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I've been practising psychiatry for 20 years, and in my experience antidepressants don't do any good at all. I wouldn't take them under any circumstances - not even if I were suicidal.
All the research shows is that, at best, antidepressants make people feel a tiny bit better than a placebo. But this doesn't mean they actually treat depression.
All the evidence is that diets rarely work long term.
I've been working with people to help them lose weight for decades and my experience has shown me that the only way to achieve long-term success is through asking: 'Why?' - why do we comfort eat, why do we prefer fatty foods, why do we drink too much alcohol and why do we find physical activity unattractive?
Techniques based on changing behaviour (similar to cognitive behavioural therapy), combined with strategies such as keeping a food diary and setting realistic goals, are what really help people lose weight effectively.
Statins have had a huge effect in reducing the number of strokes and heart attacks and there's now a movement to give these cholesterol-lowering tablets to everyone.
But I wouldn't take one unless I had proof I was at significant risk.
Whenever you're taking a drug, you've got to think about the risks and the benefits. Statins reduce your chance of heart attack or stroke by about 30 per cent, so, yes, there's a benefit. But in real terms it's very small.
When I discovered the prostate specific antigen (PSA) in 1970, we soon realised it could be hugely helpful to prostate cancer patients.
The protein is specific to the prostate gland - it's not found in any significant amount in any other organ. So if a man with prostate cancer had his prostate removed, our discovery meant we could measure his PSA afterwards to see if there was cancer remaining which hadn't been detected. However, the PSA test began to be used to diagnose prostate cancer. This was a huge mistake.
The PSA is not cancer-specific - it's simply a protein produced by the prostate, so a high level can just mean a man has prostatitis (an infection) or an enlarged prostate - sometimes troublesome but benign.
Too often, patients see their doctor about stiffness, aches and pains, wanting something to be done. The doctor sends them for an X-ray, which may or may not show a bit of wear and tear, and tells them they have arthritis. As soon as they get that diagnosis, people tend to lose control and become victims.
They take anti-inflammatories (which can have gastrointestinal side-effects), feel frightened to exercise and generally become miserable.
That's why, as long as I didn't have red-flag symptoms of severe arthritis - such as constant pain, or pain that comes on at night - I would avoid an X-ray.
Most of us will have a little wear and tear on the joints as we age, and actually the best thing to do is get out and about and keep moving.
I steer clear of foods labelled 'reduced fat' and wouldn't give them to my children either.
The label can be really misleading.
A reduced-fat mayonnaise or cheddar, for example, is still going to be pretty high in fat, it's just lower in fat that its previous incarnation. A 'light' McVitie's chocolate digestive has 78 calories, compared with 86 in the standard version - a difference of only eight calories.
As A young man I played rugby and ice-hockey and went running regularly.
I used to be a bit sanctimonious and say that a workout was only worth doing if it was at least an hour long and you were drenched in sweat at the end.
Now if I spend longer than an hour exercising I think it's a waste of time - the data shows that shorter bouts of activity, such as ten minutes of intense exercise, are just as beneficial.
I study both the psychological and physical benefits of exercise and the incremental benefit you gain from going longer than an hour is pretty marginal.
Sleeping pills weaken your trust in your own natural ability to drop off, and can end up causing physical and psychological dependency.
You start to think 'I won't be able to sleep unless I take a pill.' The body then starts to expect the sedative to be in the system. In turn, you run the risk of having rebound insomnia when you're coming off them, which explains why so many people struggle to ditch sleeping pills.
Side-effects can include dizziness, headaches, memory loss and feeling groggy. Recent research has also shown that sleeping medication is associated with more than a fourfold risk of death. For me, these greatly outweigh the benefits. Research suggests that sleeping tablets provide as little as 20 or 30 minutes' extra sleep.
originally posted by: AK907ICECOLD
a reply to: snarky412
Or a 3rd, or 4th opinion IMO
I am so effed up fom taking 30 plus psychotropic drugs because my parents couldnt handle me acting out after being abused and being a teen.
1/3 of he pills were actually considered and label as POISON. Example : lithium
originally posted by: Cinrad
As a friend likes to point out to me, doctors practice medicine, they don't ever get it right they just keep on practicing till you loose patience.
originally posted by: AccessDenied
Great information there Snarky,thanks for posting. I have had my suspicions over the years that many in health care subscribed to the " Do as I say,not as I do" policy. This article speaks volumes.
originally posted by: soficrow
a reply to: snarky412
Great compilation! F&S&
Thank you. Way too many people take way too many drugs. I just don't get it. Threads like this might help them get their heads on straight.
originally posted by: ChiefD
reply to Snarky412
Awesome article! SnF for you.
My doctor had me taking mega doses of prescription Niacin for my cholesterol. I absolutely refuse to take statins. I had terrible flushing and other side effects and stopped taking them.
I did some research and discovered a handful of almonds, which I love, every day would help.
At my most recent check up, my bad cholesterol went down 20 points! So there are many good natural things out there that are much better than popping whatever pill your doctor wants to shove at you to make more money.
Now to think about how to get off these damn depression meds. The withdrawl stories scare me.