The Truth About Antidepressants and Benzodiazepines

The Truth About Antidepressants and Benzodiazepines

As I write this, it’s been almost four years since my dad took his own life.

I tend to try and shy away from writing about things that could cause tension. But whether I like it or not, I am being called to spread awareness and truth that could possibly save lives, which is far more important than any hate comments that could come my way.

Understand

  • I want what is best for you
  • I want to prevent bad things from happening to you
  • I want you to heal and be free from all mental and physical problems, and I 100% believe you can be, without certain medications

This is a topic I have spent countless years researching, interviewing, and diving headfirst into peer-reviewed scientific studies. I have had the honor of connecting with some of the top medical professionals in the world that study this subject deeply and the new research that is coming out about these medications is scary, shocking, and hidden by the pharmaceutical industry.

My hope is that if you or a loved one are taking an SSRI or Benzodiazepine, you would have an open mind – that’s it.

Lies vs Truth

The Lie: You have a chemical imbalance in your brain / your brain is not making enough serotonin (or dopamine or whatever neurotransmitter they say is lacking based on the symptoms you describe).

The Truth: That statement was created by the pharmaceutical industry. The “chemical imbalance” theory that suggests serotonin (or whatever neurotransmitter) deficiency in the brain has been disproved many times. This theory was created by the pharmaceutical industry and sold to medical professionals to convince people they have an imbalance that can only be ‘cured’ or helped with their product.

This is incredibly sad because people are told their brain just isn’t working right and the imbalance needs medication for them to feel better. Not true.

Yes, if you are having severe mental symptoms, there are some imbalances going on in your body, but it’s not as simple as just being deficient in certain neurotransmitters. They are not taking a machine and measuring your neurotransmitters. You are diagnosed based on symptoms, so really, they don’t know exactly what is going on in your brain. If you research the origins of the ‘chemical imbalance’ theory you will find it has no scientific evidence surrounding it.

The question is why are systems in your body out of balance?  Why is your brain not making the correct ratios of neurotransmitters/hormones? What else is happening in the body? That’s what you need to treat.

Simply taking something to get your body to make more or less of a certain neurotransmitter is not fixing what caused it to not be able to in the first place. Not only is it not fixing it, but it’s also most likely creating further imbalances in your body.

People do have imbalances going on, but it’s more complex than just being deficient in neurotransmitters. It’s not just a neurotransmitter problem, it’s a whole-body problem in which every system and organ in the body needs to be addressed. Simply taking something is not fixing the problem.

We now know that neurotransmitters are created in response to thoughts, movement, behaviors, foods, and the environment. Meaning, if you are deficient in something, there are things you can do to create what you need. To feel mentally healthy you need ALL neurotransmitters and hormones to be flowing and created correctly, simply just taking something to get your body to make more serotonin is not what’s needed as that could throw off the ratios to other important chemical reactions in the body.

The Lie: You have ‘clinical’ depression, anxiety, bipolar, mental illness etc. (insert the label given to you) – medication is the only solution.

The Truth: You are experiencing symptoms that someone is labeling as “clinical xyz”. They give you that label based on the symptoms you describe. Have you ever asked what makes something ‘clinical’? Of course, some people experience more severe symptoms than others, but that doesn’t change what needs to happen to heal.

That just means more healing is needed and more areas need to be addressed. “Clinical” does not equal medication. What if you didn’t label your symptoms? When you are given this label, you then begin to think you have this illness and your brain just isn’t working right and medication is the solution to that. The truth is, your brain probably isn’t working right, you probably do have imbalances going on in your body that are causing horrible mental and physical symptoms. You might be suicidal, you might not be able to get out of bed, you might have panic attacks, anger attacks, you might ruminate on thoughts over and over again, you might hear and see things. Those things are real AND they are symptoms you are experiencing, they are not you. You don’t need to be medicated, you need to have a team around you to help you find what is causing those symptoms.

There is always a root cause. That root cause is a combination of treating the toxicities and deficiencies in your mind, body, and spiritual world. SSRIs and benzos do NOT treat the root cause of your symptoms, but other things can.

Symptoms are signals, not problems. They are trying to lead you to areas in your life, body, and mind that are needing healing and attention.

The Lie: SSRIs and benzodiazepines are completely safe and have been studied extensively

The truth: These medications are getting on the market with very short-term trials. The clinical trials run are typically 6-8 weeks and rarely longer than 12 weeks. The only evidence we have for these drugs is short term and the problem is people don’t just get treated short-term, they are getting treated long-term. I think if people really studied these medications and understand how little we know about long-term effects, there would be a lot fewer people taking them.

The Lie: It’s just about managing the chemicals in your brain 

The Truth: Mental health is far more complex than simple brain chemicals. How you think and feel is based on your gut, your nervous system, water, food, habits, relationships, your past, trauma, spiritual entities, toxicities, the environment, and how your brain is currently wired. Mental health issues are also not just about what is physically happening in the body and brain. There is a spiritual world that is just as real as the physical. In that spiritual world, there are generational sin/issues that are passed down, there are dark spirits that can get in, there is trauma, and there is subconscious pain that manifests in mental or physical issues. All treatable. But you must go on the journey of exploring each of these areas for yourself.

What They Don’t Tell You

Suicide: EVERY SINGLE PERSON I know that has died by suicide (including my dad) has been on SSRI’s or benzos. Research is now clear, there is a direct correlation between taking SSRIs and committing suicide, especially in children. Many people get on medication because they are suicidal but the hard reality is the medication actually induces suicidal thoughts and changes your behavior in such a way it becomes a reality. If you are on an SSRI and have suicidal thoughts, please know it may actually be the medication inducing those thoughts, not you. Going on and off medications and withdrawing from SSRIs have been shown to induce erratic and dangerous behavior. If you choose to get off, please know that and get a team behind you to help you go through all of the thoughts and emotions that might follow. You are not crazy, but the medication might make you feel like you are.

How you are Diagnosed: You are diagnosed based on the symptoms you describe. Those diagnoses are based on theories from the DSM-5. That manual is causing professionals to over-diagnose and overmedicate. We now know that the brain is impacted by the other systems of the body. We know that ‘mental illness’ is really just a brain that needs to be healed (which it can).

We now know that we can intentionally create positive hormones and neurotransmitters with food, thought patterns, inner spiritual healing, and movement. We know we can rewire the brain aka wire out anxiety and depression pathways and replace them with healthy pathways in the brain.

The problem with  this diagnosis is that it does not take into account the individual person. Two people could have the exact same symptoms and be given the exact same diagnosis (depression) but they will have different root causes and they need different treatments to come back into balance. They cannot measure your neurotransmitters, they are diagnosing you based on the symptoms you describe, and symptoms can change rapidly if you figure out what is causing them.

Withdrawal and brain changes: Thousands of innocent people are being put on these medications believing they are safe. They get very little education on what withdrawal from these medications will be like. Bottom line: before people get on these medications, they need to know what it is going to do to their brain and what they will go through if/when they get off of them. Withdrawing from these medications causes unimaginable turmoil, mental breakdown, and physical pain.

Addiction: Most people are not told that benzos are meant for short-term use only. They are not told how their body will get addicted and physically need the medication to function. Benzodiazepine addiction is one of the hardest to break because of the horrific mental and physical symptoms people experience when they try to stop. Before you try a benzo, please look into stories of addiction and withdrawal first and know there are other options.

Not fixing your brain: People are not told that the medication is not actually fixing anything but rather suppressing the real root cause. The medications are not fixing your emotions, they are just numbing them. If you come off, the problems and emotions you had before will still be there.

End the Stigma around Mental Health (the RIGHT way!)

I see so many celebrities, influencers, and people trying to “end the stigma” around mental health by openly admitting they struggle and are on medication.

Yes, let’s end the stigma by admitting and normalizing the dark human thoughts, behaviors, and emotions that exist and that most people feel depressed,  anxious, and even suicidal in times of their life.

Let’s not normalize that medication is the answer to it.

Let’s talk about what’s really causing these mental health issues and the legitimate ways to heal them, not just cover them up.

Instead of turning to medication right away, let’s explore areas that may be causing the imbalance:

  • The internet and social media changing our brains causing addiction and comparison which then has our body in a constant start of cortisol which causes mental health problems.
  • The lack of education around how to walk through dark thoughts and emotions
  • Trauma
  • The terrible food supply destroying our health and not giving our bodies the nutrients it needs to make hormones and neurotransmitters properly
  • Isolation and lack of community that almost everyone is experiencing causing severe depression
  • The constant stimulation destroying our nervous system and making it impossible for any system of the body to work properly
  • Toxic products that block the proper production of hormones
  • Dark spirits

Let’s talk about mental health and what will actually help it.I’m interested in fixing the issue, not just covering it up.

My Personal Journey

Not only have I walked through severe mental health issues with my dad, but I have also experienced what would be labeled “clinical anxiety and depression” myself. In just two years, my dad took his own life, my daughter passed away in my arms, and I had a second-trimester miscarriage that almost took my life. Shortly after I had another child.

If I had gone to a doctor, they would have ‘diagnosed’ me with clinical depression and postpartum anxiety based on my symptoms and my history. They would have told me that my dad had these issues so I was doomed with them too. If I did not have all of the knowledge I had, I would be on more medications right now than I would know what to do with.

I had suicidal thoughts. I didn’t think I could do it anymore nor did I want to. I didn’t feel like getting out of bed or doing anything. I had panic attacks. I had anxiety about doing anything or going anywhere. I envisioned scary things happening. The dark pain, grief, and hopelessness I felt after losing my daughter hurt so bad, it felt like it was actually going to kill me. The emotional pain was worse than any physical pain I have ever felt. I get it.

Luckily, I knew what to do when the dark depression and anxiety hit. I knew how to find the root and walk through it. I knew medication was not the answer.

Walking through that dark time was the hardest thing I have ever had to do AND it was the most healing, eye-opening experience of my life. Because I chose to walk through it, explore it, and do different modalities to heal, I am a better, more stable, and thriving person now than I was before all of that happened.

Whatever you are dealing with is calling you on a journey. That journey will actually take you to the next level in life. It will help you address what your body has been needing all along.

I have  been around some intense and dark cases of depression, bipolar, and anxiety. People that have been labeled with ‘psychosis’ that needed to be on medication because they are dangerous to themselves and others. And I have seen those people that were living in a mental institution heal! They healed because they explored the Spiritual roots and broke free from demonic attachments, they changed the way they ate, they detoxed their bodies, and completely shifted how they lived their life.

Remember

Imagine me looking at you in the eyes, holding your hand and telling you . . .

Whatever mental issue you are dealing with has a root cause, medication will not fix that root cause. Not only will it not fix it, when you come off the medication the problem will also still be there + 10x worse because of the medication’s side effects.

Don’t feel like something is wrong with you if you are feeling and thinking scary and dark things. If you feel anxious or depressed about life. If you have thoughts of not even wanting to be here anymore. The truth is we all feel and think dark things and getting it out is actually part of moving those thoughts and emotions through so you won’t feel them anymore. The enemy wants you to think something is wrong with you (there isn’t) He wants you to not talk about it (you should) He wants you to believe you need something to not make you feel or think that way anymore (you don’t). Get it out and get a team behind you that can support your needs. I’m here for you. You can do it. Anxiety and depression are terrible and scary, but you want to do things that will actually help you, not just suppress you.

You are not broken. Your body isn’t broken. Your brain is broken. Anything you are thinking, feeling, and experiencing can be healed. Not only can it be healed, but walking through and exploring the anxiety and depression will actually get you to your next level in life. A better level. Don’t take on the label that your brain doesn’t work right, your body will follow what you believe to be true. Know that your body, brain, and mind can literally and scientifically become new.

Don’t let anyone label you. Whatever you have going on is not permanent. Your body, mind, hormones, and neurotransmitters are constantly renewing and reorganizing and trying to heal and get into balance. What you are experiencing are symptoms and symptoms can be solved. Instead of saying “I am clinically depressed or anxious or bipolar or xyz” try saying “these are the symptoms I am experiencing right now, and I am working on finding what is causing those symptoms.”

If you are already on medication, that is OKAY! You can still explore other options and when you feel ready to come off, get a game plan and do it SLOWLY. Some symptoms you experience may feel like you are crazy but it’s actually the withdrawal making you feel and think certain things. If you know that, you can make it through. You were made for this. You are awesome at feeling hard things. In fact, hard things only make you better.

“Treating it Naturally” vs Medication

Many people have told me that they tried to treat their anxiety and depression “naturally” and it didn’t work. This isn’t about ‘treating it naturally’ vs medication. Taking herbs or supplements to try and fix things is the same concept as taking medication, you are trying to fix it with a magic pill. You are trying to take something to make how you are feeling change. Unfortunately, there is no pill (natural or not) that will magically heal you. It’s deeper than that. There is no ‘one thing’ you will do that will change everything for you. It will always be a combination of things. I am not talking about taking herbs or supplements instead of medication. I am talking about actually changing what needs to be changed in your life so your body can run and heal how it was designed to run and heal.

So, it’s not about ‘treating it naturally’, it’s about finding the root cause and figuring out what your particular body needs to get back into balance.  That’s not treating it naturally, that’s just actually treating it instead of suppressing it.

The problem is, most people just want a magic pill (or supplement). They don’t want to do the work to heal. They would rather take a pill that suppresses how they feel. That’s totally fine if that’s you. But if that’s not you and you are wondering if there are other ways to treat your mental health, the answer is 1000% yes. Is it the easy way? No. But I guarantee it’s worth it.

In future posts, I will talk about the root cause of mental health issues and how to treat them.

We need skills, not pills. We need knowledge, not labels. You need to addresss what’s going on in your spirit, your mind, and your body. All three. If you do, you can heal.

Resources

Please, don’t take my word for it. Look into all of these resources for yourself and make your own conclusion. These websites have compiled an incredible amount of resources showing the latest research, clinical studies, and truth.

Medicating Normal 

Mad in America 

The Withdrawal Project 

Dr. Peter Breggin’s Antidepressant Drug Resource & Information Center

 

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