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Study: Psychiatrists now prescribing dangerous antidepressants for unhappy marriages


Marriage counseling

(NaturalNews) Being in an unhappy marriage can hugely impact your daily life and make you depressed. Depression and marital conflicts often go hand in hand. And it's a vicious cycle; not only will an unhappy relationship make you depressed, but being depressed can in turn negatively impact your marriage or relationship.

According to a new study published in the Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, many psychiatrists today opt for the easy way out and prescribe antidepressants, rather than couple therapy, when clients complain about an unhappy marriage or other domestic issues.

Is that really the thing these couples need to solve their problems? Jonathan M. Metzl, the Frederick B. Rentschler II professor of sociology and medicine at Health and Society at Vanderbilt, and the study's lead author, isn't so sure about that.

He said that the assumption that people who struggle with their marriage or other domestic issues are depressed, is not supported by the way depression is defined medically.

Unhappy marriage seen as a psychiatric illnesses

For the study, Metzl and his team used the records from 1980 to 2000 of a Midwestern medical center. He notes that the period of the data followed a 1974 decision to remove the term "homosexuality" from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The DSM is the standard reference book that describes all psychiatric illnesses.

"As it became less acceptable to overtly diagnose homosexuality, it became increasingly acceptable to diagnose threats to female-male relationships as conditions that required psychiatric intervention," Metzl said.

Back then, doctors and psychiatrists increasingly began to prescribe antidepressants to patients experiencing problems with heterosexual love and its discontents. Not surprisingly, the researchers also report that this is the same time-frame in which Prozac and other SSRI antidepressants were introduced and heavily marketed by pharmaceutical companies.

Unfortunately, the trend of prescribing dangerous antidepressants for unhappy marriages or marital issues is still continuing today.

Cultural pressure and insecurity

Relationships can be very challenging. When somebody is spiraling out of control and not entirely sure about the relationship he or she is in, it is much harder to be fully present in the relationship. This often comes with out-of-control feelings of despair and depression.

After analyzing the data, the researchers discovered a pattern. Metzl said that attaining or maintaining heterosexual relationships was often seen as a symptom of depression. However, these marriage woes have little or no connection to the current DSM criteria for depression.

Metzl said it has much more to do with the picture society paints of how men and women should behave. Nonetheless, cultural pressure and couple insecurity are decisive factors when making a diagnosis and prescribing antidepressants.

Isn't that just making things worse? What happened to couple talk therapy or other natural solutions like diffusing essential oils in combination with meditation to ease feelings of insecurity, depression or anxiety?

Instead of suppressing feelings through the use of harmful antidepressants that may induce suicidal thoughts, therapy provides a long-term solution.

Talk therapy vs. antidepressants

Under pressure from Big Pharma, antidepressants have become the first line treatment for a broad range of ailments and conditions, including both unhappy marriages and binge eating. Addictive antidepressants should be reserved for only the most severe cases of mental disorders. And even then, they should only be prescribed as a last-resort when therapy or other treatments have failed.

A person with a binge-eating disorder often uses food to suppress negative emotions such as anxiety and depression. While antidepressants have proven their effectiveness in treating these people, a review published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy is as effective as most antidepressants on the market.

Nonetheless, harmful antidepressants are still the preferred way to go to treat binge-eating disorders and other conditions that can more safely be remedied with therapy or other natural approaches.

Sources for this article include:

NCBI.NLM.NIH.gov

Reuters.com

Annals.org

TandFOnline.com

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