From the Blog…
Antidepressant medication is a billion dollar industry. Antidepressants are among the most common drugs prescribed today. But are we really all that depressed? Many women in their 30s and 40s are prescribed antidepressants and/or oral contraceptives in response to depressive symptoms due to natural hormonal fluctuations associated with aging. Our stressful lives and compromised diet place increasing demands on our bodies and brains. Eventually, our body says: “Enough,” and we find ourselves struggling to function.
Depending on genetics, lifestyle and stress levels, abrupt hormonal shifts during perimenopause and menopause can lead to disaster for some women. Every woman is different, though, and requires an assessment of her personal and unique situation to determine which treatment avenues will most effectively meet her needs.
In men, we are seeing lower testosterone levels—even in young men—and this may be due in part to xenoestrogens, which are compounds present in our chemical-laden environment. These compounds interfere with testosterone production and function. In both men and women, chronic stress, as well as poor diet and lifestyle, also contribute to these kinds of hormone imbalances.
Antidepressants have a role to play in treating depression, as they do seem to help those with the most severe forms. I believe that they should be monitored carefully, and education and lifestyle interventions should be part of care for anyone taking these medications. I don’t believe, in general, that they should be prescribed to children or adolescents. If you are suffering from depression and fatigue, we will work together in order to understand the complexities of nutrition, adrenal dysfunction and thyroid management, as these factors may well be playing a major role in your depression.