Depression can be debilitating. There are many causes of depression. The circumstances of people's lives are sometimes traumatic and tragic. Alternatively, life itself, may afford every advantage while the chemistry of the body or brain may be deficient or imbalanced. Chronic and severe fatigue, illness and injury can cause depression. Sometimes a person suffers from a combination of causes.
When depression is caused by a traumatic event, or a series of tragedies, a person will most commonly respond to the support of psychotherapy. This can be conducted on a one-on-one basis, in support groups, or even with the listening heart of a friend.
Where fatigue, body or brain chemistry doesn't contribute to the depression, natural supplementation or support of the body's biochemistry does little to correct that depression. There are cases, however, where energetic therapies such as homeopathy or acupuncture and a technique known as EMDR may afford a significant shift in a depressed person's ability to cope with, process or face a history of significant trauma.
Pharmaceutical agents may be employed in severe cases in order to facilitate an improved emotional state. However, unless the underlying traumatic cause of the depression is addressed in some sort of counseling, dependence upon the antidepressant drug may ensue. If one is unable to make effective use of counseling or energetic therapies under these circumstances, a dependence upon an antidepressant may afford mental health and an improved quality of life. To the person suffering from depression that responds to nothing else, this can be a life saver. Even the patient most interested in natural support of their depression may want come to consider pharmaceutical intervention either temporarily or permanently. Everyone is unique and that individuality must be respected.
As a naturopathic doctor, I favor the least invasive therapies first, and reserve the more potent interventions as a last resort. This gives the body's natural ability to heal itself every chance, and often allows a patient to avoid unnecessary and undesirable side effects. In the long run, a treatment strategy that operates in this order preserves health and prevents chronic degenerative disease states. Additionally, although we are not licensed as such in the state of Colorado (where I practice), we are trained as primary care physicians and appreciate the conventional medical prescriptive agents and surgical interventions when necessary. To a modern naturopathic doctor, natural as well as conventional therapies are simply tools in our quest to assist a patient in achieving their greatest state of health. Neither is a religion or a political belief. The tools made by nature stand along side the tools of our modern laboratories. Each has a place. Every patient is an individual and must be treated as such. For some people natural intervention is the more appropriate strategy. For others, conventional medications will best serve their needs. There are many cases where a balanced combination of the two will deliver the best outcome.
The natural correction of the body's health and chemistry is reserved for the type of depression that arises out of some sort of deficiency or imbalance in the body's state of health or chemistry. Chronic adrenal fatigue, blood sugar imbalances, fluctuations and imbalances in neurotransmitter activity in the brain, brain wave activity, stress, nervous system degeneration associated with age or toxic exposure, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, chronic pain, fatigue associated with anemia, poor digestion or chronic allergies, fibromyalgia, thyroid disorders, poor diet, and lack of exercise may all contribute to or cause depression. These conditions often respond to nutritional supplementation.
Understanding depression is a complicated endeavor. I would encourage anyone facing depression to seek professional guidance. There are as many ways to support and treat depression as there are causes of depression. Every person is an individual. As a naturopathic doctor, I believe that every patient must be interacted with on an individual basis. No two people are exactly alike, therefore supportive strategies must be designed for each person depending upon the individual contributing factors that comprise their situation. This takes time and attention to detail. Seek a provider that has the time to pay attention to the details of your case. Be discriminating. You deserve it.
Dramatic Nutritional Support May Include:
Neurobalance – This is comprehensive nutritional support for healthy seratoinin, dopamine and gaba levels. This formula also supports alpha brain wave activity important for sense of well-being, sense of calm and restorative stage III and stage IV sleep. This formula is NOT a sedative of any sort.
L-Theanine – The most researched form of this important nutrient supports alpha brain wave activity important for sense of well-being, sense of calm and restorative stage III and stage IV sleep. This nutrient is NOT a sedative of any sort.
Sleep Right – Herbal support for healthy adrenal function allowing the body to maintain the relaxed state necessary for sleep and a sense of calm.
Smart Brain – Herbal and nutritional support for healthy cognitive function.