Depression as a symptom and not a disease

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/07/06/head_fake/I think the article is a must-read for everyone. It details another theory / explanation as to how anti-depressants perform against the human body:The effectiveness of Prozac, these scientists say, has little to do with the amount of serotonin in the brain. Rather, the drug works because it helps heal our neurons, allowing them to grow and thrive again.So, it’s not that the happy pills help release happy chemicals, but rather the happy pills assist to regenerate parts of your brain that have been abused by constant worry, anxiety and stress. Unforgiving boss, foreclosures, nagging wife, being too fat, having to little money, new kids in family: it all adds up.It’s no wonder that all the aforementioned symptoms are treated w/ same drugs. A pharmacist friend o’ mine told me once that big pharma corps sell the exact same chemical as two different products, one for PMS and the other for smoking cessation.M’ grandmother, an old lady of over ninety years suffered from some mental disorder (I never heard exact diagnosys); quite the experience for m’ relatives who care for her. The doctor prescribed Zoloft, an anti-depressant and shortly she regained focus and mental strength. Happy pills do more than make you happy, as the commercials would like you to believe.What lead them to this conclusion, that happy drugs are more than Ecstacy lite?One of the first cracks in the chemical hypothesis of depression came from a phenomenon known as the “Prozac lag.” Antidepressants increase the amount of serotonin in the brain within hours, but the beneficial effects are not usually felt for weeks.The lag period is your brain, your body healing itself. In this sense, Prozac is simply a bottled version of other activities that have a similar effect, such as physical exercise. They aren’t happy pills, but healing pills.So constant physical exercise does the same for your body as Prozac and the other anti-depressants? Interesting discoveries though I reckon the marketing for legal, instant happy drugs won’t stop.