(NaturalNews) Members of the Depression Industrial Complex (DIC) are still saying that their wonderful and effective antidepressant medication can treat your symptoms and wrestle your depression to the ground. However, the DIC evidence is built on a house of cards, mostly flimsy cards. It's been in the news, but it hasn't really penetrated the national psyche: In most cases, antidepressants work no better than placebo pills, i.e., fake pills, sugar pills, the tooth fairy, magic dust. And the finding is based on recent scientific studies, including one for the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Should we count on DIC pharmaceuticals going away anytime soon? Nope. The die is cast, the giant DIC organism mutates very slowly, and it needs to feed now! Like comedian Chris Rock once joked: "There ain't no money in the cure. The money is in the medicine!"
No safety in numbers
According to IMS Health, antidepressants are the second most prescribed drug in the U.S., just behind cholesterol-lowering statins. The pills are clearly big pharma/big business: Some 250 million antidepressant prescriptions are dispensed each year, and the rate continues to increase. Studies estimate that anywhere from 10% to 12% of Americans take antidepressants and spend around $12 billion a year for the privilege of taking them.
The World Health Organization states that depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting 121 million people. WHO names it the third leading contributor to disease and predicts that depression will move into second place just eight years from now.
The Center for Disease Control reports that the rate of antidepressant use in the U.S. has significantly increased over the years. CDC states that more than 60% of Americans on antidepressants are on them for two or more years and about 14% have taken the medication for a decade or more!
Truth-seeking medical professionals see the whole mess thusly: 1. Doctors don't really know how or if antidepressants work. 2. Doctors don't truly understand what depression is or how antidepressants affect levels of serotonin or other neurochemicals in the brain...for good or ill. 3. Doctors don't really know if using antidepressants may lead to long-term, serious health problems. 4. The entire DIC edifice and its assumptions need to be scrutinized, and people should try alternative and, when possible, natural solutions to treat depression.
The forest for the trees - the real cause of depression discovered?
Using the latest brain scanning technology, cutting-edge research by neurologists suggests that in the search for depression's causes and cures, we've been focusing too much on: individual neurochemicals; individual brain areas like the amygdala or hippocampus; and individual brain regions and lobes like the parietal lobe or prefrontal cortex. They say that these components are but mere trees in the brain's forest.
Their new research shows us that our brain operates at a much more complex, sophisticated level, involving highly interconnected neural networks or circuits, which pass through and involve multiple neurochemicals, brain areas and brain regions. They've identified at least three unique neural networks that are themselves interconnected with one another. One is called the Default Mode Network or DMN. These networks are the brain's forests!
The DMN and depression
It turns out that depression, anxiety and related maladies hide out in our DMN forest. New research reported in ScienceDaily shows that depressed people who anxiously and repeatedly ruminate about negative thoughts, memories or fears (monkey mind, non-stop automatic thinking) have distinctly different brain image patterns compared to the non-depressed. In the depressed, our neural circuitry in the DMN doesn't operate properly. The biochemical and electrical signals traveling through our DMN neural pathways get short-circuited; dry meadows and dead forest patches stand in the way of normal synaptic firings and completion patterns.
It turns out that thousands of years ago meditators and yogis figured out how to quiet a hyperactive, out of control DMN: By bringing conscious awareness to singular, simple tasks and engaging the whole body-mind. These and other awareness techniques help force stress and depression-inducing thought patterns (i.e., brain signals caught in a loop within the DMN) to form new neural pathways (neuroplasticity) or to seek new alternative routes, all for one purpose: To get our brain signals to pass through the brain's other key neural networks (forests) and out of DMN hell. This allows our brain signals to complete their full and natural circuit.
Guess what else? It's drug-free, cost-free and doesn't involve the DIC.
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