(Health Secrets) Depression has become a modern day epidemic, affecting close to 19 million Americans, which is almost ten percent of the population. Depression is a sign your life is out of balance in some way, and the pharmaceutical houses that make drugs to treat depression want us to believe the imbalance is chemical. Yet medications designed to alter brain chemistry often do more harm than good, and natural, safer methods that treat depression seem to produce the best results.
The premise that depression is due to a chemical imbalance in the brain has no scientific backing. In fact, studies were done several decades ago to see if low serotonin levels were responsible for depression, and in 1983 the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) reported, “There is no evidence that there is anything wrong in the serotonergic system of depressed patients.”
We all experience traumas in our lives that cause sadness, grief and feelings of helplessness. When we take serotonin blocking drugs (SSRI’s) we block the normal reuptake of serotonin, and we are left with the exact same condition that these drugs are designed to treat, low serotonin levels! Taking SSRI’s sets up a chain of events, the root cause of which, according to Dr. Steven Hyman (head of the NIMH in 1996), is the brain operating in a way that is “both qualitatively and quantitatively different than normal.” This abnormal operation, which cascades throughout the body, results in side effects ranging from uncomfortable to dangerous, including sexual dysfunction, mania, violence, and even suicide.
Grief, particularly the loss of a loved one, is a common cause of depression, but there are other common causes that can seriously impact a person’s life. These include unhappy home life, divorce, the end of a special relationship, moving to a new location, loss of a job, financial loss, being diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness, disability, and loss of independence after a severe accident or illness. There are many other life experiences that result in grief. However, it should be noted that grief is a normal response to a major loss. It is a process that we must go through, albeit a very painful one. The normal period to grieve after a loss is said to be a year, but for many the feelings of loss remain longer.
Depression can very well be treated naturally and, by implementing certain lifestyle changes, an individual might be amazed at how much better s/he feels, both emotionally and physically.
Psychologists like us to think that addressing a depression makes it go away, but this is often not the case. Until depression runs its natural course, relaxation exercises, meditation, yoga, and emotional freedom technique (EFT) help to relieve stress, despondency, and anxiety. There are EFT practitioners available that help to treat serious conditions.
Diet choices can greatly influence mood and emotional state. Avoiding sugar, grains, processed foods, junk foods, fast foods, etc. will help to normalize insulin and leptin levels, which have a lot to do with depression. Make sure to supplement your diet with high quality Omega 3′s. At least two studies have pointed to a strong link between low rates of Omega 3 consumption and depression.
Include foods in your diet that have a beneficial affect on your serotonin level. These include sunflower seeds, nuts, fish, chicken, turkey, cottage cheese, eggs and beans.
Getting plenty of sunshine to insure optimum Vitamin D levels is also important in treating depression. Low vitamin D levels are associated with depression. While you are getting sunshine, go for a walk. Walking offers a feeling of liveliness to counter feelings of depression.
Supplements that relieve depression include: Colloidal Gold, SAMe, 5-HTP, and St. John’sWort. Note that these supplements should not be taken together with antidepressants or other drugs used to treat depression or anxiety.
This article is published with permission from Alignlife.com. The original article appears here.
For more information: