Women, Antidepressants & Suicide
One Woman's Story
(PRWEB) July 5, 2005 -- On June 30, 2005 the FDA issued another Public Health Advisory that suggested there is a risk of
increased suicidal thoughts for adults treated with antidepressant medications. Apparently the risk is heightened in both
the early stages of treatment as well as when the dose is changed, either increased or decreased. This means that the initial
treatment for depression as well as any dose adjustment could place an individual at higher risk for suicide. Ironically,
many people seek the use of antidepressants to help alleviate symptoms of depression.
There have also been reports
that women have an increased risk of breast cancer and their fetuses are at risk if an antidepressant is used during pregnancy.
Another common side effect of antidepressants is weight gain and sexual dysfunction, making it difficult to believe that anyone
would turn to this class of drugs as a solution.
Yet the use of antidepressants has nearly tripled in the last decade
with one in three doctor's visits by women involving a prescription for an antidepressant. Why do so many women choose behavioral
These are just a few of the areas that are addressed by Label Me Sane,
a company that educates on the dangers of drugs, particularly behavioral medications. They have an international following
where they not only inform the public but also help individuals taper off the drugs safely and seek the root cause of their
One of the co-founders, Alesandra Rain, was prescribed both antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs after
a particularly stressful time in her life led to serious depression. She chose to stay on the drugs for nearly a decade before
deciding to quit. What she experienced was an escalation in her anxiety and depression as well as repetitive thoughts of suicide.
I didn't know what was happening to me. I was desperate to feel better but the drugs made me feel detached from life and dull
- yet I had constant thoughts of suicide. It wasn't until I tried to quit the drugs that I realized just how dangerous they
were, states Rain.
Apparently she isn't alone. Many people claim antidepressants have a withdrawal syndrome that is
nearly impossible to break. Those struggling to stop the anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax or Klonopin have an even worse time
in withdrawal with potential risks of seizure or stroke.
There are so many nutritional deficiencies that cause horrific
symptoms of mental illness and like myself, many people do not know how to find out what is right for their body, insists
Rain. I spent thousands of dollars trying to find out what was wrong with me and it was through the use of DNA Nutritional
Genetic Testing that I located a severe B deficiency and the fact that I could not metabolize B vitamins so they had to come
from a natural food source. Ironically one of the symptoms of B deficiency is depression and after I balanced my diet based
on the DNA results, the depression completely lifted. I always stress the importance of finding out exactly what your body
needs and dealing with the root cause rather than a symptom, concludes Rain.
Label Me Sane implements a natural tapering
method to assist any individuals who want to withdraw safely. They also provide referrals for any DNA testing services. Contact
them at 866.628.6135.
Women who take Prozac or other similar antidepressants during pregnancy may increase the likelihood that their baby
will be stillborn, premature, or of low birthweight, according to a new study.
The research, reported in
the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, compares the health of babies born to 972 women taking antidepressants
with a control group who did not take the drugs during pregnancy.
Women taking the drugs known
as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which are given to treat depression, were almost twice as likely to have
a low birth-weight baby as those who were not using the drugs. Almost 20% of the first group gave birth prematurely, while
the women without antidepressants had a premature baby rate of 12%.
The women on the drugs were twice as likely to have a stillbirth as the others. The babies of women on SSRIs were also
more likely to suffer from seizures.
This is not the first research
to suggest that SSRIs may have detrimental effects on babies in the womb. But it is based on firmer evidence about the medication
taken by pregnant women, which came from health records between 1990 and 2000 in Saskatchewan, Canada. Previous studies had
largely based their findings on personal recollection of pills taken.
Shi Wu Wen and colleagues
from the medicine faculty at the University of Ottawa urge more caution in prescribing SSRIs to women who may become pregnant.
Given the doubts, "the risks
and benefits of SSRIs for women of reproductive age with severe depression should be considered", they write.
Women should be told about
the possible risks of the SSRIs before they are given them and may need to talk to specialists with experience in treating
depression rather than GPs, they say. The study finds a link between the drugs
and stillbirths, premature and low birthweight babies, but cannot prove that the antidepressants that the women took were
the cause. Tommy's, the UK-based baby charity, said
pregnant women should continue
taking their medication as normal. It was possible, the charity said, that the damage to the babies arose from the depression
"Left untreated, the physical
and psychological effects of depression can lead to problems during pregnancy," said Charlotte Davies, who works for the charity.
"Sufferers of depression are far more likely to smoke as well as lose their appetites, and in extreme cases are more likely
to attempt suicide, which can all have devastating effects."
The Medicines and Healthcare
products Regulatory Agency has warned doctors not to prescribe most SSRI drugs to children, with the exception of Prozac,
after evidence of a greater rate of suicidal agitation compared with children taking other treatments for depression.