In 2000, in Hormone Deception, I wrote about the increased risk of getting certain cancers from taking certain antidepressants. Now, there’s more bad news about pills prescribed to make you happier. Antidepressants, most forms, are being tied to a significantly increased risk of premature death from all causes, except for heart disease. And keep this in mind: one out of ten Americans is taking long term antidepressants!

Antidepressants, as a stunning study from McMaster University emphasizes, do not work as effectively as medicine had hoped. Plus, they are much more dangerous than ever realized.

“The common wisdom is that antidepressants are safe and effective, and by treating people with depression with antidepressants, we can save lives.

“However, research over the last decade has shown that antidepressants are much less effective than we had thought.

“Our research is part of a body of research that suggests that antidepressants are much less safe than we had thought,” says lead investigator Paul W. Andrews, PhD, JD, of the Department of Psychology, at McMaster University, out of Hamilton, Canada.

The increased risks of earlier death were the same for both tricyclics or SSRIs forms of antidepressants.

In the general-population samples, antidepressant use increased the risk for death “from any cause” by 33%!

However, in patients with “preexisting heart disease”, antidepressant use was associated with a non-significant “decrease in all-cause mortality” probably because these meds tend to thin out the blood (have anti-clotting actions).

You often can get the same benefit by donating blood every 59 days at your local blood donation center. And also by taking regular fish supplements and consuming several fish meals a week.

Every drug has a shadow side. I used to work in a dialysis center with Dr. Jack Moncrief. Dr. Jack invented the home unit of dialysis among other things, as well as collaborated on a drug with myself. Dr. Jack is a man among men. A medical hero who has been in practice for over 50 years and still going strong. Dr. M. would remind me over and over:

  • Every drug has some kind of negative effect(s) on the human body.
  • Every drug rinses out specific nutrients that need to be replaced.
  • Most drugs are meant for short-term benefits while you hopefully figure out “root cause” and take care of the problem(s) in a healthier way.

Unless the depression is imminently life threatening, the first safe steps toward boosting and improving mood, should be cleaning up your diet, considering appropriate herbs and nutrients, and exercising more.

All of these have been shown to improve mood, sleep, energy, and life perspective. These natural interventions have no negative side effects, and certainly do not shorten anybody’s life span. In fact, they often increase it.

Some times antidepressants can be very helpful. For a time. However, the best goal is to try to figure out why you are having the problem in the first place. Hormonal imbalance? Microbiome issues? Nutrient deficiencies? Emotional management? Exposures to mold, reactive foods or stealth infections? The list goes on.

The field of “psycho nutrition” must evolve. But, of course, then it will be a battle over who gets to chat with the patient about food and nutrients and who gets paid and/or pays for it.

Weary, weary, weary are we of these battles. Let’s just get our citizens off more and more meds!

YOU, the patient must stop asking for the simple fix of a pill.

The pills you pop, for a benefit in the short term (which is even up for grabs if they really work), might just shorten your life in the long run. It simply just ain’t worth it!

Published online September 14, 2017. The Mortality and Myocardial Effects of Antidepressants Are Moderated by Preexisting Cardiovascular Disease: A Meta-Analysis