Dealing with depression is life threatening. Self-loathing, lack of interests in your favorite hobbies, feeling hopeless and helpless can lead to suicide or an unhealthy lifestyle.
So when someone who is feeling this way tells their doctor about their change in lifestyle, antidepressants are usually prescribed to combat these feelings and direct the person toward a healthier way of life.
According to a report by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), the rate of antidepressant use in this country among teens and adults (people ages 12 and older) increased by almost 400% between 1988–1994 and 2005–2008.
For some, antidepressants work like a charm. They are back to their old self and ready to face the world with confidence.
But overtime they may notice that they slip back into their depression no matter the medication, leaving them once more, helpless and isolated from all they love.
Surprisingly this is very common, when antidepressants no longer work and the person suffers from the same depression, or even worse depression, this is known as tachyphylaxis.
This can be more detrimental to the person as they may feel like taking more pills will solve the problem.
Dr. Jennifer Payne, director of the Women’s Mood Disorders Center at The Johns Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore states, “One of the problems with psychiatry and mood disorders, in particular, is that we don’t know what the broken part [in the brain] is.
“We have a vague understanding of how antidepressants work, but that doesn’t mean we totally understand the pharmacology. I don’t think anyone can offer a complete biological explanation for why antidepressants stop working. But I will say this: There are [factors] that can influence someone to relapse.”
Factors that Influence Tachyphylaxis
Substance Abuse: No one intends to become drug abusers or addicts. Many times people forget that mixing pharmaceuticals with alcohol is a form of drug abuse as they may have a glass of wine with dinner or a cold beer while watching the game. But alcohol really does effect the way your body metabolizes and alters the way your brain functions.
Dr. Maria A. Oquendo, a professor of psychiatry at New York-Presbyterian University Hospital of Columbia and Cornell comments, “More than 50 percent of people with mood disorders have alcoholism or alcohol abuse problems, and many also have substance problems.
“Alcohol and other substances wreak havoc on the brain, and also make it hard to respond to medications.”
Stressors: Even on medication, stress can affect the mind and body in many different ways and life is full of stress. From the traffic on the freeway to the passing of a loved one, stress stimulates our lives in both positive and negative ways.
Sometimes stress may encourage people to take more medication as it causes anxiety. Other times the stress of your daughter’s graduation or arrival of family for a holiday can influence you to skip doses as you are feeling fine and don’t need pills.
Aging: Unfortunately aging plays a big part in the effectiveness of anti-depressants. As you age your body goes through changes; metabolic rate, blood circulation, genes turning on and off, and the need for different medications. These changes play an important part in the effectiveness of the drug.
There is Always Another Way
You must face it, that wonder pill that is turning your frown upside-down may not work forever since most of those factors are out of your control. So what can you do to combat the depression that is just waiting for your body to change?
Go all natural and introduce foods in your diet that help balance your mood and stimulate the brain to function the way it should.
Instead of taking more or different drugs to suppress your depression, work with your body and help discover the root of the problem.
Dr. Mark Hyman, practicing family physician, a nine-time #1 New York Timesbestselling author, an internationally recognized leader, educator, speaker and advocate in his field suggests,
“The real cure lies in rebalancing the underlying systems in your body that are at the root of all health and illness.”
To check out natural ways to combat your depression, click here.