Religious/spiritual people are always going to have their own strong opinions on subjects like these, which I’m happy to respect if they want to apply those values to their own lives, but I think it’s wrong of people like this guy to spread information that isn’t supported by any legitimate research or evidence. A lot of the time they are only trying to help but they end up doing more harm than good honestly.
Antidepressants, as with any substance (including vitamins, St John’s wort & other ‘natural’ remedies) do have some potential side effects, but medical research has proven that they are generally considered safe & in fact that the effects of an untreated mental illness are far more dangerous. If you’ve been prescribed them by a doctor, he or she would have assessed your situation and determined that the benefits of medication outweigh the potential risks.
As for vitamins, although many people believe that they’re doing themselves good by taking very high doses of multivitamins & such, they are really only helpful in certain situations where a person isn’t able to maintain adequate levels of these vitamins or minerals from their regular diet. If you don’t have a deficiency of a vitamin there is little point in taking one, and the excess levels of the vitamin you consume will actually just end up being excreted from your body as it can only store so much. Your doctor will be able to test you for vitamin or mineral deficiencies & recommend a supplement if you do need one.
St John’s wort is thought to be helpful in treating some cases of depression, but the evidence is limited & as mentioned above it has potential negative side effects as well (natural doesn’t always equal safe!). Whatever you do please don’t start taking St John’s wort while you’re still on antidepressants or if you’ve taken antidepressants recently as there is a high risk of interaction between the two substances, & don’t stop taking your meds without consulting a doctor as stopping suddenly can have harmful effects on you.
My advice would be to carry on taking your antidepressants as prescribed, discuss any concerns you have with your doctor, & if the subject comes up with people other than medical professionals (such as this guy), tell them you’d rather not talk about it with them.
Hope this helps
This is great advice, but I just wanted to point out that the research on antidepressants has generally indicated them to be helpful only in the case of very severe depression. This, in combination with their side effects, makes prescribing them a risk. For those under 25, for example, they are correlated with increased suicidality.
Generally speaking, doctors and primary care physicians do not adequately screen for depressive symptom severity. Administering a valid reliable assessment requires a time commitment that most simply can’t afford, given tremendous patient loads. Antidepressants tend to be over-prescribed as a result. This is why the national shift towards integrated healthcare is so important.
Maintaining a medication schedule is a lot safer than switching off or switching to naturopathic remedies out of the blue. But it may be useful to get a second opinion from a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, psychologist, or another professionally licensed mental health professional who is trained in differential diagnosis and severity indicators for depression.