Alcohol is Drastically Amplifying Depression Among Americans When Combined with Already Dangerous Antidepressants
We’ve all read warning labels about combining alcohol with various medications, but the mixing of booze and antidepressants is particularly dangerous, and can exacerbate the symptoms of the disease, while increasing the side effects of these already dangerous drugs.
At any given time, around 5 percent of Americans suffer from major depression, and the likelihood of developing major depression at some point during one’s lifetime is around 17 percent.
Common methods of treatment for depression include the prescribing of antidepressant medications – typically from a class of drugs called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, Lexapro and Celexa are among the most commonly prescribed SSRIs, and all are associated with potentially severe side effects.
From SSRI Stories:
“Common side effects of antidepressant use include: nausea, dry mouth, headaches, diarrhea, nervousness, agitation or restlessness, bruxism (teeth grinding), reduced sexual desire, difficulty reaching orgasm, impulsivity, akathisia (unbearable internal restlessness or agitation), irritability, hostility, fetal abnormalities (when taken by pregnant mothers), loss of empathy, loss of motivation, loss of libido and impaired sexual response (erectile dysfunction in men, and loss of orgasm in both sexes), rash, increased sweating, weight gain, drowsiness and insomnia.”
Other less common – but by no means rare – side effects include, “an increase in violent thoughts and impulses, suicidal ideation, mania, loss of judgment, strange or terrifying dreams, reduced inhibition, craving for alcohol, a tendency to indulge in reckless behavior, thought disturbance or full-blown psychosis, and increased propensity to drug and alcohol addiction.
Lack of research on SSRIs, no real scientific understanding of depression
Very little research has been done on the effects of alcohol combined with SSRIs, but there’s certainly reason to believe that it’s not a good idea to mix them, as both affect serotonin levels in the brain.
In fact, scientists don’t really understand how depression works, and the use of SSRIs is based on a “belief” that regulating serotonin levels in the brain is an effective treatment.
From Medical Daily:
“Depression is not fully understood, but studies have linked low serotonin levels to depression. SSRIs work by hindering the reabsorption of serotonin back into the nerve cells they came from — these type of neurotransmitters are usually repackaged and stored until they are needed again — leading to an increase in serotonin levels. Scientists believe this uptick in serotonin levels would lead to an improvement in communication between nerve cells, strengthening circuits in the brain which regulate mood.”
It’s all rather murky science, but Big Pharma has ignored that fact – along with knowledge of the dangerous side effects – and has managed to push these dangerous drugs onto millions of Americans, many of them children. Dozens of school shootings, in fact, have been linked to antidepressants.
Alcohol and SSRIs
And the dangerous effects of alcohol mixed with SSRIs, as well as the little-understood connection between these drugs and an “increased propensity to drug and alcohol addiction,” make their widely-prescribed use even more suspect.
Drinking alcohol while taking SSRIs can lead to an overload of serotonin levels in the brain, and may trigger a condition called “serotonin syndrome,” which:
“… includes symptoms like agitation or restlessness, high blood pressure, twitching muscles and diarrhea. A severe form of this condition, which can be life-threatening, includes symptoms such as high fever, seizures, irregular heartbeat and unconsciousness.”
In the long run, however, heavy drinking can lower overall serotonin levels, making depression worse.
Natural treatments for depression
The use of SSRIs cannot be considered a safe and effective treatment for depression, and the combination of alcohol with these drugs just makes matters worse.
There are a number of natural methods that can effectively address the real causes of depression and even regulate serotonin levels – without any of the dangerous side effects of SSRIs.
These methods can include simple physical exercise, disciplines such as yoga or meditation, dietary adjustments, vitamins and herbal remedies, to name just a few.
If you suffer from depression, you should strongly consider exploring natural alternatives before allowing a doctor to prescribe antidepressants. If you’re already on SSRIs, consult your doctor before you change your dose or stop taking them; withdrawal from these drugs can be dangerous too. Under a doctor’s supervision you should be able to wean yourself from the drugs as you incorporate alternative therapies to replace them.