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How do Anti-depressants Produce Suicidal Thoughts?

How do Anti-depressants Produce Suicidal Thoughts?

We often hear warnings of certain medications that are made for alleviating depression causing in some people thoughts of suicide when we would expect them to do the opposite. Suicide is clearly what one would expect of the depressed. Why would this happen?

It’s simple. People are depressed because they haven’t learned to process their disappointing experiences. They don’t have the understanding that would help them look at these events with equanimity. So they get depressed, and part of the process of getting through the emotions is feeling them. Antidepressants block that ability to feel, so the negative emotions backup inside their subconscious and can explode out as the deepest of depressions considerations, which is suicide.

Because they are blocking the person from processing the feelings and thoughts, these drugs do little to help a person do anything about their feelings. Issues have to be dealt with. To me depression is not merely a chemical imbalance but a belief and thought imbalance resulting in unresolved emotions. I’ve used mood correctors and found they interfered with my ability to do something about a particular dysfunctional way I see myself and/or my world.

To say depression is a “chemical imbalance in the brain” is like saying poverty is a financial imbalance in the bank account. It denies the cause of the depression by denying the personhood of the affected person, turning them into little more than passive passengers in their bodies, with no ability to learn to cope with life, examine their beliefs, behaviors and attitudes and make the inner changes that are necessary for genuine emotional well being that is not dependent on pills.

The fact is that people are depressed because of things that happen or don’t happen and at the same time they don’t know how to deal with it. The answer is not sedation with antidepressants but to learn to deal with it in a way that is both heartfelt and logical. When I was in my youth in the sixties and seventies people, if someone said he was depressed we asked him what happened, not if he is taking his medication.

Yes, there are cases where antidepressants are good as stopgaps to help a person get by, but the real answer is answers, not drugs. Suicidal thoughts mean answers are desperately needed. Chemically blocking emotions, again, treats people like they were merely victims of chemical reactions, not people whose beliefs themselves are causing the chemical reactions.

Every thought you have is based on a belief. Every thought produces emotions, and emotions produce chemical changes in the body. If you practice these beliefs, thoughts and emotions long enough you get into habits of them because the body adapts to those patterns, like exercising a muscle. And we can use our will to examine our thoughts and change our behavior and emotions. We are people. We need to feel and to think, not just take pills.

Another question and answer: Why do people want to take pills instead of take charge of their selves? It’s because they want to avoid blame for their problems. But logically that is a defective approach. If the problem is your mistaken, dysfunctional thinking, avoiding changing your thinking is just another mistake piled on top of the first, compounding the fault and by that sort of evasive thinking earning double the blame. But really, there is no blame, just a need to correct and move on.

Our world has become to enamored of finger pointing. Sue the bastard, blame your parents, blame your chemicals, and make someone or something else – like a pill – responsible for fixing the problem, because you didn’t have anything to do with it? No, we can’t go on like that. We are people, not passengers. We need to drive change in our own lives and say no to passivity.

There are additional ways to resolve depression using diet, exercise and good psychology. There are some great articles at with more ideas.