When I said that antidepressants save lives I refer to mostly women who suffer rfom PMDD, post-partum Depression or had oopherectomy/hysterectomy. This is a situation when Depression results from the rapid hormonal changes that are almost impossible to deal with rationally.
This guy describes the nurotransmitter profiles really well especially serotonin.
In women where estrogen goes serotonin will follow and in PMDD a drop in those hormones is so severe that it causes women to become suicidal in a matter of a few hours sometimes... I cannot explain the depth of that despair - only women with PMDD would know what Im talking about. I experienced this myself throughout life many times and once with devastating results.
I was prescribed Zoloft in small dose which I was supposed to take every month one week before my period. In 2011 I arrogantly decided that I "had it all under control", I can handle everything without pills and stopped taking it. Decision I will regret for the rest of my life because I ended up in a hospital with acute liver failure after ODing on a few hundred Percocets... The trigger was that I was about to lose my job which made me feel like a failure. It was just a few days before my period was supposed to start...
Good chance is that if I listened to my psych and took my Zoloft it would have never happened. I don't know why my mind played such an evil trick on me but it did.
Assuming that I must be not the only woman who had PMDD this severe I do believe that antidepressants do indeed save lives. And that's why I'm not jumping on that all-pharma-drugs-are-evil bandwagon like many people do here. Probably all opinions on this are deeply subjective depending on the experiences of the individual expressing them. Once really bad stuff happens to somebody they become way more appreciative of the allopathic medicine because it happens to be the one that is the most likely to be successful in saving one's life once things turn really shitty. While you're strong and well you might do all kinds of detoxes, liver flushes, coffee enemas, treat parasites and what not and make arrogant comments along the way because you are just a snot nosed know-it -all who has no idea what real trouble smells like.. I'm talikng about #155216 of couse.
However I believe Depression and self-destructive thoughts typically can be controlled very well through mindfullness and all the techniques involving self-awareness that Craig described are excellent. Yoga teaches these kind of techniques too. Buddha said that the highest personal achievement is the abillity to observe yourself w/o judjing yourself. Self-observansce is iincredibly helpful with everything in life.
I no longer have depression by the way. I'm just physically sick but emotionally I'm more stable than ever.
YOGA IS THE MOST POWERFUL ANTIDEPRESSANT. After practicing it for a while I'm amazed at what it can do.