Dr Oz, Antidepressant Serotonin Imbalance, Suicide Warning, Depression

Dr. Oz Talks About Anti-Depressants, Serotonin Imbalance, and Suicide Risks

Today Dr. Oz opened the show by talking about antidepressants and new research that may raise the possibility that they may not even work & can in fact make some people feel worse.  With millions of people currently taking antidepressants Dr. Oz feels that today’s episode may be one of the most important and highly anticipated shows of the season.  Also be sure to check out the followup segment on non-prescription depression treatments that Dr. Oz recommended.

More Than 30 Million Americans Currently Take Antidepressants

Dr. Oz said that 1 out of 10 are currently taking medication to help with depression.  The troubling aspect is the new research that has found that antidepressants may not be any more effective than placebos.  On top of that disturbing research data, the side effects associated with antidepressants are alarming.  Dr. Oz invited Dr. Drew Pinsky on to the show to discuss the latest data and what we can derive from the latest studies.  Dr. Drew Pinsky believes that antidepressants are being over prescribed with many patients not being diagnosed properly.

Antidepressant Suicide Warnings

In 2004 the Federal Drug Administration began requiring drug manufacturers to put suicide warnings on anti-depressant meds.  Dr. Drew Pinsky said that while the risk of suicide risk is not common, the side effect is real.  The risk of suicidal thoughts are higher amongst children.

Are Patients Being Misdiagnosed?

Dr. Pinsky told Dr. Oz that what concerns him the most about antidepressant medications is that doctors aren’t taking the time to make a proper diagnosis before reaching for the prescription pad to prescribe these meds.  He said over the long term these medications can actually increase depression for many while not even being effective for others.  He said that some physicians with little training in antidepressants (gynecologists, primary care providers, internists, etc..) are prescribing these meds and this is very concerning to him.

Dr. Oz spoke of a recent study has shown that patients who took antidepressants were twice as likely to have their depression return as those who were only taking placebos.

Is Depression Caused By A Serotonin Imbalance?

Dr. Oz said that the medical community used to believe that it was a serotonin imbalance in the brain that was causing depression.  Physicians would then prescribe meds (antidepressants) to boost serotonin levels to alleviate the depression.  Dr. Oz said that experts are now changing their views on what actually causes depression and that taking antidepressants may cause chemical imbalances which can lead to dangerous side effects (like suicidal thoughts).  There is also a risk of withdrawal that brings about even more side effects.

What Should You Take If You Suffer From Depression?

According to Dr. Daniel Amen, antidepressants can be very effective for those who suffer from depression but can be harmful for other patients who are being misdiagnosed.  Dr. Amen said that two people who are displaying similar depression symptoms may react very differently to the same medication.  He believes that Dr.’s should be treating patients on an individual basis.

Dr. Oz and his medical team did some research of their own.  They discovered that there is a shockingly high number of people taking antidepressants who have never been diagnosed with depression.

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