Nutrition and Healing
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  • Do depression drugs make it worse?

    Making the decision to take a drug for an illness or condition is a tough one. Placing your trust in a pharmaceutical is a big step.

    But what if that medication actually makes things worse?

    Sure, serious side effects might happen to a few people, depending on body chemistry and interactions with the drugs, right? I mean let’s face it, medicine is not “one size fits all.”

    But what if I were to tell you that in one case we’re talking about up to a fifth of patients?

    What makes this really scary? We’re talking about drugs for depression–and you definitely don’t want that condition getting worse.

    However, a new study of 2,500 people with major depression shows that’s just what could happen to far too many people. Researchers at the Yale University School of medicine found that up to a fifth of patients taking Cymbalta and similar medications for depression may actually do worse than people who are given placebo pills not containing any drug.

    People on placebo reported gradual improvements to symptoms. Those on drugs either showed steep improvements or absolutely none at all. And some–up to 20 percent of users–may have gotten worse.

    The scariest thing though, is that there’s no telling which group you’ll end up in–there’s just no way to predict that. And while you can usually tell within the first couple of weeks how well someone is going to respond to a depression drug there’s no telling just what could happen in those couple of weeks.

    Researchers warn that this might mean being passed from one drug to the next until you find the one that’s right for you–sending your body on a rollercoaster ride I wouldn’t wish on even my worst enemy.

    But before you resort to that rollercoaster ride of unpredictable patent medications why not try exploring what nature has to offer instead?

    Your first step should be to find a physician skilled in natural medicine to work with. This is especially important when dealing with something as serious as depression.

    To kick start the discussion, here are just a few of the many depression-fighting nutrients we’ve discussed in the e-Tips and Nutrition & Healing (click on each of the links to learn more about each potential treatment):

    • Low zinc has been linked to depression in women.
    • Men and women with low levels of B vitamins might raise depression risk.
    • A daily dose of fish oil has been shown to help depression.
    • If you’re on medication, exercise has been shown to be as effective as adding a second drug.

    And of course, this is just a sample of the slew of information on natural depression options available in the archive at

    P.S. As I said, the items I listed are just the beginning of what nature has to offer when it comes to healing. For even more ways to cut your reliance on the pharmaceutical industry, click here.

    “Some depressed people do worse on medications: study,” Reuters (

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