"One in 20 Americans over the age of 12 struggles with depression1 and 11 percent of the U.S. population over the age of 12 is on antidepressant medication.2 This, despite overwhelming evidence showing that antidepressants are no better than placebo in terms of effectiveness.", as reported on drmercola.com
Depression has never been more of a consistent topic in clinic offices as it is right now. Add to the mix the number of kids that feel anxiety, stress, and thus depression in schools, and the amount of AntiDepressants going through pharmaceutical gloves is staggering. There has to be a better answer!
And there is. OF COURSE, the pressures of our life today, SAD diets, and improper brain training have led us to a place where depression has reached such staggering numbers. Is our unhappiness and difficulty keeping up in life a true cause? Or is it really a chemical imbalance? And if so? what causes the chemical imbalance?
"Serotonin Theory Has Been Proven Wrong
Research4,5 published in 2009 added further evidence to the pile indicating the low serotonin idea was incorrect, as they found strong indications that depression actually begins further up in the chain of events in the brain. Essentially, the medications have been focusing on the effect, not the cause.
More recent research into the mechanisms driving anxiety and social phobias has also turned conventional drug treatment with serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) on its ear.
As it turns out, these mental health problems are actually linked to elevated levels of serotonin in the amygdala, not low levels.6,7,8,9 Your amygdala is the seat of primitive emotions such as fear. And the more serotonin produced in this area, the more anxious you feel.
This helps explain why some depressed patients end up feeling more anxious than before when taking a serotonin-boosting antidepressant. As noted in the paper above:
“The serotonin theory is as close as any theory in the history of science to having been proved wrong. Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.”" (Credit Dr Mercola)
We could spend copious amounts of time studying the data and the science behind it, and while that's useful in an understanding sense, we don't have that kind of time. In my opinion, we stop asking what's wrong and we start working towards what's right. It may not be the "scientific answer" but at least we're moving in the right direction.
Even while one is on antidepressants, a meta analysis published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, found that certain nutritional supplements boosted the effectiveness of several classes of antidepressants, including SSRIs, serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) and tricyclic antidepressants.
DrMercola further goes on to tell us that "A total of 40 clinical trials were included in the review, and four supplements — fish oil, vitamin D, methylfolate (an effective form of folic acid), and S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe) — were found to boost the impact of the medication when compared to medication only.
Fish oil — specifically the fat EPA — produced the most significant improvement. Studies investigating the use of creatine, zinc, vitamin C, tryptophan (an amino acid), and folic acid (B9) produced mixed results. As reported by Scientific American:11"
What's really missing are studies that identify research using the supplements ALONE. But one thing for sure, depression is NOT caused by a deficiency of antidepressant medication.
"Considering the fact that antidepressants have been proven to be no better than placebo, and can worsen depression in some people, perhaps patients would experience the same or even better results just by taking the supplement, without the drug.
If that’s indeed the case, then why risk your health by taking an antidepressant? In fact, other studies have shown that both omega-3 and vitamin D can help improve mental health all on their own."
Alongside depression is often emotional or situational trauma, which can be often overlooked during treatment as the person is simply allowed to continue on through life without identifying possible causative factors or making necessary changes, in which Concept Therapy can be a successful method.
Also often times alongside depression is chronic illness, chronic fatigue, inflammatory disease, pain, and gastrointestinal upset, in other words - IMBALANCE in the body. Certainly, one can schedule an appointment with a practitioner that works with restoring balance in the body, and then go from there. And I wonder, who is helping these patients manage the mental battery of thoughts and feelings that these chronic issues bring? Again, studying the conceptology behind a person's pathology would be a useful practice.
One possible reason these supplements are beneficial is that they reduce the inflammation cells experience.
Vitamin D Consistently Linked to Depression
“Exactly how vitamin D works in the brain isn’t fully understood. One theory is that vitamin D affects the amount of chemicals called monoamines, such as serotonin, and how they work in the brain. Many anti-depressant medications work by increasing the amount of monoamines in the brain. Therefore, researchers have suggested that vitamin D may also increase the amount of monoamines, which may help treat depression.”18
Omega 3 is Consistently Deficient in Patients with Depression
In one study,15 an omega-3 supplement with a dose range of 200 to 2,200 mg of EPA per day was effective against primary depression.
SAM-e, 5HTP, and Vitamin B12 were indicated as being useful when used in combination with Vitamin D and Omega 3 fatty acids.
The key in working towards life without depression, (true depression, not just natural normal bouts of discontent on an inconsistent basis ) is to plan a HOLISTIC approach, one that looks at every facet of the Imbalanced Body.
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