Derived From: Natural News
Original Author: Kali Sinclair
Depression. You’d think we all have the same definition for this word, but we don’t. Misery, the blues… Many people think a sad emotional state is equivalent to clinical depression. It is not.
The difference between normal experience and a disorder is the constancy, severity, and combination of symptoms.
Normal experience does not include two straight weeks of sadness so intense it results in an inability to function at work while it is impossible to sleep (or to get out of bed). In addition there is a sudden dramatic loss of weight, movements become slow and deliberate, and thoughts of death or suicide crowd out every thought not associated with self-loathing. (This is an example of a set of symptoms that would constitute a diagnosis of depression).
Depression is associated with low serotonin levels and high cortisol levels. Serotonin is known as the feel good neurotransmitter while cortisol is a hormone known as the stress hormone.
Conventional Treatment for Depression
Since depressed feeling and depression are not always one in the same, what we call depression can be viewed on a continuum. Severe symptoms meeting the criteria for clinical depression would be on one end of that scale while sadness or the blues while general dissatisfaction with life would be at the other. And yet, regardless of where a person is on that scale, there is a high probability that a doctor will prescribe anti-depressants if the patient requests them.
Generally, any good doctor will at least mention eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, and sleeping 8 hours a night. But too often that prescription pad is pulled out to “help.” Anti-depressants, taken to decrease suicidal thoughts and feelings, can increase suicidal and homicidal thinking and have been linked to both suicides and to most of the mass murder incidents that have occurred in the last few decades.
Alternative Treatment for Depression
As with all aspects of physical and mental health, healing begins with a truly healthy, nutrition-packed diet and exercise.
A truly healthy diet consists of 80% fresh, raw, organic produce, more vegetables than fruit, a wide variety of foods, healthy omega 3 oils, and pure water. When you are eating an organic 80% raw diet that includes plenty of clean water, and whole foods and herbs like onions, garlic, turmeric, and cilantro, you are detoxing on an ongoing basis, but a thorough bi-annual detox is extremely beneficial.
Eating right is more than adding the right foods to your diet. It is just as important, if not more important, to remove the food from your diet that you should not eat. Avoid all artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives, MSG, trans fats and GMOs. DO not eat corn syrup. Unless it is organic, it’s genetically modified. Avoid or seriously restrict caffeine. Avoid sugar. The easiest way to deal with all of the issues of what not to eat is to eat real food, whole food, and avoid processed packaged foods.
Do not neglect the gut! Gut health absolutely essential for alleviating depression. Beneficial bacteria in the gut manufacture 80% of our serotonin. When the gut is out of balance due to Candida, parasites, and the wrong bacteria, serotonin levels, and our whole hormonal system suffer. If you suffer from an unbalanced gut, (and most people with depression do), the proper diet alone can heal the gut over time, in most cases. To speed up this process, consider detoxifying the intestinal tract (see the Candida article link below).
Exercise is essential for several reasons. First, exercise produces endorphins that elevate your mood. Studies comparing exercise to pharmaceuticals have proven that exercise is more beneficial than drugs.
Exercise improves overall health by moving blood and lymph throughout the tissues. This process helps bring nutrients into individual cells while removing waste from the body. The immune system is strengthened and the body and its organs, including the brain, receive the cleansing and the nourishment needed to attain peak performance.
The link between vitamin D deficiency and depression is well documented and even carries its own diagnosis- Seasonal Affective Disorder. Unless you live in the lower portion of the U.S. (draw a line from Los Angeles, CA to Atlanta, GA to mark the line), chances are you do not get enough sun to make adequate amounts of vitamin D. Vitamin D supplementation should always be considered as a first line of defense when symptoms of depression are present.
Almost anyone with mental disorders also has a B vitamin deficiency. B vitamins are best taken together in the form of B complex vitamins. Never take just one B vitamin alone for any length of time. To process and assimilate B vitamins efficiency, the gut needs to have healthy, balanced flora.
B vitamins are essential for many functions in the body. Deficiencies in B5, B6, B7, or B12 cause depression. Daily supplementation will elevate mood, decrease irritability, and improve sleep.
With the right diet, exercise, detoxification, and supplementation, the body is given the resources to heal itself. If loss, abuse, or other life events are contributing to sadness, low self-esteem, or other symptoms, therapy can be an invaluable aid in healing. If you suffer from depression, you may well benefit from a detox to fix the brain. If you are dealing with chronic stress, check out the first source below. Also see How Candida Leads to Depression, Anxiety, ADHD, and Other Mental Disorders, and Natural Remedies for Depression.