If you’ve heard of SSRIs or SNRIs, you’d know them as “happy pills” or antidepressants. Prozac, Zoloft and Wellbutrin are some well-known brand names among these, and doctors prescribe them for a number of reasons:
Dr. Healy goes on to explain that antidepressants are little use for people who have psychological symptoms in the absence of physical symptoms such as: loss of energy, loss of interest, poor concentration, altered sleep patterns, altered appetite, plus other physical symptoms. He notes that antidepressants “are not anti-psychological problem pills”.
The quote above is taken from a page on SSRIs at SSRIstories.org, which is a growing resource on SSRI side effects and their impact on the people who take them.
It should be noted that nothing on this site (PillScout.com) is intended to substitute for professional treatment psychological or medical problems, the author of this article is not a medical practitioner, and this piece of writing is merely speculation and notes, but it is worth pointing out that the above symptoms are correlated to the following:
- Poor digestion and inability to absorb nutrients
- Low testosterone (in men)
- Nutritional deficiency
The above issues I cover in both of my books, with second editions on their way at the time of this writing.
Looking at what has been written on SSRIstories.org, I can’t help but agree with what the doctors have said about these drugs and their side effects coming from their irresponsible usage on behalf of the doctors that prescribe them for what may be something that can be cleared up in a less harmful manner.
The most irresponsible thing that has been done with these drugs is that they are prescribed as the solution to things that are ultimately rectifiable with some very basic lifestyle changes. What’s more is that the reasons these drugs are prescribed is that they are presumed to correct a chemical imbalance where it is not proven that such an imbalance can cause these conditions.
In fact, the true chemical imbalance is caused with the use of these medications. If they are to be used in the rare circumstances that they should be used, they must be used wisely and sparingly since taking them and suddenly quitting can cause a lot of side effects. I’m sure these drugs have their applications, but we aren’t seeing them used properly.
When taken, the SSRIs promote a certain chemical environment (by preventing the re-uptake of serotonin) and when the cause of this environment is suddenly removed, it creates a “vacuum” and a new environment that the brain suddenly needs to adapt to. Nature abhors a vacuum, so naturally this can have all manner of side effects on a person who suddenly cold turkey’d out of an antidepressant. Low libido is one most people experience.
Quitting or not, antidepressants leave the person who takes them with an unnatural mindset toward things. It’s not unheard of for people on these drugs to lose their better judgment and inhibitions, doing such reckless things like wandering into oncoming traffic, harming others, committing suicide, and so on. In better circumstances, these individuals would probably never think of doing things like that, but on these drugs given the magical ℞ blessing the withdrawl symptoms are treated as if they were part of the “disease” so their nightmare seems like it could never end.
What would Pill Scout do?
Anyway, onto some theoretical solutions. If it was suggested that I, Pill Scout, take an antidepressant SSRI for whatever non-chronic ailment I was suffering that warranted their prescription, I would instead take or do the following:
- L-theanine (100 mg a day or more as needed)
- ~5000 IU Vitamin D3 and accompanying Vitamin K2 daily
- Trace minerals daily
- Vitamin B complex daily
- Moderate to high-intensity exercise (weights, sprints, calisthenics) a few times per week
- Find a calming, quiet and positive environment
- Sleep well each night
But of course, this is only what I would do as a self-experimenter. I speak only for myself here. I have not suffered any severe psychological trauma, nor have I had any chronic psychological illness in my lifetime, so I cannot speak for individuals who may actually need these drugs to survive.
If you are inclined to see how people have used the above substances to solve their problems related to anxiety and depressive symptoms that SSRIs are typically prescribed for, I encourage you to search online for their anecdotes and stories on these alternatives. They’re everywhere.
Fun fact: most of the above I have mentioned many times here on this site. Funny how much a few simple things that help support the body and mind can help solve a lot of problems from the root, whereas the FDA likes 1 drug for 1 problem. I can’t blame them for their profitable business model.
Learn more about SSRIs
- Information about SSRIs
- Index of news incidents related to SSRI drugs