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High Risk for Depression- Should you Take Antidepressants as a Preventative?

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…although antidepressants are usually well tolerated, these medications can come with side effects ranging from headaches to diarrhea to life-threatening reactions.”

Depression is a poorly understood chronic condition. Remember that all medications have side-effects. Some side-effects may be relatively minor or take years to show themselves. But all medications change the body’s chemistry. That’s how they work.

The article linked and excerpted below asks if people at high risk for depression- cancer survivors, stoke patients and others, should take antidepressants prophylactically in an effort to not become depressed.

I am both a cancer survivor and cancer coach. The idea of taking antidepressants prophylactically is copying an idea that is entrenched in the world of cancer. Over-treatment is a common practice for early stage cancers such as breast, prostate and thyroid cancers.

A more effective, less expensive therapy for head and neck cancer survivors, as an example, would be for survivors to undergo an evidence-based, non-toxic, non-conventional therapy. Studies have cited curcumin as being cytotoxic to head and neck cancer. At the same time, curcumin has been shown to reduce depression.

Rather than take a toxic, side-effect causing drug, it may be more effective, more prophylactic and reduce the patient’s risk of relapse simply by taking curcumin.

I have lived in complete remission from my “incurable” cancer since 1999. I have supplemented with curcumin, among other evidence-based, anti-cancer therapies, for years. I supplement with Life Extension Super Bio-Curcumin for this formula’s enhanced bioavailability.

I find that in health often the simple therapies have the greatest efficacy with the lowest risk of side effects.


David Emerson

  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended  Reading:

Should people without depression take medication to prevent it?

“For years, physicians have prescribed antidepressants to treat people grappling with depression. Some people can benefit from taking these medications during an acute episode. Others with a history of recurrent depression may take antidepressants to help prevent relapses

But researchers are studying a new use for these medications: to prevent depression in people who may have never had it before.

It has long been known that people with head and neck cancer are vulnerable to becoming depressed. These types of cancers can impair functionality at the most basic levels, like speaking or swallowing. Treatments, such as surgery and radiation, for these diseases can be debilitating. Some studies have estimated that up to half of patients with head and neck cancers may experience depression…

A group of researchers in Nebraska examined what would happen if non-depressed patients were given antidepressants before receiving treatment for head and neck cancer. Published in 2013, the results of the randomized, placebo-controlled trial were startling: Patients taking an antidepressant were 60 percent less likely to experience depression compared with peers who were given a placebo…

A meta-analysis published in 2014 found that prophylactic antidepressants cut down the incidence of depressive episodes among people receiving therapy for hepatitis C by more than 40 percent. Randomized trials suggest that patients who take antidepressants early after a stroke experience significantly lower rates of depression. Small studies have also found that people receiving treatment for melanoma may be less likely to develop depressive symptoms if they are pre-treated with antidepressants…

And although antidepressants are usually well tolerated, these medications can come with side effects ranging from headaches to diarrhea to life-threatening reactions…


Leave a Comment:

1 comment
Kathryn Guillaum says a couple of months ago

Antidepressants all give me…..anxiety; which is one of the side effects.
I don’t want to tolerate that for weeks, hoping it will go away with the med. Curcumin sounds like a plan. I’ve taken it in the past and stopped. I’ll start again
More Power to you David!

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