Modern Psychiatry and SSRIs…Creating Madness?

Manufacturing Madness in Modern Psychiatry

I have to admit I’m a bit of a nerd. My free time is spent reading about the brain, advances in neuroscience, perusing PubMed for more information. I also am moved to learn more by the clients in my practice. What’s working for them…and what’s not. I am on a continuous quest to find solutions to help people move into joy and health. I consider my practice holistic because I treat the whole person – the entire context of your life. And if what you’re doing isn’t working, I will not stop until we find what does. Persistence and perseverence are my middle names. I’m not kidding. I just never give up… not in my own life and not on anyone else.

I’m sharing a link to this article that I feel is so well written and solid because it resonates and corroborates with what I’ve seen in my clinical practice. I also love science…and good research … and caution when adding anything to our bodies, especially in children and youth. This article speaks to the red flags of modern psychiatry and the common drugs prescribed. Beyond red flags, the potential ineffectiveness of and even dangers of. SSRIs are so widely prescribed with new ones coming out every year it seems. I have clients come to me on a plethora of them often. And yet I have not had one client say they felt dramatically improved, consistently and for any length of time on an SSRI. Should we not expect more than a 20-30% temporary improvement of symptoms? If we aren’t getting that, why are we continuing on the same medication? SSRIs were developed to be used with monthly monitoring and a weaning off plan after a year and yet many people are on them indefinitely. In the meantime they disrupt the brain’s ability to manage serotonin at all and disrupt gut flora where most of our own natural serotonin is made. In this way, they create dependency without help sometimes.

I am not opposed to psychiatric medications. There are times when the right one can dramatically help a person function in their life, make progress in psychotherapy and assist them while they pursue other measures to improve their mental health. I do believe, however, that prescription drugs that alter our brain chemistry should be a last resort, and not the first line of treatment, particularly with children and youth (for whom many of these drugs are prescribed, without sufficient research on safety for the young developing brain).

Off label prescriptions of Gaba-Pentin for example have longevity, low side effect profiles, and safety for treating, anxiety, bipolar, addiction and more. I have many clients that have requested this from their doctors as an alternative and experienced positive results in conjunction with psychotherapy.

I have clients that have reduced their symptoms by over 50% just by taking probiotics, Omega 3s, and Vitamin D as per research out of the U.S. Likewise for anyone with an iron deficiency, B12 deficiency or thyroid issue – when treated, their other symptoms abated or disappeared.

I have clients that have combined homeopathy with psychotherapy for dramatic results, particularly in children and youth. Within a week one young pre-adolescent girl had 50% less anxiety from a correctly prescribed homeopathic remedy. Another had similar results from a specific supplement blend of vitamins/minerals/herbs designed to help with anxiety.

We have so much information out there in modalities outside of traditional psychiatry and each one holds promise for symptom reduction in ways that are researched and safe and we are not combining our knowledge to serve the patient in all of the ways that we can.

I am concerned that I am not hearing my clients tell me that their family doctors have diagnosed them with depression or anxiety without a psychiatric assessment from a psychologist of psychiatrist, just by self report and without performing blood work, recommending lifestyle changes or supplements, and referring for psychotherapy first. I am concerned at the growing number of pre-adolescent and early adolescent children that are prescribed one of these potentially dangerous SSRIs or other anti-anxiety or anti-psychotic or combination of the above at all, particularly when weekly psychotherapy with a modality like SRT (self regulation therapy) has never been attempted first. I am concerned at the impact on developing bodies and minds and the stunting of overall healthy brain development and resiliency when these kids brain’s stop growing. Where are the studies to support that this is good practice long term?

I know there are better ways. Combinations of healthy modalities to help and/or cure depression and anxiety and other mental illness. With research behind it, not just in studies but in my own practice and in that of other neuroscience based practitioners. We are here to help people… long term… with persistence. You can be better than you feel, long term and for the rest of your life. The brain can grow and change throughout the course of your entire life and you can build new neural connections in it to support health and happiness. It isn’t as easy as taking a pill. It does require consistency and work but it is worth it and it is possible.

Check out this article by Dr. Gary Null on this issue of SSRIs, Prozac, and other antidepressants. He has good links to research and places for more information.

This is an area of passion and caution all at once. I believe healing is available and it might include SSRIs and other pharmaceutical options for some people, and for others, other methods will work better. To never give up in finding the right puzzle piece for each person is a place I’ve devoted a lot of my time and energy. I believe there are better ways and applaud this article below. It’s worth a read.

If you’d like to discuss other options of treatment that might complement your current regimen for your own care, I’d love to speak with you about it. I have a group of professionals that I refer to and from to make sure we leave no stone unturned in the pursuit of your happiness and well being. This is just one of the things I believe in so passionately – that there is more than one way and there are always better ways. Contact me anytime at tara@westkelownacounselling.com

Manufacturing Madness in Modern Psychiatry