SOURCE: UltraWellness

March 07, 2008 13:59 ET

New Study Finds Most Antidepressants to Be Ineffective

Dr. Mark Hyman of UltraWellness Explains Why Addressing the Causes of Depression Through Functional Medicine Is More Effective Than Using Antidepressants

LENOX, MA--(Marketwire - March 7, 2008) - Women have a 10-25 percent risk and men a 5-12 percent risk of developing severe depression in their lifetime, so it's not surprising that one in ten Americans currently take antidepressants. But just because antidepressants are popular doesn't mean they're helpful.

A "New England Journal of Medicine" study recently found that drug companies selectively publish studies on antidepressants that show benefit, but publish almost none of the studies that show these drugs are ineffective, leading doctors and patients to think they work.

In actuality, over half of patients taking antidepressants either don't respond or have only partial response, with success considered to be just a 50 percent improvement in half of depressive symptoms. In addition, 86 percent of people taking antidepressants have one or more side effects, including sexual dysfunction, fatigue, insomnia, loss of mental abilities, nausea, and weight gain, with half the people who try antidepressants quitting after 4 months.

"Depression is simply a label we give to people who have a depressed mood most of the time, have lost interest or pleasure in most activities, are fatigued, can't sleep, have no interest in sex, feel hopeless and helpless, can't think clearly, or can't make decisions," said Mark Hyman, M.D. of UltraWellness. "But that label tells us nothing about the cause of those symptoms."

"Although very common, depression is not one-size-fits-all," said Hyman. "I see this in many of the patients I have treated over the years, but rather than use drugs to suppress symptoms, I use functional medicine, on which my approach of UltraWellness is based, to find the true causes of the depression. The different causes and solutions I find are addressed in my next book, 'The UltraMind Solution,' which comes out next year."

Food allergies, high levels of mercury, hypothyroidism, lack of exercise and vitamin deficiencies are just a few of the many roots of depression. To learn more about treating depression by working through the 7 keys to UltraWellness and the 7 fundamental underlying imbalances that trigger the body to malfunction, visit The UltraWellness Blog (


New England Journal of Medicine. 358: 252-260.

Acta Psychiatr Scand.116(3):182-188

About UltraWellness:

UltraWellness -- lifelong health and vitality -- is based on the emerging field of functional medicine, which addresses health problems not by treating the symptoms, but by balancing the 7 core underlying biological processes that govern health. This is done by finding imbalances, getting rid of the things that cause those imbalances, and providing the necessary things to restore balance, which then allows the body's natural intelligence to facilitate healing and take care of the rest. Co-founder of UltraWellness, Mark Hyman, M.D., is a respected medical consultant, New York Times bestselling author, lecturer, practicing physician and leader in the emerging field of functional medicine.

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