Is pharmacology the solution to mood control ?

In 2001 WHO ( The World Health Organisation) stated that around 450 million people suffered from some kind of mental or neurological condition. That translates to one in four people. This year WHO estimated that 300 million people are affected by depression alone.

So why do we get so many people with mental disorders ?

Since a study done at Boston Children’s Hospital confirmed that mental illness is caused by inflammation. Hence we know that nutrition plays an essential role.

Studies has also made it 100% clear that there’s a clear link between stress and mental illness ( and depression in particular) – most likely this is because stress produces free radicals which again leads to inflammation.

Pharmacology has never been more big business then it is today. Could an increased use of medicine in general be causing more and more people to suffer from mental problems ?

Given our tagline “We question health” then at it’s impossible to look at these questions and not ask, is pharmacology the solution to mood control ?

So let’s dig into it. When it comes to psychiatric treatment more and more doctors are asking these questions, some of them can be found in the documentary Making a killing: The untold story of psychotropic drugging, which you can watch below:

But how good are the drugs that we use to treat these conditions ?

Well Pfizer who manufacture Zoloft which is a top selling anti depressive drug, received a huge blow as they were sued for misleading marketing when they failed to publish trials that showed placebo to beat zoloft.

Now the case was dismissed in court, however the fact remains that the trials where placebo beats Zoloft does exist and was excluded in the application for the drugs approval, which again leaves us with the question, how much can we trust the data from the studies where Zoloft showed better effect then placebo ?

When asking the question of wether patients on antidepressants has benefit of the drugs, then we also need to look at what these drugs to to people’s life expectancy.

What is very alarming is that the drugs used in psychiatric health care are very highly inflammatory by adding free radicals to your body. Wait ! , didn’t we start this article by saying that free radicals leads to inflammation, and inflammation leads to mental illness ? Yes ! we did, and that’s definitely cause for concern, but walks hand in hand with the fact that antidepressants have extensive side effects.

So – do we die from antidepressants ? That question is not for me to answer, but a study by Petrascheck published in nature in 2007 concluded that the component Mianserin increased life expectancy by 20-33%. But what is pretty worrying is that the same study showed a decrease in life expectancy for substances: Fluoxitine (11-48% decrease), Sertraline ( 76-80% decrease) and Paroxetine (42-76% decrease). But what’s even worse is that as Kim Zarse and Michael Riston attempted to recreate Petraschack’s results, their findings was that Mianserin not only significantly decreased life expectancy but also elevated body fat.

So if we have drugs with severe side effects, that most likely will kill you before time, and may not really help your mental issues – then we need to ask the question once again, is pharmacology the solution to mood control ?

My personal opinion is no. Pharmacology might be the best bet that we have today, or maybe not the best bet, but the most researched and marketed bet we have today, but pharmacology does not cure the problem, which is malnutrition ( to many calories with to little nutrients), stress caused by the way our society is put together, polution etc. The drugs temporarily puts a lit on the symptoms.

We need another paradigme !

Further Reading:

Antidepressants of the Serotonin-Antagonist Type Increase Body Fat and Decrease Lifespan of Adult Caenorhabditis elegans

An antidepressant that extends lifespan in adult Caenorhabditis elegans

Clinical trials on Zoloft vs. Placebo

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