We’ve all seen the ads. They’re everywhere. I barely even watch television and I feel like I’ve seen a thousand of them. A young woman, bedraggled, sits slumped in a chair, staring forlornly out the window. The colors are muted. The world outside is gray and dreary. The announcer’s dour voice describes the agony of depression before unveiling the newest miracle pill that will make all of life’s problems simply evaporate. The young woman is transformed before our very eyes. Suddenly she’s out riding her bike, she’s having wine with friends, she’s painting a portrait of a vibrant, technicolor sunrise. And as we’re being bombarded with these images of joy and jubilation, the announcer quickly rattles off the dozens of life-threatening side effects. They’re legally obligated to do that, but that’s not what they want you to pay attention to. What they want you to come away with is that curing your depression is as easy as taking your morning vitamins. And the advertising seems to work. There are currently 28 different types of antidepressants on the market and, according to recent studies, as many as 13% of Americans are currently taking one or more of them. In fact, the United States is the most medicated country in the world.
Now, I’m not a doctor. I would never suggest that antidepressants have no value. For some people they can be very effective. But I do feel confident saying that pills don’t address the mental and emotional states that underlie depression. Depression, as we relate with it at IMS, is what occurs when we’re caught in a fear-based pattern that we don’t know how to get out of. At IMS we offer an array of tools and strategies to recognize emotional patterns, take ownership of them, and shift out of them, if we choose. While antidepressants might serve as a bridge, our training offers long term solutions. But you don’t have to take my word for it. One of our clients recently shared her experience of transitioning away from antidepressants after engaging with IMS:
“In the year 2000 I remember seeing a commercial for a PMS drug called Sarafem—a bloated, miserable-looking woman struggles to get a grocery shopping cart out of the stack. She's frustrated, vaguely sweaty and on the verge of a meltdown. Along comes a slender, lythe woman who gracefully extracts her own grocery cart from the next stack, leaving the first gal ready to take a hostage. Great ad. It sold me. I asked my doctor about this medication and she gleefully wrote a script. This medication was effective in taking the edge off PMS, but what I didn't know at the time was that it was simply rebranded Prozac. When I found out what I was taking, I figured…so be it. I feel better and besides, I'm busy—there's a pill that makes me more able to manage myself and my busy life, great. Years went by, I had my first child. I was taken off the meds during pregnancy but went straight back on ASAP like a thirsty traveler who had just traversed the Serengheti. A few years later, on the heels of a divorce and additional life challenges, a girlfriend told me about another drug, Wellbutrin. She touted it as helping her feel great and lose a few pounds, to boot. I asked my doctor about this one and she was happy to put me on a combo. The two drugs worked great - I felt stable and happy-ish and I too was down a couple lbs. What could be better? I had my second child in 2011—again, going off the cocktail of meds during pregnancy and counting the days until I could go back on them. Over the years, I toyed with the idea of going off the meds, but I was afraid of the dark despair that was waiting for me. In 2016, after a near debilitating health crisis, and on the advice of my new doctor, I picked up The Inner Matrix by Joey Klein...and couldn't put it down. I attended a weekend intensive and started training in earnest. After 2 years of training I knew it was time to go off my meds -- I knew I had tools, I had the great support of my Trainer and community, and I was confident that I could face whatever was there. Working with my doctor, I stepped down off my meds over a period of time and felt some actual feelings for the first time in nearly 2 decades—the freedom and exhilaration were, and continue to be, profound. I'm so grateful to Joey and the entire IMS team and community for providing a system that empowers people like me to truly feel alive, and confident to face whatever comes up.”
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