DEPRESSION

hhh-depression

Definition – Feelings of sadness, hopelessness and a loss of interest in life, combined with a sense of reduced emotional well-being.

Symptoms :

  • Loss of appetite
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Loss of interest in social activities
  • Tiredness
  • Concentration problems
  • Anxiety
  • Thoughts of suicide
  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Hallucinations or delusions

Causes:

  • Often no single cause;
  • Physical illness
  • Hormonal disorders
  • Hormonal changes after childbirth
  • Certain drugs (e.g. oral contraceptives) may contribute
  • Heredity
  • Social and psychological factors

Treatment:

Lifestyle Recommendations

  • Eat a diet of plenty raw fruits and vegetables, with soybeans and bean products, whole grains, seeds, nuts, brown rice, millet and legumes – if too few complex carbohydrates are consumed, serotonin depletion may occur, resulting in depression
  • Eat white fish, containing essential fatty acids (particularly omega-3); turkey and salmon, high in tryptophan and protein, also uplift spirits
  • Avoid wheat – wheat gluten has been linked to depressive disorders
  • Avoid aspartamine (in soft drinks and artificial sweeteners) – may block serotonin formation and cause depression
  • Avoid fatty foods – they cause sluggishness, slow thinking and fatigue, and interfere with circulation
  • Avoid all forms of sugar – sugar boosts are followed by slumps and depression
  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and processed foods and eliminate any food allergens that may be contributing to depression
  • Keep the mind active and get plenty of rest and regular exercise
  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy; counseling; support group

Supplement Recommendations

  • Essential fatty acids (salmon oil, flaxseed oil, primrose oil) – aid in transmission of nerve impulses; needed for normal brain function
  • 5-Hydroxytryptophan – increases serotonin production (not to be used with anti-depressants)
  • L-Tyrosine (up to 50 mg per pound of body weight, on an empty stomach with 50 mg vitamin B6 & 100-500 mg vitamin C for better absorption) – boosts adrenaline production, alleviating stress; raises dopamine levels, improving mood (not to be taken with an MAO inhibitor drug)

Herbs

  • Lemon balm – good for stomach and digestive organs during stress
  • Kava kava – induces calm and relieves depression (can cause drowsiness; long-term use may lead to dry, scaly skin and yellowish discolouration of hair and nails; not to be used if pregnant, nursing, or on anti-depressants)

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