A recent study reported the frequency of depression as a possible “side-effect” for a number of medications. These included commonly used drugs including protein pump inhibitors (used for acid reflux), blood pressure medications (beta-blockers), birth control and corticosteroids and even prescription strength doses of ibuprofen. These include both prescription medications and some sold over the counter.
While some of these may not come as a big surprise, others were not often thought of as medications with significant psychological side-effects. In addition, increasing numbers of people are taking these and other medications in combinations that may be worsening these unwanted side effects.
No one is saying that taking these medications could cause depression, but if you or a loved one struggles with depression, these medications could be worsening your mood.
So what’s an informed consumer to do? Many of these medications are important, and the risks of not taking medications for certain conditions, such as high blood pressure can be life-threatening. The risks of treating (including unwanted side-effects) always must be balanced with the risks of NOT treating (uncontrolled hypertension, inflammation etc.).
The solution starts with a conversation with your prescribing physician. Is he or she open to alternative strategies? Are there lifestyle (diet/exercise) changes you could make that would decrease the need for some of these medications?
If changing or decreasing certain medications is not an option for you, is there something that would help minimize the unwanted side-effects? Try some of the following!
- Practicing mindfulness and other forms of meditative work, including prayer, can help calm the brain and body and reduce inflammation.
- Certain spices are known to have effects of blood pressure and inflammatory processes, including mood.
- Educate yourself. Make certain you know why medications have been prescribed for you and read about the diagnosis and ways to minimize your particular difficulties. Start practicing these healthier lifestyle choices and see how it impacts your brain and body. Talk to your doctor about changes you want to make.
Still struggling? Call the professionals at Ketamine Wellness Centers. We offer a treatment that has fewer long time side effects than many pills you take daily. We can help you achieve your goals in a safe manner with fewer unwanted lingering difficulties. Call us today and see if we can offer a better strategy for you!
Dr. Ellen Diamond is the Clinical Psychologist for Ketamine Wellness Centers.