How to Deal with Depression Naturally

can-t-sleep-300x199Did you know that 1 in 10 Americans take an antidepressant. And women in  their 40s and 50s, the numbers go to 1 out of every four take an antidepressant medication.

A study, published in April in the journal Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, found that nearly two-thirds of a sample of more than 5,000 patients who had been given a diagnosis of depression within the previous 12 months did not meet the criteria for major depressive episode as described by the psychiatrists’ bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (or D.S.M.).

Many say that antidepressant don’t work well and offer many side effects such as loss of emotion, loss of memory etc. In fact CBS 60 minutes did a report broadcast what it called an “explosive” report on “new scientific research

that has found that antidepressants are no more effective than placebos at treating mild and moderate depression

Kirsch, the  author of the study wrote a book, Then there is the widely reviewed book that Kirsch himself wrote on the topic (“The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth”) in 2010.

Here is the replay of the 60 minute report:

 

 

Considering the placebo effect of antidepressants and the side effects it really makes sense to deal with depression through natural means.

Dr. Mark Hyman, MD a functional medicine doctor writes this

HERE’S SOME DEPRESSING RECENT medical news: Antidepressants don’t work.

What’s even more  depressing is that the pharmaceutical industry and Food and Drug  Administration (FDA) have deliberately deceived us into believing that  they DO work. As a physician, this is frightening to me. Depression is among the most common problems seen  in primary-care medicine and soon will be the second leading cause of  disability in this country.

The study I’m talking about was published in The New England  Journal of Medicine. It found that drug companies selectively  publish studies on antidepressants. They have published nearly all the  studies that show benefit — but almost none of the studies that show  these drugs are ineffective. (1)

That warps our view of antidepressants, leading us to think that they  do work. And it has fueled the tremendous growth in the use of  psychiatric medications, which are now the second leading class of drugs  sold, after cholesterol-lowering drugs.

The problem is even worse than it sounds, because the positive  studies hardly showed benefit in the first place. For example, 40  percent of people taking a placebo (sugar pill) got better, while only  60 percent taking the actual drug had improvement in their symptoms.  Looking at it another way, 80 percent of people get better with just a  placebo.

That leaves us with a big problem — millions of depressed people  with no effective treatments being offered by most conventional  practitioners. However, there are treatments available. Functional  medicine provides a unique and effective way to treat depression and  other psychological problems. Today I will review seven steps you can  take to work through your depression without drugs. But before we get to  that, let’s take a closer look at depression.

What’s in a Name?

“Depression” is simply a label we give to people who have a depressed  mood most of the time, have lost interest or pleasure in most  activities, are fatigued, can’t sleep,  have no interest in sex, feel hopeless and helpless, can’t think  clearly, or can’t make decisions.

But that label tells us NOTHING about the cause of those symptoms. In  fact, there are dozens of causes of depression — each one needing a  different approach to treatment. Depression is not one-size-fits-all,  but it is very common.

But just because antidepressants are popular doesn’t mean they’re  helpful. Unfortunately, as we now see from this report in The New  England Journal of Medicine, they don’t work and have significant  side effects. Most patients taking antidepressants either don’t respond  or have only partial response. In fact, success is considered just a 50  percent improvement in half of depressive symptoms. And this minimal  result is achieved in less than half the patients taking  antidepressants.

Food allergies cause inflammation, and studies now show inflammation     in the brains of depressed people.

That’s a pretty dismal record. It’s only made worse by the fact that  86 percent of people taking antidepressants have one or more side  effects, including sexual dysfunction, fatigue, insomnia,  loss of mental abilities, nausea, and weight gain.

No wonder half the people who try antidepressants quit after four  months.

Now I want to talk to you about the reasons why doctors and patients  have been deceived by the “antidepressant hoax.” Despite what we have  been brainwashed to believe, depression is not a Prozac deficiency!

How We have Been Deceived by the Antidepressant Hoax

Drug companies are not forced to publish all the results of their  studies. They only publish those they want to. The team of researchers  that reported their findings in The New England Journal of Medicine took a critical look at all the studies done on antidepressants, both  published and unpublished. They dug up some serious dirt …

The unpublished studies were not easy to find. The researchers had to  search the FDA databases, call researchers, and hunt down hidden data  under the Freedom of Information Act. What they found was stunning.

After looking at 74 studies involving 12 drugs and over 12,000  people, they discovered that 37 of 38 trials with positive results were  published, while only 14 of 36 negative studies were published. Those  that showed negative results were, in the words of the researchers,  “published in a way that conveyed a positive outcome.”

That means the results were twisted to imply the drugs worked when  they didn’t.

This isn’t just a problem with antidepressants. It’s a problem with  scientific research. Some drug companies even pay or threaten scientists  to not publish negative results on their drugs. So much for  “evidence-based” medicine! I recently had dinner with a step-uncle who  runs a company that designs research for drug companies. He designs the  study, hires the researcher from an esteemed institution, directs the  study, writes up the study and the scientist just signs his or her name  after reviewing it.

Most of the time, we only have the evidence that the drug companies  want us to have. Both doctors and patients are deceived into putting  billions of dollars into drug companies’ pockets, while leaving millions  with the same health problems but less money.

The scientific trust is broken. What can we do? Unfortunately, there  is no easy answer. But I do think functional medicine, on which my approach of UltraWellness is based, provides a more intelligent  way of understanding the research. Rather than using drugs to suppress  symptoms, Functional Medicine helps us find the true causes of problems,  including depression.

I see this in so many of the patients I have treated over the years.  Just as the same things that make us sick also make us fat, the same  things that make us sick also make us depressed. Fix the causes of  sickness — and the depression takes care of itself.

Taking  antidepressants is not the answer to our looming mental health  epidemic.  The real cure lies in rebalancing the underlying systems in  your body,  at the root of all healthy and illness.

Consider a few cases from my practice …

A 23-year-old had been anxious and depressed most of her life and  spent her childhood and adolescence on various cocktails of  antidepressants. Turns out, she suffered from food allergies that made  her depressed.

Food allergies cause inflammation, and studies now show inflammation  in the brains of depressed people. In fact, researchers are studying  powerful anti-inflammatory drugs used in autoimmune disease such as  Enbrel for the treatment of depression.

After she eliminated her IgG or delayed food allergies, her  depression went away, she got off her medication — and she lost 30  pounds as a side effect!

Here’s another story … A 37-year-old executive woman struggled for  more than a decade with treatment-resistant depression (meaning that  drugs didn’t work), fatigue, and a 40-pound weight gain. We found she  had very high levels of mercury. Getting the mercury out of her body  left her happy, thin, and full of energy.

Or consider the 49-year-old man with severe lifelong depression who  had been on a cocktail of antidepressants and psychiatric medication for  years but still lived under a dark cloud every day, without relief. We  found he had severe deficiencies of vitamin B12, B6, and folate. After  we gave him back those essential brain nutrients, he called me to thank  me. Last year was the first year he could remember feeling happy and  free of depression.

These are just a few of the dozens of things that can cause  depression.

The roots of depression are found in the 7 keys to UltraWelless and the 7 fundamental  underlying imbalances that trigger the body to malfunction. Taking  antidepressants is not the answer to our looming mental health epidemic.  The real cure lies in rebalancing the underlying systems in your body  that are at the root of all healthy and illness.

Here are a few things you can do to start treating your depression  today.

7 Steps to Treat Depression without Drugs

  1. Try an anti-inflammatory elimination diet that  gets rid of common food allergens. As I mentioned above, food allergies  and the resultant inflammation have been connected with depression and  other mood disorders.
  2. Check for hypothyroidism. This unrecognized epidemic is a leading cause of depression. Make sure  to have thorough thyroid exam if you are depressed.
  3. Take vitamin D. Deficiency in this essential  vitamin can lead to depression. Supplement with at least 2,000 to 5,000  IU of vitamin D3 a day.
  4. Take omega-3 fats. Your brain is made of up  this fat, and deficiency can lead to a host of problems. Supplement with  1,000 to 2,000 mg of purified fish oil a day.
  5. Take adequate B12 (1,000 micrograms, or mcg, a day),  B6 (25 mg) and folic acid (800 mcg).  These vitamins are critical for metabolizing homocysteine, which can play a factor in  depression.
  6. Get checked for mercury. Heavy metal toxicity has been  correlated with depression and other mood and neurological problems.
  7. Exercise vigorously five times a week for 30 minutes. This increases levels of BDNF, a natural antidepressant in your brain.

 

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About the Author

Caroline Heinemann has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Concordia Teachers College in Seward Nebraska. She has coordinated a variety of educational programs in her local community and conducts regional business training events and teleconference training calls. She become personally interested in health when she experienced some personal health issues and found that alternative medicine has been the key to her health. She shares tips on staying healthy. She is a former and teacher and has owned her own health education business for the past 30 years

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