Mental Health Problem Solution
As many know, mental illness has affected many individuals for quite some time, affecting individuals from every age spectrum, and for some disorders, every recorded era. Many have developed different ways to treat their illness. Some help and some showed no progress. But why is it still so relevant, yet irrelevant, in our current society? Many know it exists, yet, they stay narrowly-minded fixated to only physiological health issues. Many theorize that it may be because of some medical field’s views of such disorders and lack of empathy to invest time in researching alternatives for anti-depressants. Of course, such theories are flawed because of the large involvement in adolescent and child behavioral health but what about those who grew up with the system and still no change has happened? Even in their late adulthood? Using anti-depressants such as Haloperidol, Chlorpromazine, Depakote, Benzodiazepines, Tegretol, etc. for long periods of time can not only disturb all normal cognitive function, but also deteriorate character or personality, making it difficult to live their everyday lives.
Brief History: Antidepressants
Nearing the 1950’s, the first appearance of the coined term “anti-depressant” were used by psychiatrist Max Lurie and Harry Sulzer when they reported that isoniazid improved depression in two-thirds of patients and used this same term to describe its action. Before this, opioids and amphetamines were the commonly used as anti-depressants but later were restricted due to their addictive nature and side effects.
Like many other drugs, once the user is consuming the product, the body grows an adaptation for the chemicals…not in a good way. In 2013 alone, over 16 million prescription long-term anti-depressant drugs were prescribed, nearing the recent opioid epidemic that is estimated to be at 22.6 million. A Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety have shown in 64% of cases, subjects aged from 19 to 67 years, 2.9 standard deviate side effects were reported. The side effects were predominately higher for patients with higher dosages, severe depression, and several psychiatric diagnoses. In other words, more than half of the patients being treated were getting worse than getting treated effectively or with good results. Ultimately, this brings the root of the question, what effect are these anti-psychic drugs really having on these patients? Why hasn’t one medical professional been able to say, “I’ve treated this patient solely on anti-depressants?” While one may argue there are many factors that contribute to the worsening of their disorder, they must be aware that such drugs worsen their cognitive ability to healthily communicate, socialize, or need to seek help, therefore, preventing alternatives that may help with their isolation or paranoia that negatively affects their entirety. Furthermore, one can not deny the clear evidence of intellectual inclination after long periods of dosages, these drugs provide a strong hold for the lives of patients, many go unheard of and the masses live their normal lives unaware of their cry for help.
The most difficult solution to solving mental health issues is undoubtedly complex. How does one solve an issue that is entirely subjective? How can we make it affordable? How much would it all really cost? The current system of anti-depressants is clearly the best solution in terms of low cost, efficiency, and scope of treatments, in fact, it has helped many other folks get their life together at minimal cost. This fact may possibly be why the problem of long-term use is often overlooked. While these pros not only make a lot of money, they save lots too. It costs typically $54 dollars a day to keep a person jailed and $28 billion yearly nation-wide. Hence, why most people with depression can’t be kept somewhere for a long period of time (6 to 8 months if needed) to receive a very-much-needed comprehensive treatment.
Evolving to Chronic Illness
In the 1960’s, academic institutions have taught that depression was an episodic problem, but then data in the 1980’s began to claim it was a chronic problem. In 1985, the NIMH conducted a meeting to figure out what exactly was changing, or why it was changing. So instead of pointing out that the culprit of worsening, for some disorders, was indeed the drugs, the NIMH deemed that previous studies were “fraud” and they finally found a “new course of depression.” The only true difference between the new oncoming depressions, and the ones prior to the new depressions, is the form of treatment; medicated depression. In other words, there is change of perception in depression. “Most used to believe that most patients would recover from a major depressive episode. However, more extensive studies have disproven this, and it is now known depression is a recurrent and pernicious disorder.” (American Psychiatric Association. 1999.) Findings from the NIMH’s “STAR*D” study, which was the largest ever conducted, have shown that out of 4,041 patients in the study, only 38% have been remitted or stayed well during a 12-month trial. Such statistic should be eye widening for many, yet, it is still not put to justice nor to light. In any medical field, it is known that anything lower than 80% effectiveness is not an effective treatment, or medicine. So why do we continue to treat patients with such old-fashioned methods and medications? One theory is the simple fact that these methods are the less costly, or “quick fix” sort of plan. Since there isn’t really a pin pointed reason why depression exists, these methods are really the only “solution” patients have, especially those without money.
One more look
In a much more recent and smaller study, funded by the National Institute of Mental Health in 2004, 126 patients were treated with anti-depressants and given emotional and clinical support to specifically maximize clinical outcomes. In some of the results, only 26 percent of the patients responded to the anti-depressants and only 6 percent were remitted and then remained in remission for one year. In another study in 2009, in Minnesota conducted by the MN Community Measures, 23,887 patients were being reviewed to see the rate of remission and relapse. In the study, it was found only 1,131 were remitted out of the 23,887. The data here is showing what the faults our mental health system really has. In both studies, the anti-depressants are undeniably unreliable. In fact, most patients who begin new treatments eventually develop new disorders that weren’t there originally. This problem is very common for most patients with depression, and here is where new disorders, more medicine, and more destruction all come into play. Lastly, according to a few mainstream texts of today’s medicated depression, one third of all unipolar patients are non-responders to anti-depressants. This group is then sent into a chronic course. In other words, instead of being treated with a different approach, they are admitted to a specialized course where they will receive more medication and eventually, develop more symptoms possibly due to side effects. There is a deviated pattern here. If the medications aren’t working, you’re considered a chronic case, hence, more medication. In most psychiatric institutions, a major portion of those physicians concludes with this approach, when instead, the patient may have had an underlying body composition problem, that in turn, affects them mentally. Unfortunately, this is way often overlooked, adding another patient’s life to be enslaved by the drugs.
Mental health cannot be restored with the help of only a pill, while somewhat effective in a few incidences, it should not be depended on for restoring mental homeostasis. Numerous studies have shown revealed the illusions of anti-depressants. These errors are destroying many lives, much more than saving them in any account by far. There are many natural methods to explore and help with healing, yet, we shackle ourselves to the traditional way of abusing anti-depressants. Its rooted history continues to fund pharmaceutical companies with malicious accounts of money and there’s no clear opposition to stop it. Mental illness has affected and will continue to affect our society, but it is the duty of the people to find new ways of minimizing the pain and suffering of so many. If nothing is done, depression will continue to “evolve”, big-money industries will continue having their way, and the poor victims will eventually have nothing left but to rot away in silence.