Kerry Thomas, M.Ed., LPC

Compassionate partnership for a better life.


Could Your Antidepressants Be Making You Feel Worse?

Posted on May 14, 2019 at 11:55 AM

Could it be possible that your antidepressants might be making you feel worse?

I want to talk with you about the dangers of psychiatric medication. Why? Because it seems that most people who are taking them, and those numbers are increasing as I speak, don't seem to be getting this information from their prescribers. I think you have a right to understand the real potential for harm associated with what you are putting in your body.

You see, if you are taking antidepressants in order to elevate your mood, you might be surprised to hear that these compounds could actually be making you feel much, much worse. In fact, there are many within the mental health community who are raising alarms at how these medications are being linked to prolonged periods of depression and increasing severity levels of depression. In other words, there are now lots of people asking "Are these drugs making people better or worse?"

Once reserved for the mentally ill, you would be hard pressed to find someone who hasn't taken some form of psychiatric medication at some point in their lives. These compounds have become so common in our culture; being prescribed for everything from learning challenges to bedwetting, aggression, juvenile delinquency, criminality, drug addiction, and smoking to handling all fears and problems from cradle to grave. In fact, they are so commonly prescribed that for many people "life without drugs" would be unimaginable. That is a scary realization.

And that is why I felt so compelled to make this video. In 2011, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that anti-depressant use in the US has increased nearly 400% in the last two decades, making anti-depressants the most frequently used class of medications by Americans ages 18-44 years of age.

In fact, we are taking so much of them thataccording to Alex Ford, a marine biologist from Portsmouth's Institute of Marine Biology, antidepressant and antianxiety medications are showing up in the surface water, ground water, drinking water, soil samples and even accumulating in wildlife tissues. Or as he put it, "Our aquatic life is bathing in a soup of antidepressants"

Several studies have reached the conclusion that antidepressants do, in fact, lead to an increase in both the severity of depression and in the duration of the depressive episode. A 2010 scientific study out of the University of Louisville School of Medicine lead the study authors to conclude that any initial improvements of antidepressants are often followed by treatment resistance and worsening depression. In fact, they stated that, "There are reasons to believe that antidepressant treatment itself may contribute to a chronic depressive syndrome." Further they noted that in a random assignment study, that continuing AD treatment in people who had rapid cycling bipolar tripled the likelihood of future depression episodes compared to those who discontinued the medication. (1)

According to a 2006 article by Dr. Joanna Moncrieff, psychiatrist and professor at University College in London entitled "Do Antidepressants Cure or Create Abnormal Brain States? "Recent sharp increases in antidepressant use have been accompanied by increased prevalence and duration of depressive episodes . Naturalistic studies have also shown that depressive episodes are more frequent and last longer among antidepressant users than among nonusers and that sickness absence is more prolonged. Follow-up studies of people treated for depression indicate high levels of nonrecovery or relapse." (4)

Another 2012 article published in Frontiers in Psychology Social and Evolutionary Neuroscience by lead author Dr. Paul W. Andrews from the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behavior at McMaster University states, "while antidepressants are modestly effective in reducing depressive symptoms, they increase the brain's susceptibility to future episodes after they have been discontinued."(5)

Further, a study done in 2003 published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry demonstrated just that. According to the study, their findings demonstrated, "Very unfavorable long-term outcomes of major depression treated by pharmacological means." These unfavorable outcomes included depression-inducing effects with mood and anxiety disturbances, antidepressant induced switching to bipolar disorder, and serious withdrawal effects when the medication is stopped. (2)

In 1987, the year prior to the introduction of the first commonly prescribed psychiatric medication, Prozac, the rate of disability due to depression was 1 out of every 184 Americans. Within two decades that number doubled to 1 out of every 76 Americans now so depressed that they were deemed "disabled" by these symptoms. Again, in the two decades following the mass introduction of Prozac.

Wouldn't we expect these numbers to be falling and not rising if the medications were so effective?

Perhaps the most telling piece of data which indicate an increase in depressive symptoms with antidepressants is the increased risk of suicide associated with taking them.

Did you even know that antidepressants have actually been linked to an increased risk of suicide?

Could this be true? Well, the numbers of people suffering extreme symptoms of depression leading to suicidal ideation or suicide attempts sure seem to be sky rocketing out of sight while the number of prescriptions for antidepressants topped 25 billion in 2007 alone, and likely are much higher now. An article from the New York Times dated April of 2016, relying on data from the National Center for Health statistics, declared that the number of US suicides was at a 30 year high.

In fact, in 2004 the FDA asked that a black box warning be placed on the inserts of 10 different antidepressants due to the risk of increasing depression and suicide.

In the review of the literature and meta-analysis of 70 clinical trials which looked for the data on the increased risk of suicidality the study authors concluded, "in children and adolescents the risk of suicidality and aggression doubled." However, the study authors were incapable of reaching any conclusive understanding of the risk to adults as the study data was inconclusive and intentionally ambiguous. This seems to be quite common. In other words, well, I will let Dr. Peter Gotzsche say it better, "It is more difficult to know what the risk is in adults, as there has been massive underreporting and even fraud in the reporting of suicides, suicide attempts and suicidal thoughts in the placebo-controlled trials(1,2). The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has contributed to the obscurity by downplaying the problems, by choosing to trust the drug companies, by suppressing important information, and by other means." It may be interesting to you to know that at least 40% of the FDA's operating budget is paid for by the pharmaceutical companies themselves. (6)

In fact, the coverup conducted intentionally by Eli Lilly to hide the fact that their Antidepressant Prozac was shown to increase the likelihood of suicides in their studies is incredibly alarming. Had it not been for an anonymous insider who sent the documentation to the BMJ, we would all still be in the dark. But have you even heard about this? In an article by Dr. Peter Breggin he summarizes the findings in the documents. According to him "The second group of documents is a July 1985 in-house analysis by Eli Lilly in which the company found a large statistically significant increase in suicide attempts for patients taking Prozac during their placebo controlled clinical trials. Twelve suicide attempts were found in the Prozac group and only one each in the control group and the comparison drug, a tricyclic antidepressant. (7)

Now you might be inclined to believe, as I once did, that of course people taking AD's attempt suicide. But what some of the studies have shown is that when these medications are given to healthy people who aren't even depressed, even many of them become suicidal.

Now I know I have thrown a lot at you that is disturbing and challenges everything you have ever been told about antidepressants. It is a lot to consider, for sure. And I hate beyond words to be the bearer of bad news. But when you stop to consider the real world consequences in light of what I shared earlier with regard to these medications now showing up in the drinking water that is coming into all of our homes, what it means is that we are all in essence, taking antidepressant medication whether we want to or not.

Just thought you might want to know.



Dr. Rif S. Al-Mallakh

2)Can Long-Term Treatment With Antidepressant Drugs Worsen the Course of Depression? Dr.Giovanni A Fava

3) New Research: Antidepressants Can Cause Long-Term

Depression, by Dr. Peter Breggin

4) ??? studies have also shown that depressive episodes are more frequent and last longer among antidepressant users than among nonusers??????

5) Primum Non Nocere: An Evolutionary Analysis of Whether Antidepressants Do More Harm than Good. Dr. Paul W. Andrews

6) Antidepressants increase the Risk of Suicide and Violence at all ages. Dr. Peter Gotzsche.

7) An Examination of Eli Lilly and Company???s Contentions that the BMJ Prozac Documents were

Never Missing and Have No Significance. Dr. Peter Breggin

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