants may not work. Many studies have further suggested that antidepressant medication is only slightly more effective than placebo effect. Robert Whitaker, a Pulitzer Prize nominee, states that using antidepressant drugs results in long-term relapses. Antidepressant medication may do more harm than good. A person’s risk for developing type 2 diabetes is up to three times higher for people taking medication. A Canadian study showed that women taking antidepressants while pregnant were 50% more likely to have a baby with low birth weight. Shier babies were also 40% more likely to have birth defects.
Even though many believe that depression is caused by an inherited chemical imbalance, there is no proof that this is the case. In fact, the 2003 study that suggested that a genetic serotonin imbalance caused depression was refuted six years later after an analysis of 14,000 patients. The reality is that depression is often an inflammatory diseased caused by stresses within the body. New research suggests that depression does not need to be a chronic problem.
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A branch of medicine known as psychoneuroimmunology examines the relationship between emotions and health. An article published in the Australian Medical Student Journal notes that the idea of behavior being linked to disease was examined as far back as 129-199 AD. In the 1930s, experiments on the immune systems of animals proved this theory. Proponents of psychoneuroimmunology believe that depression is being treated incorrectly.