Depression - What are my options in the treatment of Depression?It has been recognized that around 1 in 5 Australians aged 16–85 years suffer from some form of mental illnesses. If you are feeling low, then you're not alone. Depression is a serious illness and can last for weeks, months or even years. You may be exploring natural medicine either in conjuction with your medication or as an alternative to current medication. Natural Medicine aims to get the the cause of this imbalance, not just the symptoms. We recongnise that working in conjunction with other health care providers may be of benefit and it's about a team approach to help you feel good again. Talk to one of our natural therapists who specialises in helping people who have depression.
What are some of the signs of depression?
- I feel irritable, anxious, depressed and/or isolated
- My depression/anxiety is affecting my relationships and/or work performance
- I no longer take pleasure in activities I once enjoyed
- My libido, appetite and/or sleep patterns are disturbed
- I worry more than l should and have problems concentrating or staying focused on conversations or tasks at hand
- I am losing or gaining weight faster than usual
If your answer is YES to any one or combination of these, you may be suffering from one or a combination of mood disorders including anxiety and/ or depression.
The rates for medically diagnosed Anxiety and Depression have tripled in the last 10-15 years. Mental health disorders are also recognized as a disability that are legally upheld under the Mental Health Act. If left untreated, the effects of chronic stress, anxiety or depression may become quite debilitating, often leading to progressive cognitive decline and physical / mental disability.
Some would say:
- I am feeling down for no specific reason
- I feel like I have a constant funeral in my brain
- I feel like my mind is going numb
- I feel like I am in a state of a slower way of being dead
Do you want to feel happy, contented, cope better with stresses of life, sleep better, restore your libido, improve your GUT function?
Did you know that the happy brain hormone, Serotonin is made predominantly in the GUT. If you have Irritable bowel syndrome, you may not have sufficient Serotonin, hence feel sad or low.
Did you know that a low progesterone often seen during peri-menopause or in conditions of estrogen dominance like PCOS, endometriosis or PMS stimulates GABA in the brain? Without GABA, we do not feel calm, may not sleep and feel, and muscle pain.
What is Depression?
You may be anxious, Stressed or Depressed. Take the test if you are not sure (DASS). Depression can be classified by various accredited assessment criteria (DSM being one model). Depression can be classified into endogenous or reactive depression. Endogenous Depression refers to forms of Depression that occur as a result of chemical imbalances within the body. Approximately 10% of the world's population experiences Endogenous Depression at some stage of their lives and accounts for approximately 40% of all cases of Depression. There are 2 subclasses of Endogenous depression:
1. Primary – major ( melancholic depression, clinical depression), minor (dysthymia) or manic (bipolar depression)
2. Secondary – post partum depression
3. Reactive depression - exogenous depression
What causes depression?
Depression can be caused by either internal factors; This means that there can be an upset in your brains biochemistry. Or from external factors- that the trigger has been a stressful event like the death of a loved one or an accident.
Diet, lifestyle, genetics, toxicities, lack of nutrients, impaired digestion, family history can all contribute to feeling depressed and this is what we help to address.
Can laboratory tests measure depression?
The Biology of the brain can be measured effectively by a simple urine test. We are able to measure the happy and sad brain chemicals, also known as the excitatory (brain chemicals that get you up and going) and inhibitory neurotransmitters (brain chemicals that get you to sleep and relax well).
How does a Naturopath Differ from my Doctor?
Our integrative Naturopaths firstly test your brain chemicals to see where the imbalance lies. Your brain chemicals are made up of nutrients, so once we have an assessment of your brain chemicals and the nutrients that are out of balance, we help to replace the specific nutrients that you need. By doing this our aim is to have you start to feel better again! We are looking for the biochemical imbalance and look to help bring it back into balance. This doesn't take away from any emotional trauma you are experiencing and we like to work with your counselor/ physiologist to help you build the right team of practitioners to help you get back on track.
Some of the tests that we consider include:
The Extensive Neurotransmitter Test will measure your brain chemicals, namely Serotonin, Dopamine, GABA, Glutamate, Adrenalin and Noradrenaline.
We also consider testing your adrenal function (your stress hormones), because often feeling depressed and having long term stress can be linked.
Histamine plays a primary role in a major physiologic process called methylation, a critical role in mental and physical health. Nutrients specific for this process will allow the methylation to recycle or not. High histamine may mean that you may be an undermethylator leading to major depressive episodes. Correcting the methylation pathway is with potentized nutrients is essential.
Kryptopyrroles testing measures a neurotoxic substance in the urine which has been associated in Dr Carl Pfeiffer’s work as being elevated in schizophrenics and other mental health disorders.
Depression is not a lack of Prozac. It is a complex chemical imbalance which impacts the physiology and the people around you. At Empowered Health, we help to support you and your brain biochemistry to help you feel good again.
Vanita Dahia, pharmacist and naturopathhas done extensive study in this area. She is passionate about helping people to feel good again. For more information call us on 1300 21 44 25 to book a free 5 minute phone briefing to see if Natural Medicine is right for you or call to book an appointment.
Got Some Questions?
Call Us on: 1300 21 44 25