Taking Antidepressants During Pregnancy Adversely Affects Babies’ Brain Chemistry, Finds Study

[Editor’s Note]

For those wishing for more information about this important subject please read:

A Mind Of Your Own – The Truth About Depression & How Women Can Heal Their Bodies by Dr. Kelly Brogan
Toxic Psychiatry – Dr. Peter Breggin

Pregnant women
Source: NaturalNews.com
Isabelle Z.
June 24, 2016

There is now another reason to be concerned about the effects of antidepressant use, particularly if you’re pregnant. A new study out of the Helsinki University Children’s Hospital has uncovered a link between the use of antidepressants by pregnant women, and brain abnormalities in their newborns.

Unfortunately, 15 percent of pregnant women are believed to suffer from depression or anxiety, and around 5 percent of the babies born in the U.S. each year are believed to be exposed to antidepressants in the womb.

Researcher Sampsa Vanhatalo said: “We found many changes in the brain activity of SRI-exposed newborns. Since the changes did not correlate with the mother’s psychiatric symptoms, we have assumed that they resulted as a side effect of maternal drug treatment.”

The researchers are calling for more investigations into the effects of these drugs on fetal brain function. They emphasize the importance of choosing non-pharmacological interventions to treat anxiety and depression in pregnant women.

This study was the first one that directly studied SSRI exposure’s effects on newborn brain activity. It involved 22 mothers who were taking SSRI meds, and 62 controls who did not take any medication.

Some of the effects noted in the electrical activity in the brains of those who were exposed to SSRIs, include weaker synchronization between cortical rhythms, and lower levels of organization in the communication between brain hemispheres.

This study comes on the heels of another recent study that found permanent changes in the areas of the brain responsible for mood and cognition in the brains of mice whose mothers took SSRIs during pregnancy.

Antidepressant use during pregnancy linked to a number of risks

This finding joins a laundry list of other developmental and fetal complications that have already been linked to antidepressant use during pregnancy.

A study published in JAMA Pediatrics found a link between antidepressant use and the development of autism. In that study, University of Montreal researchers found that women who took SSRIs during their second and third trimester of pregnancy had twice the likelihood of giving birth to a baby who would go on to develop autism.

Autism is not the only issue mothers who take antidepressants might have to contend with as their children grow. Research from Canada’s McMaster University discovered that the use of SSRI antidepressants in pregnancy was correlated with obesity, diabetes, and other metabolic complications such as fatty liver in adult offspring.

Another potential risk associated with taking antidepressants during pregnancy is premature birth. A Danish study discovered that women who take SSRIs while pregnant have double the risk of giving birth prematurely than do women who do not take these drugs.

How can pregnant women deal with depression safely?

Even women who are not pregnant would do well to try alternative options for dealing with depression first, given the other serious side effects caused by antidepressants, including the tendency to commit suicide and carry out violent acts.

There are several methods that expectant mothers can use to cope with depression that do not have dangerous side effects for their unborn children. Some people are quick to dismiss alternative methods, but a study out of Johns Hopkins University actually found that meditation is every bit as effective as antidepressants in treating depression and anxiety. This is an excellent starting point for pregnant women, as it does not carry any potential risks.

In addition, eating the right foods can help, not only with depression, but also with giving your child the best start in life. This means eating organic fruits and vegetables and whole grains. Exercise and yoga can also help boost your mood, although pregnant women should use caution and avoid exercises that are too strenuous.

Spending some time outdoors connecting with nature is an often-overlooked yet effective method of dealing with depression. A Stanford University study found that people noted a decrease in negative self-talk after a 90-minute walk in nature, and brain scans actually showed less activity in the part of the brain that is active during the maladaptive thinking that is linked with depression.

The best news is that all of these approaches can bring about other benefits for your unborn child. Healthy eating means your baby won’t be exposed to the many toxins found in processed food, while getting more physical activity can boost your overall health.

Read More At: NaturalNews.com

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Are “Moody Women” Being Drugged Into Submission By Pharma?

Why Can't A Woman Be More Like A Man?
[Editor’s Note]

For those thinking that this might sound insane, books like Toxic Psychiatry by  Peter R. Breggin, MD – who is Harvard-trained psychiatrist and former full-time consultant at NIMH – detail the rampant drugging of society in an incisive/extensive way.

Furthermore, the work of Jon Rappaport, who is an investigative journalist & researcher of over 30 years into the fields of medicine and more, has been pivotal in me being able to learn about this pervasive, and disturbing trend.  Rappoport’s work can be found at NoMoreFakeNews.com and JonRappoport.wordpress.com

Rappoport provides a great starting point regarding this abstruse topic for those wanting to further research this information:

Psychiatry – The Modern Priest Class

—————————————————————————

Source: GreenMedInfo.com
Margie King, Health Coach

Women are now almost twice as likely to be on antidepressants as men. Why? 

“Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” laments Henry Higgins in the 1964 Lerner and Loewe classic musical “My Fair Lady.”  In the show Higgins is stymied by Eliza Doolittle’s emotional reactions to his science-based efforts to re-engineer her in his image of a proper woman.

Click here for Rex Harrison’s rendition of “Hymn to Him” from the movie.

It’s the age-old problem of men and women having different sensibilities. But fast forward 50 years or so, and Henry Higgins may well have the answer to his problem – antidepressants.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry finds that more than 69% of people on antidepressants aren’t actually depressed.  They don’t meet the criteria for major depressive disorder (MDD).  And 38% never met the criteria for other conditions for which antidepressants are prescribed, at any time in their life.  These include obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, social phobia, or generalized anxiety disorder.[i]

But what many of these “patients” have in common is that they are women. The researchers found that being female was statistically associated with antidepressant prescriptions.

In other words, according to actual medical practice, it looks like being a woman may be a treatable mental health condition.

Other major reasons linked to taking antidepressants included being Caucasian, having recent or current physical problems (e.g., loss of bladder control, hypertension, and back pain) or a recent visit to a mental health facility.

Women are now almost twice as likely to be on antidepressants as men.  One in four women is now on psychiatric medication according to Julie Holland, a psychiatrist in New York and the author of “Moody Bitches: The Truth About the Drugs You’re Taking, the Sleep You’re Missing, the Sex You’re Not Having, and What’s Really Making You Crazy.”

In a recent op-ed piece in the New York Times Dr. Holland noted that women are under constant pressure to tamp down their emotions.  “We have been taught to apologize for our tears, to suppress our anger and to fear being called hysterical,” she writes.

Continue Reading At: GreenMedInfo.com

Documentary Explores Link Between Mood and Diet

Source: Mercola.com
Dr. Mercola
January 9, 2016

The connection between your food and your mood has been the focus of occasional scientific inquiry over the past couple of decades.

Your diet can have a pronounced biochemical effect on your mental health, but the reverse is also true—your emotional state can influence the foods you choose, as well as being a major force behind food cravings.

Dr. Brian Wansink1 of Cornell University, author of more than 200 articles and books about the psychology of eating, is featured in the PBS documentary “Food on the Brain.”

This program explores the psychology of eating and provides tips and tricks for making better food choices when faced with the overwhelming number of products in supermarkets today.

Your Foods Influence Your Moods—And Vice Versa

The average supermarket now carries 43,844 different products.2 How can you even begin to make good choices when there are so many products from which to choose? Going shopping can be overwhelming.

Shoppers report that an abundance of choice can make decision-making difficult, and five percent of shoppers will simply walk away empty-handed when the scope of choices makes selection too overwhelming.3

Research has shown that an unprocessed food based diet, including fermented foods to optimize your gut flora, supports positive mood and optimal mental health.

For example, dark chocolate, berries, coffee, bananas, omega-3 fats, and turmeric (curcumin) tend to boost your mood, whereas sugar, wheat (gluten), and processed foods have been linked to poor mood.

But the influence also works in the other direction. Studies show that your emotional state may significantly control the types of foods you choose, as well as how much food you’re inclined to eat.

Could Avoiding Overeating Be as Simple as Thinking Happy Thoughts?

A series of fascinating studies4 by Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab (run by Dr. Wansink) were designed to explain the mechanisms by which negative and positive moods influence your food choices.

Researchers found that individuals select healthy or “indulgent” foods depending on whether they’re in a good or a bad mood, respectively. They discovered that if you think about what you’re grateful for, you’ll eat up to 77 percent healthier.

Why would this be?

Individuals in positive moods who make healthier food choices are often thinking more about future health benefits than those in negative moods, who focus more on immediate taste and sensory experience. Researchers wrote:

“When people are in a good mood, things seem okay and they can take a big picture perspective. This kind of thinking allows people to focus on the more abstract aspects of food, including how healthy it is…

Conceptually, when people feel uncomfortable or are in a bad mood, they know something is wrong and focus on what is close in the here and now.

We hypothesized and demonstrated that this kind of thinking gets us to focus on the sensory qualities of our foods – not things that are more abstract like how nutritious the food is.”

The research team suggests that if you’re in a bad mood and you want to reduce your temptation to overeat, or not eat the wrong thing, try focusing on something other than the present. If you want to change your eating, change your thoughts—think of something you’re grateful for.

Comfort Foods May Not Be So Comforting After All

The healing power of comfort food may be overrated, if you believe the results of a recent study.5 Researchers at the University of Minnesota found that indulging in comfort food has little effect on how quickly you recover from a bad mood.

The study was funded by NASA in hopes of finding a way to improve the mood of astronauts on space missions. Astronauts tend to lose weight in space, where work demands are high and the food is generally bleak and uninspiring.

Individuals who didn’t soothe themselves with food found their moods bouncing back just as quickly as those who indulged in “comfort food.”6 Even when comfort food helped with mood, the effects were short-lived.

In a previous study,7 Dr. Wansink’s research team found that, contrary to popular belief, people tend to eat “comfort foods” as a reward, rather than in response to sadness or stress.

About 86 percent of those surveyed reported seeking out comfort foods when they were in a happy mood, as opposed to 36 percent reporting eating comfort foods when feeling down.

Tips and Strategies to Prevent Overeating

Being mindful of your eating is important, but sometimes mindfulness alone isn’t enough. Many human behaviors are driven by unconscious emotions, and eating patterns are no exception. There are ways to clear out these unconscious emotions, which I’ll be addressing shortly, but it’s also nice to have a few psychological tools to “trick” your body into eating less. Dr. Wansink discusses a few of these in the featured documentary.

Smaller Plates Equal Smaller Portions

Although calorie counting is not an effective approach to weight loss, portion control can be important, particularly if you are inactive or have a sluggish metabolism. Westerners typically consume much larger portions than they need. One way to control portions with minimal effort is by using smaller plates. This seems to work by way of an optical illusion—food portions appear larger on a smaller plate, which tricks your brain into serving and eating smaller portions.8

Plate size has been found to affect how much you eat by 25 percent! Interestingly, the same applies to glassware and utensils. If you want to reduce your intake of sweetened drinks or alcohol, use tall, thin glasses instead of short, wide ones. Similarly, using a smaller fork9 and cutting your food into smaller pieces10 seems to reduce consumption.

If you’re using larger plates, choose plates of a color that contrasts greatly with your food, but with a color similar to the tablecloth. Dr. Wansink also mentions a “half-plate” rule. He says, “It doesn’t matter what you eat as long as half your plate consists of fresh vegetables and fruits.”

I would generally agree, provided you’re not consuming junk food or processed foods. Remember also that a large portion of those vegetables are best consumed raw. Make sure to drink plenty of pure filtered or spring water every day, as sometimes thirst masquerades as hunger.

A 2010 study found that drinking two cups of water prior to meals is an effective way to reduce food intake, especially for middle-aged and older adults.11 Another scientific review concluded that drinking ice water prior to a meal, in lieu of a sweetened beverage, may result in your eating less.

Continue Reading At: Mercola.com