I'm not sure if this will address the OP or not but I thought I'd share as I've spent most my life studying psychology and then psychopharm in
school and outside of (but I am no MD so anything I say should not be taken seriously
). Plus, and more importantly, I'm a patient whose been
diagnosed with general, social, and panic disorder, agoraphobia, depression, ADD/ADHD, and also chronic pain. As you can imagine I've been given a
lot of different meds in my life. All of my "diagnoses" have been around since I was 3yrs old.
Some ended up being true to this day - Hip dysplasia, agoraphobia, and all of the anxiety disorders; some didn't - ADD/ADHD and the depression were
misdiagnosed as it was truly my anxiety disorders manifesting into symptoms of both. Of course there have been points in my life where depression,
attention issues, and hyperactivity have existed (especially as a kid!), but was it anything someone with a "normally wired brain" wouldn't
experience? I doubt it considering what I experienced.
My first concern is obviously the over diagnosis and treatment of children who are just being children (I was on methylphenidate and multiple SSRI's
by the time I was 6). From that point on I was continuously mistreated, both for my chronic pain and psychological disorders until about 3-4 years
ago... that's over 20 years of Primary physicians, Surgeons, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, RN's, NP's, ect. being wrong all while throwing every
class of anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, stimulants or amphetamines, and NSAID's at me. My diagnoses are quite complex, both with my pain and
psychological, so I can partially understand.
I want to say first that anti-depressant medication (or any of the meds I listed above) DOES work for some people. They have saved many lives. BUT as
I mentioned before they have continued to constantly be overused and over prescribed to anyone with a minor "at-home" problem or patients who
exhibit symptoms that may match the DSM criteria but may stem from another disorder.
Also, a lot of things regarding diet, water, supplements, herbs, vitamins, ect., that have been posted so far in this thread are absolutely true.
Medication is not just a magical fix; one's life, diet, exercise, activities, and thoughts must also change. There are MANY herbal treatments for
disorders that work better then medications from Pharma by a long shot. For those who have been diagnosed ADD/ADHD, depression, anxiety, memory
issues, or any mood disorder - might want to look into Nootropics
. You'll find some of your
standard "Big-Pharma" meds there but also many herbs, supplements, foods and other alternatives.
For example, it wasn't until about 4 years ago I finally found a fantastic psychiatrist. He had and is still having me do blood tests for random
things if new or old symptoms appear/worsen. I had been on many anxiolytics (benzodiazpines) for my anxiety disorders before but if it wasn't for
this Doc and I testing the many different drugs and dosages I would not be able to leave my house. So, even though there are risks (addiction being
one) it is a type of drug that has saved my life. Also he spent the first 3 years acting as a therapist in a way as well, just listening to me rant
and providing insight. That was until recently when I got the appropriate therapist for my issues (which by the way has helped even more than the
medication, in some instances).
I will say though that he understands that I absolutely will not take any SSRI or the like for my anxiety due to side-effects and the fact that they
simply do not work. Although, sometimes he has tried to suggest other things; anti-psychotics, other classes of anti-depressants , and other drugs
that would constitute off-label use of the drugs for my disorders. So don't think I do not understand he is also looking to make money with certain
drugs. I just simply say no and we move on.
Regarding my chronic pain, I was finally treated as someone who needed narcotics so I could walk, sleep, and try and live a somewhat normal life....
this was only 3 years ago. So again I suffered most my life. Understanding the risks of addiction, tolerance, dependency, etc. (just as with
Benzo's) I started the pain medication and it turned my life around.
Basically I just wanted to share my story and chime in with the fact that many medications do in fact work very well for certain people... it just
might take 20+ years to finally get it right and honestly, that's not okay haha. Hopefully most people don't have to experience 20+ years of
ridiculousness like I have but it seems to be more of a trend with the unacceptable handing out of drugs without even spending 5 minutes with a
patient. Also, I wanted to emphasize how important diet, exercise, vitamins, and supplements can be. And let's not forget therapy!
Sorry for the very long read I hope it can help even a little,