This is your brain on these popular drugs


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This is your brain on these popular drugs

I remember back in the 80s there was a commercial designed to discourage illegal drug use that showed an egg frying in a pan and the infamous line, “This is your brain on drugs.”

Well, nothing much has changed except LEGAL (prescription) drugs are now largely responsible for many a “fried egg brain!”

Here’s what I mean:

The numbing of our brains with antidepressants

About one out of eight people in the US currently takes antidepressants.

Antidepressants come with a long list of well-proven and severe side effects including weight gain, emotional detachment, loss of personality and increased risk of suicide.

If that doesn’t scare you, I don’t know what will.

In addition, the drugs are extremely hard to wean off, with at least 65 percent of patients experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

And the most widely prescribed class of antidepressants, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), have been shown in numerous studies to be no more effective than placebo, especially for mild to moderate depressions, which is what it is most commonly prescribed for.

Plus serotonin levels aren’t even an issue in many cases of depression, to begin with! 

A study at the Walsh Research Institute has shown that serotonin was a factor in fewer than 38 percent of the 2,800 depression cases studied.

Depression—it’s not one size fits all

It’s important to realize that depression isn’t one size fits all.

And where people run into trouble is when they take antidepressants like SSRIs that alter brain chemistry, yet their depression is due to their frame of mind—such as grief over the death of a loved one or stress over a job loss—or a physiological cause.

If you are suffering from depression that is situational/frame of mind-induced, therapy with a skilled counselor can be tremendously helpful.

Notice I said “skilled”—if you find your counselor is nothing but an expensive friend to converse with or all they want to do is push antidepressants at you, find another.

And as far as physical causes of depression go, here are some of the most common ones and ways you can counteract them and start feeling better fast!

Blood sugar imbalances

This is typically the result of a diet heavy in refined carbs including white bread, bagels, hamburger and hot dog rolls, cookies, cakes, pastries, pasta, crackers, chips, and soda.

To help ensure a brighter mood, avoid refined carbohydrates as much as possible.  If you’re hungry between meals, choose protein snacks like a handful of nuts, a cube of cheese, a hard-boiled egg or a small piece of meat or fish.

Low thyroid function

Depression is often a symptom of a low-functioning thyroid.

If you suspect this is an issue for you, ask your doctor to perform the very thorough and accurate "TRH Challenge test" also known as the “TRH Stimulation test” to detect low thyroid function.

Natural (not synthetic) thyroid replacement is the way to go.  Ask your doctor to explore options like Nature-Throid if your thyroid is low.

Lacking nutrients

Many people who suffer from depression are deficient in B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium.

Try to concentrate on eating more real foods—fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, poultry and fish, dairy, eggs, whole grains, good fats—that will help provide all the precious nutrients your body (and mind) so desperately need.

You can also help by supplementing with a high quality multi-vitamin and mineral formula like Super Core to make sure you have all nutritional bases covered.


Celiac disease damages the villi in your small intestine, reducing nutrient absorption and opening you up to deficiencies in essential brain nutrients—especially zinc and B vitamins—that can bring on depression.

Plus studies have suggested that it’s possible that gluten can affect serotonin levels in people who don’t have celiac disease by limiting the availability of its precursor, the amino acid tryptophan.

If you need help eliminating gluten from your life, Great Taste No Gluten can give you a whole lot of helpful advice, plus some great-tasting gluten free recipes. 

Lacking Omega-3 EFAs

Omega-3 essential fatty acids are crucial to mental health--your brain absolutely must have them to function properly—especially Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) which is found only in marine (fish) sources of omega-3s. 

Be sure to incorporate fatty fish in your diet, and supplement with an outstanding, pharmaceutical-grade fish oil formula like VitalMega-3.

Yeast (Candida) overgrowth

Yeast (Candida) overgrowth can contribute to depression in two ways—it reduces nutrient absorption (especially B vitamins) and it suppresses your gut’s production of serotonin. 

Since between 90 and 95 percent of your body’s serotonin production takes place in your intestines, Candida can have a tremendous impact on your mood!

Yeasts feed on sugars, so this is yet another way avoiding refined carbs can fight depression.  Plus you can help bring your gut microbes back into a better balance with a full-spectrum probiotic formula like Super Shield

Tackle all of the factors behind your depression and start feeling better fast!

To your health,

Sherry Brescia

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