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Drugs Don't Cure the Root Cause of Depression:
Getting at the Real Source of the Problem

Hi Dr. Matt

My name is Shriya, I'm a 27-yr old junior doctor, and living in India.

I got married recently, and now living with my husband & his family. I graduated and trained as resident for 1 yr in Australia. Now back in India since 2009. I started working here in early 2010, only for 4 months. I resigned as I couldn't stand working in hospital anymore. Just before my wedding, I started working in medical research field, for 6 months now.(feels like a downgrade compared to my previous job).

I've been struggling with depression since I was a teenager, and it was the worst during my 2nd yr residency training, which lead to my resignation. It was quite a difficult time for me, changing work environment in a different country & being close to home. My relationship with my family isn't that great, which causing more stress for me living near to them.

During that time, my fiance was still in Australia and the long distance relationship makes everything worse. But now, being married also doesn't change things much, unfortunately... I was prescribed Esciltalopram by a psychiatrist, but I wasn't compliant. I just think that the meds won't resolve my problems.

With the psych background history, I'm afraid I won't have the chance to go back practicing medicine again here. I don't know what to do with my life...things are not getting better after marriage..with expectations from spouse & family, uncertain future & financial problems...I just wish that I'm dead. I'm just getting worse and worse everyday.

Help me,

Related Articles: Choosing Your Way Into Depression
Curing Cause of Depression or Anxiety Without Drugs
Depression Disappears Like Frost Before the Rising Sun
Overcoming the Cause of Depression: Magic vs Hard Work

Dear Shriya,

You are correct, "the meds won't resolve your problems" — especially, antidepressant drug cannot really cure the cause of Depression at the Root. "Esciltalopram" is the generic equivalent of the drug, Lexipro. Here are the common side effects listed at the lexipro.com website:

"In clinical trials, the most common side effects associated with Lexapro treatment in adults were nausea, insomnia (difficulty sleeping), ejaculation disorder (primarily ejaculation delay), fatigue and drowsiness, increased sweating, decreased libido, and anorgasmia (difficulty achieving orgasm). Side effect in pediatric patients were generally similar to those seen in adults; however, the following additional side effect were reported commonly in pediatric patients: back pain, urinary tract infection, vomiting, and nasal congestion. This is not a complete list of side effects."

As you read this list of side effects, and realize the many millions of people who are popping this kind of pill, you also realize why so many men in this world need drugs like Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra. For many men, their problem with "decreased libido" originated from taking an antidepressant pill. Also at the Lexipro.com website is this Disclaimer:

"Antidepressants increased the risk of suicidal thinking and behavior (suicidality) in children, adolescents, and young adults in short-term studies of depression and other psychiatric disorders."

I have a close friend who was prescribed Esciltalopram/Lexipro for his feelings of Depression. He told me that the Doctor spoke with him for about 3 minutes, asked him a couple of questions, then declared "You have a chemical imbalance" — this diagnosis was given without any biological tests whatsoever.

In the weeks to follow, my friend reported that the side effects of the antidepressant drug was far worse that the original depression: He constantly felt "fatigue" through a hard day of work, and instead of getting a good night's rest, the antidepressant supplied "difficulty sleeping." Thus, the very drug that was supposed to be his remedy literally gave my friend two more things to be depressed about: insomnia and fatigue.

As a treatment for emotional dysfunction, the best medications can do is mask distressing emotions. For some people, antidepressant pills help them cope while the Root of the Problem is discovered and cured. Seldom, if at all, is the true source of the problem entirely rooted in bad biology, such as a "chemical imbalance." And even if there IS a chemical imbalance, that imbalance was most likely caused by the dysfunctional behavior and choices of the depressed person. I've written about this topic in another Ask Dr Matt Answer: Curing the Cause of Depression or Anxiety Without Drugs.

Here's a burning question to think about and find an answer to: Why would the Creator design a world where people feel distressing emotions? Why would the Creator have His Creations feel anxiety and depression?

Because the Creator is wise beyond mortal understanding, there must be an important reason why anxious and depressed emotions are even possible.

You have described feeling depressed within the context of certain Stressors, e.g., changing work environment, relationship with your family, and a long distance relationship— such Stressors are Constraints and not Causes. Constraints cannot Cause your Responses; instead, YOU Cause your Responses to every Constraint that might be perceived as distressing.

You can benefit from learning about what I call Response-Ability. As you realize that YOU are the author of your Responses, it is then that you understand that You possess free will to access the Root Remedy.

The Remedy is NOT about your ability to control your mind, and somehow create your own Reality, regardless of Constraints. No, that's not it! Instead the Remedy to your depressed feeling is about You drawing near to your Creator, and choosing the Truth that comes from the Creator; by so doing, you receive the Creator's healing peace. Here's an article that defines the contrast between Remedies of the Head versus remedies of the Heart.

I invite you to read the previous three articles and discover how certain ideas apply to your life. If you'd like to write back and tell me what you are learning, In the meantime, it is True Principles and NOT Pills that can cure the cause of Depression — that's precisely how the Creator designed our mortal journey.

The Journey
For this is the Journey that mortals make: 
To find themselves. If they fail in this, it matters little
whatever else they may achieve: Money, Fame, Revenge, Pleasure.
When they end the Journey, they can put them all into
a bin marked “ashes.” They mean nothing.
But if one has found that he has within him
a divine soul, if he has discovered the principles
upon which the fulfillment of that soul is based, and
if he implements those principles, then he has a mansion
within which he can live with dignity
and joy each day of his life.

Best Regards,

Matt Moody, Ph.D.
Social Psychologist

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