This NY Times article deals with Anti-depressant use in women and the consequences of how these drugs mute our natural mood fluctuations and emotions.
I believe that anti-depressants can really help us to get out of an unbearable spot so we can function and begin to get to the root of the issue to get well. However, the anti-depressants themselves mute our feelings making us feel less miserable (which is wonderful), but feelings of joy, excitement, and happiness are also muted making us feel very dull.
Anti-depressants are best suited for short term use, but many of us end up taking them for the long haul. Many doctors even tell their patients that they will probably have to take the medication for the rest of their lives. This may be the case if the underlying cause of the depression/anxiety is not addressed and treated. Also, long term use leads to an increased chance of experiencing side effects such as weight gain and libido issues. What a raw deal--you feel less depressed, but now your clothes don't fit and you lack desire (which could make you feel depressed again....)
While it is never safe to go cold turkey on an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication, you can work with your doctor to slowly taper off medication as you use other methods/therapies to get at the root of your depression.
Regular acupuncture treatment can help to lift depression, increase energy, and corr_ect imbalances in the body that may be the underlying cause. Acupuncture can also help the mind/body to process traumatic mental/emotional experiences that may have caused the depression such as loss, grief, assault, abuse, war, accidents, and illness. Talk therapy in combination with acupuncture treatment can often speed up recovery and amplify the results of both therapies.
-Sarah Heiber, L.Ac
Click the picture above or link below to read the NY Times Article about Women's Emotions and Anti-depressants.