A while back everyone was angry at Tom Cruise because they didn't like what he had to say about the issue of Brooke Shields, postpartum depression and antidepressants. But just because you didn't like what he said didn't mean he was wrong.
First of all, postpartum depression is a hormone imbalance not an antidepressant deficiency. This means it should be treated with hormones, not antidepressants. Many women are being misled into thinking they have a psychiatric problem when it is actually a hormone imbalance that can be treated with natural, bio-identical hormones.
One young, new mother complained of feeling depressed soon after the birth of her first child. A simple hormone test indicated she was low in the hormone, progesterone. After only two days of treatment with bio-identical progesterone, she reported feeling 100% better. Women should not be subjected to prescription antidepressants that come with the risk of serious side effects such as suicidal tendencies and heart problems when their problem is hormonal. Brooke Shields even reported that she wanted to drive her car, with her baby inside, into a wall when she tried to come off the antidepressant she was taking.
Second, Tom Cruise implied that she should exercise and take nutrients. He wasn't wrong there either. A study conducted by the Public Health Institute in Berkeley, California found a direct correlation between increased exercise and a decrease risk in being depressed or becoming depressed. Another study by the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University reported that after depressed patients who exercised had a significant lower relapse than those who were treated with medication.
According to Organic Psychiatry, depletion of potassium, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C or zinc can be the actual cause of depressed symptoms and that "The most marked manifestations of magnesium deficiency were depression..."
I am a physician who has seen too many women diagnosed with postpartum depression and just plain old depression without receiving an adequate medical work-up.
Another woman came to see me because she was very ill with many different symptoms, from arthritis to double vision. She had been to many specialists. None could figure out why she had all of these symptoms. She had been taking an antidepressant for seven years, through a pregnancy and through nursing her baby. Every one of her symptoms was a side effect of the antidepressant she was taking but not a single specialist figured that out even though she told each one she was taking the antidepressant.
Once she slowly stopped the antidepressant (no one should stop these drugs abruptly), all of her symptoms went away. And the depression she supposedly had, wasn't depression at all. It turned out to by hypothyroidism, yet not a single doctor had even performed a simple blood test to find the cause of her depressed symptoms.
The antidepressants currently used most frequently in the United States are the Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI) such as Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox and many others. I have found in my patients that taking these SSRI antidepressants actually deplete the serotonin in the body, not increase it. The patients I have seen on these drugs felt better initially but felt worse in the long term and had difficulty stopping the drugs without significant side effects.
In addition to hormone deficiencies, there are many true causes of feeling depressed. Some of theses are hypothyroidism, nutritional deficiencies, allergies and prescription drug side effects. The Psychiatry Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) states, "By definition, a Major Depressive Episode is not due to...the direct physiological effects of a general medical condition (e.g., hypothyroidism)." Even though these statements are in the psychiatrist's manual, unless the doctor does a thorough evaluation of the patient, the doctor will never know that the patient has a medical condition, not a psychiatric one. One psychiatrist announced on national television that "Psychiatrists don't do physicals." If a psychiatrist does not perform a physical exam on a patient or does not perform laboratory tests, there is no way they can find the true cause of the symptoms. Giving someone a psychiatric diagnosis and a prescription for a psychiatric drug without a thorough medical evaluation should be considered malpractice.