"Treat the disease, you win some, you lose some. Treat the patient, you always win."
~Patch Adams~

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Alternatives to Antidepressants

Good afternoon, world! I have not been ignoring you (sorry I haven't posted for a few days) ---- I got a new IPad on Thursday, and having so much fun playing with it I am all but ignoring my "old" computer.  I haven't quite figured out how to blog from the IPad yet, but I downloaded a new app (there's an app for everything----including tracking menopause symptoms, and expect a post on that soon) but as soon as I do ------- watch out!

Short but interesting article to share with you today from TheTucsonCitizen.com on alternatives to antidepressants.  Let me be very, very clear ------NEVER, AND I MEAN NEVER QUIT AN ANTIDEPRESSANT COLD TURKEY!!!!!!!! No exceptions. 

I get a lot of emails from women who have been to their regular physician or gynecologist for help with peri/menopausal hormone fluctuations, and way too often their doctor just hands them a prescription for the latest antidepressant.  Something like 1 in 10 Americans are on antidepressants, and that's just wrong. For those of us with declining hormones because of peri/menopause---------we have a hormone deficiency, not a Prozac deficiency.  The tips in this article are alternative methods of dealing with mild to moderate depression, and I would add to the list bioidentical hormone optimization. I know without a doubt that it's what got me off the antidepressants I had taken for over 15 years. 

Here's a list of the common side effects of antidepressants from WebMD.com. I swear I think I experienced every one of them.  A number of the side effects (weight gain, lethargy, cognitive impairment, sleep disorders) are the same symptoms of menopause, and to me it doesn't make sense to take medications that add to/exacerbate the symptoms of menopause when there are far safer options available.  Talk to your doctor, and if his/her only solution is to take antidepressants or "suck it up" (you would be surprised at how many patients have literally heard that from their health care practitioner) it might be time to explore other options for your health care.