Will 'Happy Pills' really make you happy? Or do you need hormone help?
Chances are that you or someone you know at some point has been prescribed anti-depressants: for anxiety or depressive episodes that happen before your periods, for postpartum depression, or for PMDD (pre-menstrual dysphoric disorder). Before you reach for the pills, we want to be sure that you know the underlying causes of your mood imbalances, and that you're aware of the effective natural options available to you. For those with major mood imbalances, these "happy pills" can be lifesavers. However, today’s woman is being overprescribed to for issues that are influenced by hormonal fluctuations and are therefore treatable by natural means.
A Timeline of Medicating Women
To fully understand the medication trend, let’s take a look at a few key points on the timeline:
1870s and beyond - Hysteria, had the medical world believing that hysterectomies were the answer to women's mood swings. Not a drug, but a surgical procedure! (We prefer the orgasmic antidote: If you haven't seen this brilliant movie yet, do watch it!)
1956- Miltown, the first “psychiatric wonder drug” became an overnight phenomenon, selling out in nearly every drugstore. Psychiatrists and drug companies underestimated Miltown, thinking that people would go for talk therapy instead. This drug was marketed to women struggling with the rigors of motherhood.
1963- Valium, in the Guiness Book of World Records for the most prescribed drug of all time, was touted as “Mother’s little helper,” and even got its own theme song by The Rolling Stones. Still a popular drug today, many people take Valium continuously for years, though Valium only provides anxiety relief for around four months.
1970- Lithium, a drug that had been used to treat a variety of illnesses unsuccessfully since its discovery in 1817, was approved by the FDA for mania. It has since been used to treat a variety of mood and psychiatric disorders, including premenstrual depression. No one knew why or how lithium worked until 1998.
1987 and 1991- Prozac and Zoloft, the first “safe” antidepressants, were introduced and mass marketed to consumers. Zoloft was approved to treat premenstrual dysphoric disorder in 2003. Later that year, Pfizer, the company producing the drug, launched its “Zoloft for Everything” campaign, along with a questionnaire on lack of motivation for typical household chores and women hanging their heads. (and just so we’re all aware of how far this brand name has come, my computer officially recognizes “Zoloft” as a properly spelled word…and even capitalizes it automatically)
2000 - Sarafem becomes a new name for Prozac. The FDA approves the marketing of the same drug under a new name to be specifically targeted at women with PMDD (premenstrual dysphoric disorder), complete with pink and lavender-colored capsules.
2009 - Studies reveal anti-depressant medications taken during pregnancy are causing birth defects in babies.
Do you see a trend here? Medication is marketed as the escape from the "burdens" of womanhood, yet women are not being made aware of the potential dangerous side-effects of these medications, or of other options available.
We're here to tell you something different
When you care for your female body in the cyclical and natural way it's meant to be cared for, you will clear up the frustrating physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms associated with imbalanced hormones. You will find what we refer to as your FLO.
Why Natural Approaches to Healing PMS, PMDD, and Depression Work
- The food you eat becomes the building blocks for serotonin, the regulator of your moods. 90% of the serotonin your body make is produced in the small intestine - not in your brain, as you might have thought! What you eat influences how you feel and think.
- Your liver's ability to break down and eliminate excess estrogen is another important factor in ensuring that your hormones are balanced throughout all the phases of your menstrual cycle. A diet deficient in liver-supportive foods will impair your ability to stay balanced. When our livers are overburdened with medications, pesticides from foods, chemicals in beauty products and cleaning supplies, how can we expect them to properly keep our bloodstream clean, clear, and balanced? We can't.
- If you treat a woman's body the same every day and every week despite the range of hormonal shifts that are constantly happening, you are not allowing her full expression to come through. Emotions should not be pathologized. Learning how to understand and process your emotions throughout the 4 phases of your cycle should be mandatory education in every school system! The more we allow ourselves to find healthy outlets for anger and sadness, the less they will get stuck in our body, thus causing the depressed feelings many of us experience.
Our protocol in the WomanCode System not only supports your mind and body with the proper serotonin-boosting foods, but it lays the foundation for hormonal balance and a healthy experience with your feminine energy and emotions - a foundation that will last you for years to come.
Important Points to Consider:
- Before you jump to thinking that your irritability or anxiety require medication, take into consideration the fact that your blood sugar might just be imbalanced (which is something treatable with food!)
- If you're dealing with postpartum depression, know that a boost in Omega 3s and B-vitamins through the food you're eating could be the missing link.
- If you've been diagnosed with PMDD or PMS, know that high levels of estrogen could be influencing your moods and liver-supportive foods and supplements will help you create the proper balance in your moods and body.
If you have been prescribed medication for any kind of symptoms but have a feeling that it's not the right option for you, talk to us. We have a team of counselors who would love to chat with you over the phone and get you on the road to balanced moods and hormones.