Depression is the most common of all mood disorders. Depression can be a transient mood change indicative of a minor physiologic change, or a prolonged emotional tone, which dominates an entire mindset and could be symptomatic of a major health challenge.
Clinical depression is traditionally diagnosed when five or more of the following exist:
- poor appetite leads to weight loss
- insomnia or excessive sleep
- hyperactivity or inactivity
- fatigue or energy loss
- loss of interest in pleasurable activities or decreased libido
- feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- thoughts of death or suicide
- decreased ability to concentrate or think
- Depression is a prolonged mood change that can run the spectrum from mild depression (dysthymia) to severe depression (considering suicide).
When diagnosing depression, it must be distinguished if the depression results from one’s outlook and mindset/self esteem versus an actual organic cause. The former needs coaching and/or psychotherapy while the latter requires identification and treatment of the causative factors.
Factors that individually or collectively result in depression:
- Nutrient deficiencies
- Drugs (prescription or illicit)
- Low blood sugar
- Several chronic illnesses which can reduce energy production
- Hormonal imbalances
- Environmental allergens and/or toxicity
- Microbial infections
- Thyroid disease
- Prolonged increase in cortisol (stress hormone)
- Decreased physical activity
- Low serotonin (neurotransmitter) levels
Therapies for depression that results from one or more organic changes:
- Evaluate lifestyle, nutrition and eating habits. Make appropriate changes, supplement (vitamins B6, B12, folic acid, minerals, essential fatty acids e.g.: omega 3,6) use intravenous infusions and alter digestion and absorption.
- Eliminate or decrease drug use (prescription or recreational) including caffeine, alcohol, sugar, and nicotine.
- Balance blood sugar through diet and alterations in eating habits
- Resolve chronic illness and provide raw materials for improved energy production
- Balance hormone after diagnosis with utilizing hormone panel evaluation
- Eliminate allergies and sensitivities via allergy elimination tests (AET)
- Avoid or minimize environmental allergens and toxins. These include toxins in the home, at work and in health and hygiene products including dental products
- Strengthen immune system and avoid sources of infection. Counter yeast through probiotics and anti yeast diets
- Normalize thyroid, pituitary and adrenal functions
- Learn to control your life and environment
- Introduce regular physical activity
- Normalize serotonin levels with 5HTP, St. John’s Wort
- Positive attitude
Anyone of any age who suffers from any level of depression should begin evaluating if several of the underlying causes and resultant therapies would be effective.
Depression may be the sole result of these underlying causes or it may be a signal that more significant illnesses are on the way.