What's The Deal With Antidepressants?

The most common antidepressants prescribed by doctors are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). I do not disagree with antidepressants, as these can be life-saving for people who are severely depressed. 

However, I do disagree with administering anti-depressants as a long-term ‘solution’ without getting to the root cause of the issue. This is a ‘sticky plaster’ approach as this just masks the symptoms without identifying or looking to overcome the underlying cause. 

Plus, SSRIs will eventually lose their effectiveness because, after a while, the body stops producing serotonin. This is because SSRIs do not help the body produce more serotonin, it just makes it more available. The body is clever, right? If serotonin is more readily available, it will not put more energy into producing more. Therefore, the chemical imbalance is actually worse after using SSRIs than it was before you actually started taking the drug. This makes it even harder to find the root cause. 

Finding The Root Cause

The root cause could be solely from trauma, negative thinking patterns or an event that has hugely impacted someone psychologically. Depression can also be the result of a chemical or hormone imbalance, poor gut health and other physiological issues but it is usually a combination of the two. Why? Experiences change people’s biology! 

The mind and body are intrinsically connected, so it’s not surprising that your mind can make you ill and vice versa.

However, we have differentiated physical and mental health for so long that people do not realise or even contemplate this connection. Physical and mental health are one, therefore you should always look at your body from a holistic perspective when working on any symptoms. This is why people who have ‘IBS’ often have high levels of anxiety, or why blood sugar dysregulation can result in insomnia and depression. 

What came first? Trying to work this out can be like the chicken and the egg debate. Was a traumatic event the catalyst for a domino effect of health issues that lead to gut dysbiosis? Did an unhealthy gut make someone more susceptible to patterns of negative thinking due to low serotonin? Who knows! What is important is to break the cycle. 

What To Do If You Are Considering Taking Antidepressants

Medication is life saving for life-or-death scenarios, and if that’s where you are then you must do what you need to do! However, if you are depressed and weighing up whether you should start taking SSRIs then it is important that you can make an informed decision. 

The first thing you should do is a simple at-home functional lab test. These tests are incredible at identifying any imbalances in the body that could be leading to how you are feeling. This data will allow you to work with an integrative health practitioner to formulate a tailored protocol to start to rebalance the body and boost your health. A healthy body will help give you a healthy mind, and vice versa. 

Be Informed

Decisions that affect your overall health should always be informed, unfortunately there isn’t enough education on the effects of lots of medications that are given out quite easily, SSRIs are no exception. 

SSRIs might help, but they are not correcting the underlying chemical imbalance in the brain. In fact, they are potentially creating neurological imbalances that weren’t there before. Even just one dose of SSRIs will start to change neurochemistry. 

These drugs disable the brain to alter your mental state, in a similar way tranquillisers can numb biological functions. This is why so many people who were previously depressed, refer to antidepressants making them feel ‘numb.’ That’s because that’s what they’re doing! Ok, you may not be in pain anymore, but the drugs are creating chemical imbalances that you can’t yet feel because of the masking of symptoms! 

Know that SSRIs are not the only answer. There is no ‘magic silver bullet’ to solve any health issue, and mental health is no different. Therefore, you cannot expect to fix an issue with a single drug. 

What Are The Other Options?

SSRIs are life-saving – short term! Do you want health, happiness and vitality long term? If so, it’s worth looking within and trying to address any underlying root causes for your depression.

I am all about holistic healing. Taking a 360-degree approach will allow you to work on both psychological and physiological health simultaneously – they work together every day, so why should they be separated when overcoming a health issue? 

Meditation, other forms of mindfulness and therapy are a great way to start working on psychological elements – this will also benefit your physical health. Private consultations and coaching will help you improve your physiological health which, in turn, will boost your mental health. 

If you cannot afford one-to-one consultation in Private Practice, then the GI Protocol is a brilliant place to start, as so many mental health issues start in the gut.

For meditations that are designed to help you overcome negative thought patterns, Synergised Nutrition is the best place to go. You could take all the supplements in the world, but without a healthy mind, it is so much harder to reach happiness and optimum overall health. 




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