If you take antidepressants, new research shows that a stressful lifestyle has the power to completely remove any healing benefit you may have had from taking that Rx medication.
Environment can completely impact whether or not antidepressant therapy works or not.
Behavioral, lifestyle, and environmental stressors absolutely MUST be addressed… and today’s medical report is proof that a medication alone is just not enough to help.
Interestingly, people with high levels of job stress are statistically the MOST likely to reach for a drug to help treat depression… yet are also most likely to find that drug therapy is ineffective and they are non-responsive to Rx treatment.
A new animal study, published July 27, 2016 in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, sought to answer this, showing that the beneficial effects of the antidepressant fluoxetine were completely reversed when mice were placed in a stressful environment.
- Mice were exposed to stressful conditions for a 2 week period of time, to induce depression (this alone shows that environmental stress can quickly create depression!) and then given 3 weeks of fluoxetine (a Rx anti-depressant.)
- During the 3 weeks of Rx therapy, half the mice were kept under stressful condition and half were placed under improved, non-stressful conditions.
- Behaviors of the mice were documented and inflammatory markers of the brain were measured, including proinflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)—6, IL-1b, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)—alpha, and interferon (IFN)—gamma, anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta.
- Mice that were not placed under environmental stress showed positive behavioral response to fluoxetine and decreased inflammatory markers in the brain.
- Mice that were placed in stressful environments showed complete reversal of these protective benefits and showed no benefit from taking the fluoxetine at all… not behaviorally and no improvement to the inflammatory markers in the brain.
The Bottom Line:
Inflammation in the brain and depressive symptoms and behaviors persisted the entire time the subjects were living under stressful conditions… completely negating the effects of the antidepressant medication.
To me, this shows that there is absolutely no benefit to taking a Rx antidepressant unless you address and remove life stressors as well.
If you live a stressful lifestyle (and who doesn’t?) then there is nothing a Rx antidepressant can do to overcome this.
This is not to say there is not a role for prescription antidepressants, but it points to the fact that there is a much bigger role for addressing lifestyle changes that support your healing, not simply reaching for a pill to treat depression and then slugging through your stressful day hoping to feel better.
That’s just not going to cut it.
Another recent medical study showed that inflammation in the body (not just in the brain) actually contributes to and worsens depression.
Higher levels of blood markers of inflammation found in circulation throughout the entire body were found to be directly correlated with a variety of depressive symptoms…
…including sleep difficulty, decreased energy levels, decreased motivation and increased or decreased appetite.
- Researchers looked at data on C-reactive protein levels (a blood marker of whole body inflammation) in over 15,000 patients.
- Higher levels of inflammation were directly correlated with higher levels of depressive symptoms, and the correlation was dose dependent… meaning the higher the C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, the worse the symptoms got.
- Sleep problems, exhaustion and changes in appetite were all significantly increased with increasing CRP levels.
- Lack of energy was particularly correlated by high inflammatory marker levels.
- Inflammation was also found to contribute to cognitive changes such as loss of pleasure in activities previously found pleasurable (anhedonia), depressed mood, lowered feelings of self worth, decreased ability to concentrate, and even suicidal thoughts.
Of course conventional medicine’s response is to see if prescription anti-inflammatory drugs help treat depression by stopping the body’s inflammatory response.
Turns out that they do.
An analysis (published Oct 14, 2015 in JAMA Psychiatry) of 14 randomized, placebo-controlled studies looking at over 6,300 patients found that NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory drugs) help lessen depressive symptoms and resolve depressive episodes better than placebo alone and better than anti-depressants alone when added to anti-depressant therapy.
In particular, the NSAID Rx drug Celebrex was found to improved the effects of antidepressants and allowed for greater response to antidepressant treatment and increased rates of remission.
These results serve to further deepen the connection between inflammation and depression, and help to show that if you treat inflammation, you lift the burden of depression.
But what pharmaceutical companies may not want you to know is that simply touching the earth, through the healing practice of grounding, decreases whole body inflammation and brings CRP levels down naturally.
This powerful, natural effect is the mechanism of action behind the earth’s ability to elevate mood, boost energy, and brighten outlook.
Know the feeling of spending a morning in your garden or an afternoon walking along the beach and how calm, centered, uplifted and creative your mindset becomes?
Grounding your body is at work here, decreasing your whole body inflammation, decreasing the stress hormones (like cortisol) in your bloodstream and decreasing your C-reactive protein levels as it completely naturally reduces inflammation in your body… no drugs necessary!
There’s no better way to naturally decrease inflammation than through the powerful healing practice of grounding.
Find out more about how grounding your body improves mood, increases energy, prevents chronic disease, and provides instant pain relief by joining me in my upcoming:
Class starts in two weeks (registration closes this Friday)
and seats are limited!
This is a one-of-a-kind online healing class that includes:
- daily videos and articles
- a live Q&A phone call with me answering every question you have about the healing practice of grounding
- and a goodie bag with a grounding item of your choice so that you can be healing your body the entire time we are working together in class!
Join in right here and let’s get you feeling better than ever before…… safeguarding your future health for many years to come!
P.S. — if you have a high stress job and are interested in protecting yourself from developing depression (like the mice in the first study did after only two weeks under stress!) you absolutely can ground your body in the work place.
Resting your hands on a grounding mat while you use your computer, wearing grounding socks under your shoes, discreetly wearing a grounding anklet while sitting at your desk, or putting a grounding patch anywhere on your body will help decrease inflammation and offset the effects of prolonged stress on your health.
Hop over here to see more options to be grounded both indoors and out!