Health Notes

Depression and the Holistic Alternative

Depression has been co-opted by the psychiatric medical profession as an imbalance that should be treated with drugs. There is a holistic alternative. But why use herbs, diet, exercise and communication to deal with depression rather than your doctor’s prescription?
Drugs like Prozac, Xenax, Haldol, Lithium and a whole host of psychiatric drugs are being prescribed by doctors across the country as a quick antidote and long-term solution to depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other psychiatric problems. But what is the cost?

The first thing that must be understood about using drugs to treat any problem that you have whether physical, mental or emotional is that DRUGS DO NOT ALLOW YOU TO HEAL. Drugs treat the symptoms but do not treat the cause. In dis-ease you have the symptom and you have the cause. It’s like taking a drug for a headache. When you do, and the pain goes away, you may think you have solved your problem. But in reality you have only manipulated the symptom; the cause as to why you had the pain in the first place is still there.

We have been led to believe by the psychiatric doctors that depression is a physical-mental illness caused by an imbalance of seratonin levels. Amazingly enough this has never been proven. In fact these drugs are actually spreading an epidemic of long-term brain damage. Mental “illnesses” like schizophrenia, depression and anxiety disorder have not been proven to be genetic or even physical in origin. Neuroleptic drugs are chemical lobotomizing agents with no specific therapeutic effect on any symptom or problems. Their main impact is to blunt and subdue the individual, rendering the individual less able to react or to move. Thus, they produce a chemical lobotomy and a chemical straight jacket. These drugs are the cause of a plague of brain damage that affects up to half or more of the long-term patients. (Peter Breggin, M.D. 1991)

So these drugs cause the very mental imbalances that they are meant to treat. Your body does not have a medical requirement for anything produced by a pharmaceutical company. The American Psychiatric Association – like the American Medical Association – has been fully bought out by the Pharmaceutical industry. To take these drugs is to doom yourself to more mental illness. Furthermore, these drugs can cause permanent brain damage. Tardive Dyskinesia and Tardive Dementia are diseases frequently caused by neuroleptics. The term “tardive” means late developing or delayed; “dyskinesia” means abnormal movement. Tardive dyskinesia is a movement disorder that can afflict any of the voluntary muscles, from the eyelids, tongue, larynx, and diaphragm to the neck arms, legs and torso. On rare occasions it can occur after a few weeks or months, but usually it strikes the individual after six months to two years of treatment. Any of the neuroleptics can cause Tardive Dyskinesia. The total dosage probably affects the likelihood of this happening but the dose relationship is not easily demonstrated and any amount must be considered dangerous. While some symptoms improve or even disappear after removal from the offending mediations, most cases are permanent. There is no known treatment for Tardive Dyskinesia. Often the start of this symptom goes unnoticed, because the drugs that cause it also tend to suppress the overt symptoms. Tardive Dementia is a complete deterioration of mental faculties. While Tardive Dyskinesia is a firmly established disease, Tardive Dementia remains more controversial (although evidence for its existence seems incontrovertible).

So what is the alternative? First of all, if you are taking these powerful drugs, do not stop taking them abruptly. Most psychiatric drugs are far more dangerous to take then people realize, but they also can become dangerous when discontinued too abruptly. Most have addictive qualities and can produce withdrawal symptoms that are emotionally and physically distressing and sometimes life threatening. Drugs that can produce withdrawal symptoms include narcoleptics or anti-psychotics, such as Haldol or Thorazine, antidepressants such as Tofanil and Elavil, stimulants such as Ritalin, minor tranquilizers such as Valium and Xanaz, and prescription sedatives or sleeping pills. Stopping psychiatric drugs should usually be done gradually and only with professional guidance.

With professional help, you can find the holistic alternative. Nutrition, herbal alternatives such as St. John’s Wort, Kava Kava, Melatonin, Valerian Root, and Ginseng can all be used to support the transition and treatment of someone suffering mental illness. Also exercise, internal cleansing and detoxification must be a part of a holistic program to address one’s health needs.

On the spiritual level, depression certainly can have its roots in the loss of something or someone that one has relied upon. If you have lost a significant relationship that you have relied upon, you will undoubtedly be depressed. Also it has to do with a lack of a plan for how one can be successful and accomplish their goals. Perhaps on a deeper spiritual level some people don’t truly have an idea of what their spiritual goals are in life, or a plan of how to achieve them. We are made up of many parts. Bringing those parts into alignment with the higher parts of yourself and of our universe is part of what spiritual counseling can do for you.

When you have problems in life you can search for the quick fix that numbs your mind, body and spirit, or you can truly search for the physical, mental and spiritual reasons for why you have the problem. Presenting yourself to your local doctor may be something that you do in your search for truth. But if you find you are not satisfied with what you have been given, then maybe it is time you continue your search. Don’t give up. You are in a fight to survive and to be successful.

One thing is for certain: your body is made perfect and whenever something is happening with it, you should use that as an opportunity to listen to your body and bring your body in alignment with the higher forces of the Universe. Pain on any level is a sign that your body is out of balance with these higher forces. Don’t thwart your body’s efforts to be truly free and to be liberated from the chains that bind you. You can and will be successful. Your commitment to live truth and to be successful is something that you can and should commit yourself to. Better to fight for that and die for your freedom, than to be enslaved by the chains that would bind you.