Although we do not like to discuss it, depression is an important problem in America. According to statistics, one out every ten people will suffer from depression at some stage in our lives. 16 million people (that is 6.9percent of the population) had at least one major depressive episode in 2012.
And every year, the amount of individuals being diagnosed with this disorder increases by 20%. With numbers like this, it’s safe to say that depression is a disorder that affects almost all of us in some manner, whether that’s personally or within our circle of family and friends. Among the worst things about depression is that the very symptoms of the illness (fatigue, feelings of hopelessness, tendency for isolation) make it difficult for the sufferer to look for assistance and look for alternative options.
Think of this compared to something like cancer, where it’s extremely common for the newly diagnosed patient to look for several medical opinions and scour the web for natural cures. There’s something about cancer and ailments like it that excite a fighter’s mentality. But unfortunately by its very nature, depression generally requires the fight completely from the person.
The good news in all this is that there are natural and effective treatment choices for individuals experiencing depression. Although it’s given one broad title, the simple truth is that there are lots of distinct causes, presentations, and symptoms of depression. Therefore, what works to help 1 person might be completely ineffective for somebody else. But when you take the time to find the whole story, treat the entire person, and work together to implement new life skills, the results are often very remarkable.
Below I have outlined the 3 main steps in the natural treatment of the growing disease. So as to have an effective therapy, it’s extremely important to rule out or treat any potential physical causes that may be contributing to a patient’s depression.
There are MANY physical conditions that can lead to depression, some of which are recognized by conventional medicine and some of which aren’t. Nutritional deficiencies: Low levels of many different vitamins and minerals in addition to essential fatty acids (omega 3’s) are related to depression. It’s very important to check for low vitamin B6, B12, and folic acid in depressed patients. These three vitamins are generally depleted by stress as well as by using oral contraception.
Unfortunately, traditional labwork isn’t the most accurate way to check vitamin levels. This is because these labs just examine the serum level of nourishment, that’s the number of nutrients floating around in your blood at the particular time of the blood draw.
A more accurate method to test for nutrient deficiencies is to check the level of nutrients which are actually within your blood cells. This sort of testing demonstrates exactly how much of each vitamin that the body has really absorbed and can use. Additionally, because of genetic deficiency referred to as the MTHFR genetic defect, some of us are not able to convert the folic acid they ingest to the energetic and usable form called L-methylfolate.
While this defect may result in a plethora of different metabolic issues, it’s especially important in depression. This is because low folic acid prevents the body from producing adequate levels of serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine. Spectracell Laboratories is a terrific lab that accurately tests for nutrient deficiencies and MTHFR genetic defects through the blood. The data gleamed from these tests allows doctors to prescribe highly precise and specific supplements that may have a profound impact on patients’ health.
Both elevated and depressed levels of adrenal hormones, particularly cortisol, can cause symptoms of depression. If cortisol levels are too high, this may inhibit the body’s ability to convert tryptophan to serotonin. On top of the substantial mood changes that dopamine deficiency may cause, serotonin is an immediate precursor to melatonin, a hormone that’s vitally important to sleep. Excess cortisol also inhibits thyroid hormone production and may result in hypothyroidism, another condition that can cause symptoms of depression. Low levels of cortisol can also be associated with mood swings, depression, and fatigue. The most accurate way to check adrenal hormones is via the saliva.
Salivary testing measures the biologically active component of those hormones, and, since it can be done in the home, it allows for precise measurement of hormones at different times of the month or day. This provides the doctor a complete picture of how much hormone that the body is truly able to use and how that hormone amount varies based on physiological rhythms.
The most common signs of hypothyroidism-fatigue, sadness, brain fog, difficulty thinking, and inability to shed weight-are a number of the very same signs of depression. Because of this, it’s quite important for anyone who’s experiencing these symptoms should have their thyroid checked before beginning any kind of anti-depressant medication. It’s essential that the physician runs a complete thyroid gland (TSH, Free T3, Free T4, thyroid antibodies) rather than just TSH, because most cases of hypothyroidism can be missed otherwise.
It is often quite useful in treating depression and anxiety. Homeopathy is a really safe and gentle system of medicine that may have very profound healing effects when used properly. Because it functions differently than conventional drugs and supplements, it may be difficult to explain precisely how the treatments work. Dana Ullman outlined homeopathy beautifully in his Huffington Post article on the homeopathic treatment of depression. He said that,”the assumption behind homeopathy is that symptoms of illness aren’t only something”wrong” with the individual but are actually efforts of the bodymind to resist disease and/or to adapt to stress.
Rather than using massive doses of pharmacological agents to inhibit or suppress symptoms, quite small and specially prepared doses of medicinal substances are prescribed to someone for their distinctive ability to cause an overdose in the similar symptoms the sick person is experiencing. By locating a medication that fulfills the symptoms of the ill person, the medication supports and strengthens the body’s defenses.”
In other words, while many different kinds of medication treat the disease itself and all of the symptoms that disease includes, homeopathy treats the sick person separately. However you treat depression, recovery from this disease won’t ever occur in isolation. Among the worst parts about depression is that it lies to you. It tells you that you’re alone, that no one knows you, and that you’re unfixable. But this isn’t correct. It can be a remarkably difficult and difficult step to request help, but if you do I guarantee you will find relatives, friends, and health professionals who will gladly step in to support you.
Besides opening up to family and friends, working through the psychological, psychological, and spiritual causes of depression with an experienced mental health profession is extremely valuable. Many councilors teach techniques that disrupt and change the negative thought patterns that often occur in the brain of depressed patients. They also function as a non-biased, non-judgmental sounding board for ideas that a depressed individual might not be comfortable sharing with anyone else. Like any chronic disease, recovery from depression is a very long term and multifaceted procedure. In my experience, the men and women who achieve the most deep and lasting healing are the ones which combine physical treatments with psychological, emotional, and spiritual development clinics.