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The truth about Depression

The following is an extract taken from Dr David Perlmutter’s latest book, Brain Maker. We really felt this information was crucial to share with all our readers and encourage you all to read it. 

“The next time you’re at a large-scale event with lots of people, whether you’re in an auditorium or a stadium, take a look around and consider this: one in ten of those people is taking a psychiatric drug to treat a mood disorder. For women in their forties and fifties, one in four take an antidepressant. That’s right, a quarter of middle-aged women today are taking powerful drugs to remedy symptoms that typically fall under a diagnosis of clinical depression: persistent distress, malaise, anxiety, inner agitation, fatigue, low libido, poor memory, irritability, insomnia, sense of hopelessness, and feeling emotionally flat, overwhelmed, and trapped.

Ever since serotonin-specific reuptake inhibitor medications (SSRIs) were approved by the FDA nearly three decades ago, we as a society have come to believe that drugs can improve symptoms of or even “cure” mental illness, particularly depression, anxiety disorders, and panic attacks, which together are the top targets of medication in the U.S. But these medications do not treat depression. Whether it’s prozac, Cymbalta, Zoloft, Elavil, Lexapro, Wellbutrin, or any of the other commonly prescribed antidepressants, these medications simply treat symptoms, and only minimally so.

The same is true of ADHD drugs. Although children are still the primary users of these drugs, the number of adults using them has been increasing at a much faster pace lately. The percentage of kids taking them increased 18 percent between 2008 and 2012, but during that same time period the percentage of privately insured adults who take them skyrocketed 53 percent. I am saddened by the fact that the billion-dollar psychotropic pharmaceutical industry is predicated on the idea that people will take a pill to treat symptoms, while the underlying disorder is ignored. So there’s never any real focus on actually curing or even improving the root cause of the illness, let alone getting people off the medication.

We need to focus on understanding the causes of mental illness, so that we can find real treatments and cures that don’t involve potentially dangerous drugs with serious side effects. And you know where I’m going with this; it’s now become clear that what’s going on in the gut determines, to some degree, what happens in the brain.

A number of mechanisms are at play, including the direct effects of gut bacteria on the intestinal barrier, and their effects on the production of neurotransmitters that impact mental wellness.

All of the antidepressant medications currently on the market are designed to artificially alter neurotransmitter activity in the brain. Yet, when we consider the fact that these same chemicals found in the brain are also produced in the gut, and that their availability to the brain is largely governed by the activity of gut bacteria, we are forced to realize that ground zero for all things mood-related is the gut. 

If you were to ask someone on the street about depression, you’d be likely to hear something along the lines of “It’s a chemical imbalance in the brain.” Well, I’m here to tell you that that would be incorrect. Not only do our gut’s microbes control the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body that factor into mental health, but they control our ability to absorb certain nutrients and manufacture vitamins key to mental health.”

Based on David Perlmutter’s research, it is vital to ensure your gut is balanced and is being replenished with the right nutrients and good bacteria. One can do this by taking a probiotic supplement every day, like Efficient Microbes Health Booster.

The Content on this page was taken from the book, Brain Maker by David Perlmutter. 

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