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DEPRESSION SOLUTION LIST
Sometimes it's NOT "All In Your Head"!
Not very long ago, depression was
considered to be 'all in your
head' because it was seen as an emotionally-generated problem that
required an emotional solution. That's why it was addressed with
counseling or therapy - often years of it.
Next it was considered to be 'all in your head' due to a chemical
imbalance in your brain such as a serotonin deficiency, or a
disturbance in serotonin metabolism. That's why it was addressed
with anti-depressant medications that affected serotonin levels in
Here are twelve physical conditions that can give rise to
depression symptoms, whether it is post-partum depression, neurotic
depression, or any other sub-type. If you or someone you know is
suffering from depression, be sure to check out all of these
conditions in looking for a solution.
What is depression?
Depression is an emotional symptom, often seen in a negative
attitude, low mood and loss of interest in people and things that
are normally of interest. It may even involve feelings of guilt,
low self-worth, having low energy, poor concentration, disturbances
in ability to sleep, disordered appetite. The feelings of sadness,
despair and discouragement can be profound.
All these emotional symptoms are the main reason depression is
usually approached as having emotional origins that require
emotional approaches - psychotherapy, counseling and/ or treatment
with anti-depressive drugs.
But here's the thing: contrary to what we usually assume,
depression, more often than not, has its origins in physical
problems. This means that these emotional symptoms are resolved by
addressing the physical issue(s). Below is a summary of the
prevalence of this symptom along with a list of the most common
sources of what can only appears to be an emotional issue. If you
or someone you know gets depressed, be sure to get these physical
conditions checked out!
Who gets depressed?
Depression is common, affecting about 121 million people worldwide.
In the United States, it's estimated that in any given year
depressive disorders affect approximately 18.8 million American
adults, or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older.
(Source: http://www.upliftprogram.com/depression_stats.html )
In terms of gender, depression affects both sexes. Unfortunately,
depression has had a reputation of being a women's condition, but
this is incorrect. Actually more than 6 million men in the U.S.
have depression each year. The symptoms of depression in men are
similar to the symptoms of depression in women. But men tend to
express those symptoms differently.
How do men and women express depression differently?
In women, depression may be more likely to cause feelings of
sadness and worthlessness. Depression in men, on the other hand,
may be more likely to cause them to be irritable, aggressive, or
hostile. (Source: http://www.webmd.com/depression/depression-men)
Either way, the depressed person is suffering, and those around
them begin to suffer as well. Therefore, adopting an immediate,
problem-solving attitude is essential. Everyone - the depressed
person, family, friends, co-workers - benefits by this 'let's get
this resolved' approach.
Below are some top-of-the-list physical conditions to check out
when dealing with what appears as an emotional symptom.
The Depression Solution List - Twelve Physical
1. Low thyroid (T1 or
Revealed by a blood test or muscle testing, this
symptom can often
turn around by increasing dietary intake or even supplementing with
iodine along with removing all sources of exposure to fluoride,
including fluoridated drinking water, toothpaste and dental
sealants. Fluoride knocks iodine out of the thyroid, causing low
thyroid functioning and thus leads directly to depression.
2. Low adrenals.
In the go-go modern world where people are stretched to
and beyond, adrenal glands get overworked constantly. Like
anything else, they can only take so much, and then they start to
give out. The result is low energy, low motivation and, guess what
Various stress-reduction and stress-management techniques in
combination with direct support of adrenal glands with herbs often
reverse this. Two of the herbs adrenal glands 'like' the most are
Ashwaganda and Licorice. (However, don't take Licorice long term
if you have high blood pressure.)
3. Sex hormone
Whether in men or women, sex hormones that are out of balance
major contributors to symptoms of depression. Therefore it's
always worth it to get the levels of estrogen, progesterone and
testosterone (for both men and women) checked. If any are too high
or too low, they can cause depression.
4. Food intolerances.
Time and time again, I've seen this as a top physical cause
depression in my clients. And the biggest food intolerance of them
all is wheat, followed only by lactose and then gluten. In fact,
various experts estimate that 30-50% of people are gluten
intolerant, while the incidence of lactose intolerance varies by
race from about 5% of the population in far Northern Europeans to
95% in native African ones.
The solution is to omit these from the diet and allow the body to
detox what remains - a process that takes some time. Various
authors have noted that the symptoms of manic depression (bipolar
disorder) and the symptoms of gluten intolerance are exactly the
same, making this a crucial factor to check when depression
Modern people are exposed to toxic metals from the dental
substances in their mouths, from drinking water, food, air and
more. A toxic metal body burden can produce very deep-seated and
profound depression - absolute hopelessness and despair.
This is also true during a metals detoxification process, which is
why it's always essential to undertake even the diagnosis of toxic
metals under the guidance of a skilled and experienced
professional. The good news is that the depression flushes right
out with the metals.
6. Toxic chemicals.
These are everywhere now in the modern world. Estimates say that
each individual is exposed to some 100,000 with more added daily.
A quiet study was conducted in which surgeons were asked to remove
a small piece of fat from each patient while conducting the
operation. These were then sent in to a central laboratory and
tested for chemicals. The fat sample with the lowest number listed
well over 200 toxic chemicals! For some reason the results of this
study never made the headlines.
Many of these cause depression by mimicking sex hormones, where
they get into the cell receptors the body's own sex hormones should
Just as with toxic chemicals, the services of a competent and
skilled practitioner are required to detox these chemicals safely
and effectively, and again, any depressive symptoms they cause
disappear right along with the chemicals.
7. Infectious agents.
A great variety of infectious agents exist in the world, Among the
most common forms are bacteria, viruses, yeast, molds, worms,
parasites and spirochetes.
We all know what it feels like to be under the effect of these in
acute situations like getting the flu for example - a depressing
enough circumstance. But we can also be affected by chronic,
low-grade infections our bodies continue to fight without our ever
realizing it. These wear us down, use up our resources, make us
chronically tired, vulnerable to other bugs besides the ones we've
The ways to discover their presence can be as varied as the bugs
themselves, ranging from blood tests to stool samples to muscle
tests. For anyone with chronic depression symptoms, thinking
"chronic low-grade infection (or infections)" can be a productive
route to address.
This is a condition of low red blood cells. No matter what
reason, the body cells, including the brain, don't get enough
oxygen when there are too few red blood cells (RBC's) This can
Anemia can result from loss of blood, from lack of iron in the
diet, from lack of absorption of iron, from stomach ulcers,
medications, colon cancer, trauma or B vitamin deficiency (see #9).
9. B vitamin
There are many B vitamins we need for proper brain and nervous
system functioning. Some of the more prominent ones in this regard
include vitamin B1, B2, B3, B4, B5, B6 and especially B 12 and
folate. Since we don't manufacture them, we require daily dietary
intake to maintain healthy levels and stay out of depression.
And we also need to diminish or entirely avoid substances that
strip our bodies of these essential nutrients, including refined
sugars, alcohol, caffeine and nicotine.
In many instances, what has appeared to be intractable depression
is completely turned around by adequate intake of natural sources
of vitamin B such as those in nutritional yeast, for example.
But don't take synthetic B vitamins - these damage the peripheral
nerve plates - those tiny little nerves at the far edges of our
bodies that feed back information about what's going on there to
our brains so they can make adjustments.
This condition causes depression in a manner similar to that of
anemia, only in this instance the problem is not getting enough
oxygen to the brain, but getting enough blood sugar to the brain.
Physical problems such as diabetes, syndrome X (also called
metabolic syndrome) can produce this symptom if not properly
managed. Many people report their depression entirely resolved by
supplementing with Inositol - another B vitamin.
11. Poor blood
Blockages, weaknesses or cramping in arteries negatively affect
blood circulation and can result in depression for the same reason
anemia does - not enough oxygen to the brain.
Where blockages exist, they can often be cleared by taking a
proteolytic enzyme such as bromelain (from pineapples) on an empty
Blood vessel weaknesses are often strengthened by bioflavonoids. A
rich food source of some kinds is found in the white membrane
inside citrus peels, while the blue and purple range of fruits -
blueberries, raspberries, grapes, bilberries - provides others.
Last, these are becoming a greater and greater contributor to
incidence of depression, even as more and more drugs are created to
Therefore a careful review of any and all prescription drugs is
called for when anyone suffers from depression.
And that review should include not just the drug, but all
ingredients the product contains, including fillers and excipients.
Two of the most common ones found in modern drugs - especially
generic ones - are wheat and lactose... and these are two of the
major contributors to food intolerance-generated depression.
It's always worth it to ask your pharmacist if any of the
prescriptions you've filled can cause depression. For an online
list of such drugs, see this link:
Of course, there's every reason to combine the positive effects of
eliminating these dirty dozen physical depression-makers with the
benefits of counseling or therapy.
As many of my colleagues emphasize, in this modern world, everybody
"In the history of the treatment of depression, there was the
dunking stool, purging of the bowels of black bile,hoses,
attempts to shock the patient. All of these represent hatred or
aggression towards what depression represents in the patient."
James Hillman, psychologist
"Depression is melancholy minus its charms -
the animation, the fits."
Pamela Levin is an R.N. and a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst. She has
maintained a private practice for over 40 years, focusing on supporting her clients in creating and
maintaining healthy emotional lives and relationships.
Pamela Levin, R.N., T.S.T.A.
January 25, 2012
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