Depression. Lyle L. Leffler, H.D

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Depression

Lyle L. Leffler, H.D

What are the predominate health issues affecting today’s society? Turn your attention to your favorite American television station. The countless advertisements provided by the pharmaceutical companies spell it out loud and clear; arthritic pains, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, prostatitis, erectile dysfunction and depression. These health concerns have two things in common; they are considered chronic and incurable. Most times medications are required for one’s entire life, without the objective of cure, only relief of symptoms. Presently cholesterol lowering drugs are number one on the list for profitability and second are antidepressants.

There exists one major factor that differentiates depression from other health concerns. We are all aware of the importance of disease prevention. Unfortunately; there is no prevention for depression, no

immunity, and we are all vulnerable without exception. It must be remembered that depression has been with us since the beginning of civilization. It’s the reality of life. There is good news. If depression is understood beyond its diagnosis and more in terms of cause and sensation, applying the principals of clinical nutrition, phytotherapy and homeopathy, for the most depression is curable.

This discussion on the topic of depression will address many frequently asked questions:

a) The prevalence of depression in the present day. b) What is depression?

c) What is the cause of depression?

d) What are the symptoms associated with depression? e) What does depression represent?

f) Common symptoms experienced during depression.

g) Types of depression and the pros and cons of antidepressants in each type h) Common and frequently experienced side affects including long term side affects i) Diet and nutrition.

j) The value of using phytotherapy in the treatment of depression k) How can I get off my antidepressants?

l) The homeopathic approach to depression.

Statistics

The following statistics give us a clear indication of the magnitude at which depression is increasing in our society.

 In 2002 15 million prescriptions were written for antidepressants.  In 2007 55 million prescriptions were written.

 Between 1998 and 2002 prescriptions written for antidepressants for young people increased by 70%.

 In Sweden out of 3000 suicidal deaths 82% had been taking antidepressants.  Suicidal deaths have not decreased since the introduction of antidepressants.

 Considering the number of prescriptions written for antidepressants in this country it is obvious this health concern has reached epidemic status, affecting all ages.

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What is Depression?

According to most medical health experts, depression represents a serious mental disease which can profoundly affect one’s life, quality of life and their loved ones. Furthermore, depression can affect one’s ability to reach their fullest potential in life. The medical community perceives any abnormality in a bodily function as a disease. Affixing the word disease to an individual who is experiencing mental and emotional problems, the possible victim of misfortunes, griefs and disappointments is unmerited and absurd. What is most interesting, if an individual is asked to describe their condition; they rarely use the word depression. Most often the words used to express their depression are misery, hopelessness, anguish, gloominess, despondency, indifference, despair, rejected, forsaken, neglected, emptiness, sadness, darkness, fear, falling apart, heaviness or loss of soul. These descriptive words represent the patient’s feelings and sensations, to be more precise the patient’s state of mind. Perceiving depression as a severe mental disease is rather a superficial diagnosis.

Depression is not a disease but rather a state of mind caused by the manner in which an individual has responded to the stresses of life. The medical community is using the diagnosis of depression as a catch all for all emotional states. Understanding the patient’s state of mind, especially in terms of feelings and sensation and its underlying cause, is the road we must travel if we are going to find a cure.

The Cause of Depression

The numerous articles written on this topic refer to depression as a chemical imbalance; the lack of serotonin within the brain. It is incredibly absurd to consider a person who has lost their fortune on the stock market or experienced the loss of a loved one being told by their doctor they are suffering from a chemical imbalance. It must be remembered that depression has existed since the beginning of

civilization. It has only been since the implementation of antidepressants that depression has been

considered a disease. However, during the last fifty years depression has become a serious health concern in our society, affecting all ages. It’s obvious we have major problems in our society.

In my philosophy, written several years ago, I discussed in detail the affects that the industrial revolution, which we have been experiencing for the last fifty years, is having on our health. It is directly responsible for creating a pace of life, a lifestyle where the everyday demands are humanly impossible to endure day after day, month after month and very often year after year. Although people are generally living longer, our population is becoming chronically ill at a much younger age. It is not uncommon to see, especially in males, hypertension by age forty five. The use of antidepressants among young people has become widespread, required to cope with the demands of life.

Our endocrine system, primarily the pituitary and hypothalamus are referred to as the master glands of our body. They are responsible for producing a host of hormones which affect every physiological process within our bodies. These glands receive the brunt of our everyday stresses. This is the primary cause of our society’s present ill state of health. Depression rather than being considered a mental and emotional disease, caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, is a state of mind caused by the individual’s personality and the manner in which they have responded to the stressors of life.

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What Does Depression Represent?

Depression represents an individual’s state of mind characterized by feelings and sensations which can be translated into one’s emotions. We have all heard of the body’s five senses; sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing. As well, we must consider our emotions and feelings or one’s state of mind as also being a sense, our sixth sense. Emotions, including our instinctual feelings, are essential for our everyday survival as well as our evolution through life. Emotions including instinctual feelings could be described as our body’s radar telling us what is agreeable, disagreeable, pleasurable, unpleasurable or the forewarning of danger. Could you imagine surviving one day without your senses?

Common Symptoms Experienced During Depression

 Un refreshed in the morning

 Unmotivated and negative toward one’s day

 Indifferent to everything, including things which once brought joy  Indifferent to one’s family

 Weeping without relief of sadness  Increased weight gain or weight loss  Weariness of life

 Desire for continual sleep  Desire for isolation  Unmotivated  Insomnia

 Delusional thoughts  Suicidal thoughts

 Extreme highs and lows in one’s emotions

The symptoms one may experience during their depression represent possible post traumatic syndrome (an event in their life which has left a deep emotional wound) or ones environment that is not agreeing with them (working environment, relationships).

How Do Antidepressants Work?

Antidepressants are referred to as SSRiS; selective serotonin uptake inhibitors. When serotonin neurotransmitters are produced, only one is fired at a time. The remaining serotonin is removed or

recycled for future use allowing other neurotransmitters to be fired. Antidepressants prevent the recycling of serotonin resulting in the receptors within the brain being bombarded with serotonin. Depending on the duration of time antidepressants are taken 30 to 40% of receptors will be eliminated. It has not been established whether these receptors can come back or permanent damage remains even several years after discontinuation of the antidepressant. It has been observed in animal experiments, the damage to the brain receptors caused by antidepressants is similar to that of LSD and Ecstasy. Antidepressants are more of a mind altering drug rather than an antidepressant. This brings us to the next very important aspect in the discussion of antidepressants: the topic of serotonin.

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What Is Serotonin?

Serotonin is one of many neurotransmitters produced in the brain. By enzymatic interaction tryptophan, an amino acid, converts to 5-HPT and eventually into serotonin. Serotonin, beyond regulating mood, has many functions: sleep, appetite, aggression, sexual behavior, cardiovascular and respiratory activity, sensory and neuroendocrine function and most important perception of our sense of reality, how we experience our in and outside world.

The present medical research conducted in this area is extremely incomplete. If an individual’s serotonin is low during a depressive period where would it be during a time of excitement and pleasure? Serotonin levels are influenced by our pituitary and hypothalamus glands which are very much affected by life and its stressors. Serotonin, rather than being the cause of depression, in fact, is responsible for informing us how the events of our lives are agreeing or disagreeing with us.

The medical community places depression into a variety of categories; acute, chronic, bipolar, schizophrenia and the list goes on. Usually a few differentiating symptoms determines the diagnosis; causation factors are rarely considered in the final prescription.

My clinical experience and observation of depressive patients with their varying mental and emotional symptoms has concluded there are approximately five categories of depression: acute, chronic,

situational, delusional and neurasthenia. Each category has very specific emotions, sensations and causative factors. Furthermore, the long term use of antidepressants in each group has consequential side effects which are not mentioned in present day literature.

Considering the number of prescriptions written for antidepressants, many beneficial results are experienced, especially for those who are severely depressed with the tendency of suicide. However, many feel worse.

Regardless of the type of depression or its underlying cause you will be prescribed one of many

antidepressants. Trial and error decides which one is best suited for you. Before deciding on this course of treatment it would be advantageous for you to know how antidepressants work and more importantly; “what can I expect for the future in terms of long term treatment?”

DEPRESSION CATEGORIES

PROS AND CONS OF TAKING ANTIDEPRESSANTS

Acute Depression

Acute depression is the most common type experienced which we are all vulnerable to. The word acute refers to any condition that occurs with a rapid onset. Acute depression usually is the result of a sudden emotional trauma such as loss of a loved one, sudden relationship breakup, financial loss or possibly hearing of bad news. The body’s nervous system has been severely traumatized, the persons soul has been wounded. The words of the patient very often are: I’m shocked, shattered, torn to pieces, ruined,

disappointed, devastated, or the shock was so sudden I was paralyzed. At no time does the patient use the word depressed. This acute emotional trauma is no different than being hit by a truck, there is no physical damage; however, the mental and emotional damage is severe, their soul has been wounded. For many, time will heal the wound; however, the wound of others may remain festering for months or years.

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Whether we are discussing a physical wound or emotional, the same applies, the body’s innate healing process is required. Although taking an antidepressant will make you feel better the consequence is the grieving process ends and the emotional wound never heals. The consequential affect of this is at anytime you discontinue the antidepressant you immediately start to grieve, even after ten years. My clinical experience has observed in many where emotions have been suppressed, succumb to physical pathologies.

The following homeopathic remedies are only a few that may be very beneficial in treating this type of depression.

Ignatia Main remedy for the loss or death of a loved one Sudden breakup of a marriage

Bad news which is devastating

Aurum Met.

A financial loss

A loss in life where there is no use in living No light at the end of the tunnel

Phos Acid

They have lost all interest in life

They sit and look out the window or lie in bed all day Indifferent to the things they once enjoyed

NATRUM Depression following a head injury

SULPHURICUM

Chronic Depression

Chronic depression represents acute depression which has never been resolved or in other words the persons wounded soul has never healed. Chronic depression could be the result of a traumatizing childhood, grief or life disappointments. Individuals suffering with chronic depression are usually very sensitive people; therefore, their wound is most often very deeply seated.

Successful treatment of these cases requires a thorough understanding of their personality, how they responded to the events which have traumatized them, especially in terms of the feeling and sensation.

Antidepressant medication can work well for many suffering with this type of depression. The antidepressant works through altering the mind therefore the memories of your trauma are obscured. From time to time, breakthrough traumatic memories can result in a relapse. This often requires increased medication. After extended treatment with these medications, individuals lose their personality, void of all emotion, failing of memory, resembling a person who is intoxicated. These individuals become addicted to their medications often requiring other drugs such as sleeping medications to counteract side affects.

Homeopathic remedies which may be beneficial in these cases:

Ignatia

Individuals requiring this remedy may have experienced several griefs within their lifetime.

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Aurum Met.

Grief’s disappointments, financial losses where there is the feeling of hopelessness, despair

No light at the end of the tunnel

Natrum Muratricum

Loss or death of loved one

Relationship breakup where the individual continually dwells on it

Capsicum

Sentimental

May dwell on the death of loved one where their thoughts evolve around a very pleasant past memory.

Carcinosinum Failure to accomplish and achieve one’s expectations

Situational Depression

Situational depression is possibly also one of the most common types experienced. These individuals are those who are dissatisfied with life, possibly with their job, experiencing marital problems, seasonal depression or looking after sick loved ones. The everyday stresses of life are not agreeing with them.

Those suffering from situational depression usually feel exceptionally well while taking antidepressants. However, their altered state of consciousness results in an obscurity of reality. This can be catastrophic. A gentleman who was depressed due to business problems while taking antidepressants no longer was aware of his problems and started spending money. After discontinuing the antidepressants reality set in and he becomes aware of the result of his poor decision making.

A young couple experienced the delusion they were solving their problems while taking antidepressants to ease their stresses. After discontinuing their medication reality set in, their problems had been intensifying without awareness, and they separated.

Situational depression represents a state of mind characterized by instinctual feelings and emotions that are telling you that certain aspects of your life or environment are disagreeing, life changes are necessary.

These are only a few homeopathic remedies which can be beneficial in certain situations:

Cocculus

Looking after the sick where there is a deprivation of sleep

Natrum Muriatricum

Disappointments in relationships

Staphysagria

Suppressed anger due to indignation

Anacardium

Stay in bad relationship

Need to prove themselves over and over

Indecisiveness whether to stay or go in a relationship Loss of self confidence in students

Fear of failure

Phos Acid

Looking after family and loved ones Feeling of exhaustion

Aurum Met.

Many responsibilities Overwhelmed Depressed

Gelsemium

Overwhelmed

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Tasks seem like mountains

Starting your day in a state of anticipation Trembling with exhaustion

Argentum Nitricum

Anxiety Anticipation

Not enough time to get it all done

Nitricum Acid

Forced to be a perfectionist on the job due to supervisory pressure Very angry

Delusional Depression

It is truly amazing, or maybe we could say mystifying, how our minds can play tricks on us. Our minds can take a situation of reality and distort it to the point that the individual perceives their environment or situation in life as being totally different.

Example, a young university student who was an honor student with grades of 85% felt he was a failure to himself and family. Carcinosinum worked very well. A woman suffering with chronic insomnia was unable to sleep due to her delusion she was neglecting her duties (Cyclamen). The delusion of a

gentleman who after deprivation of one night of sleep felt he was on the verge of an incapacitating disease (Nit Acid).

Furthermore, for many, reality is distorted to the degree of hallucinatory, such as the woman who truly believes her husband is having an affair (Hyoscyamus). There are several hundred different delusions that one can experience. For many their delusion is accompanied by fear. Example: with the onset of any minor physical symptom the delusion may be “I have a serious disease and may die” (Arsenicum). Many who have experienced severe mental and emotional traumas very often become delusional in certain aspects of their life. Their delusional state accompanied by fears can prevent reaching one’s fullest potential in life. Bipolar, schizophrenia and paranoid schizophrenia are related to delusional depression.

The causes are numerous including childhood traumas and situations which have resulted in a distorted view of the reality of ones self image as seen in anorexia nervosa. There are numerous homeopathic remedies which are determined based on type of delusion, cause and sensation.

Delusional depression is by far the most difficult of all types of depression to treat. Antidepressants for one’s everyday delusions and fears give only temporary relief. Many trying to discontinue their meds may experience other fears and delusions they originally didn’t have prior to medication. The benefits

definitely out way any side affects for many, especially in bipolar and schizophrenia which require ongoing medication.

Neurasthenia

Our pace of life, lifestyle, financial obligations, relationships, overwork and poor dietary habits are only a few causes of neurasthenia. This medical term, by the way, which is rarely ever used within the medical community represents a person who has become mentally, emotionally and possibly physically burnt out. Medical science has replaced the term neurasthenia with clinical depression. Neurasthenia is best

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to describe the way they feel. Neurasthenia unlike other health concerns which can occur with suddenness, can take weeks, months and sometimes even years to manifest. Energies have been over extended beyond one’s capabilities for an extended period of time. For many, neurasthenia has its complications especially if the early symptoms go untreated. Individuals often experience difficulties maintaining performance in the work place. Despite all the advancements in medical science the

conscious mind remains mystifying. Example; fatigue, tiredness very often results in the conscious mind distorting and amplifying the reality and perception of one’s environment. One’s capabilities, creativity and performance are questioned leading to anticipatory anxiety. These anxieties are accentuated by insomnia caused by fear of not being able to sleep and the anticipation of the next day’s performance on the job. A substantial number of people requiring antidepressants fall into this category.

Antidepressants work exceptionally well, at least for a short time. With the continual firing of serotonin within the brain, one usually experiences, increased energy and stress factors seem less amplified. However; the bad news is, if exhausted individuals rely on a stimulant to function day to day the eventual outcome will be collapse. It has been observed in a countless number of people dependant on

antidepressants, at any time they reduce their medication anxiety increases ten fold, stress factor become extremely amplified rendering them incapacitated to function and deal with the realities of life. It has also been observed with long term taking of antidepressants, they become less effective, original symptoms resurface requiring an increase in meds. It is factual antidepressants don’t address the cause, this equates to addiction. Long term use of antidepressant disrupts neurotransmitters within the brain resulting reduce mental aptitude inhibiting one’s ability to function in the work place.

Unfortunate in the present day, medical science hasn’t developed a test for the diagnosis of this health concern. Therefore early symptoms of neurasthenia are often dismissed by physicians as being

insignificant and no need for concern. These early symptoms can represent something far more serious for the future.

EARLY SYMPTOMS OF NEURASTHENIA

 Mild fatigue

 Un refreshed in morning after having sufficient sleep  Poor concentration

 Difficulty coping with one’s work

 Lack of enthusiasm for extra curricular activities outside of work  Irritability or a fluctuation in moods

 Craving for stimulants, tea, coffee, carbohydrates, sweets and alcohol  A general malaise, a loss of the sense of well being, a state of unease

It is most important in the early stages of neurasthenia that one becomes proactive. This requires multiple steps.

 For many where fatigue is accompanied by anxiety a leave of absence from their job or modified working hours is the first step

Very often a note is required from your doctor; most often he will insist

talking antidepressants. DON’T

Antidepressants give you a false sense of well being preventing you making

lifestyle changes

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Down time serves many purposes which are required to return to better

health

Rest

Increased hours of sleep

Meditation

Reflect on the reasons why your health is in this state

What are the steps needed to make lifestyle changes

This down time gives the opportunity to make dietary changes

Reduce the need for stimulants, coffee, sugars, alcohol, etc. helps to

maintain better sugar levels

Start a exercise program, helps to reduce stress levels and encourages better

sleeping habits

The following vitamin supplements and herbal preparations are suggested

Lyle’s B-Complex

1 tablespoon each morning

Innate multiple Vitamin

1 daily

Innate Adrenal Response if energy is severely depleted

1 capsule morn. and

night

Lyle’s Adaptosan 15-20 drops taken in a small amount of water 3Xdaily 20

min. before meals

improves energy and emotional stability

Melatonin 3mg

1 tablet dissolved in mouth one hr. before bedtime as needed

for sleeping

Nite-O-San

35-50 drops taken in a small amount of water at bedtime as

needed for sleeping. Melatonin and Nite-O-San compliment each other

The following homeopathic remedies are suggested depending on the

underlying cause

Picricum Acid

Exhaustion due to mental exertion

Phos Acid

Exhaustion from looking after family and home

Kali Phos

Exhaustion accompanied by nervousness

Nux Vomica

Exhaustion caused by being overly ambitious

Indulging in too many stimulants Very irritable

Experiencing digestive problems

Nux Moschata

Bewildered by responsibilities

Overpowering sleepiness and confusion of the mind

Gelsemium

Exhaustion with trembling

The obstacles of life have become mountains

Argentum Nit Anxiety pertaining performance on the job

Cocculus Many worries causing a deprivation of sleep

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Natrum Mur

Broken relationships

Bi polar or Manic depression

Bi polar or manic depression is by far the most serious of all depressions. Bi polar depression is characterized by emotional states which alternate between extreme highs and lows referred to as hypomania. Similar to depression, manic depression has a number of variables in terms of symptoms and cause.

 Manic depression most often is cyclical, triggered by unresolved issues, inner conflict, many emotions excited together, one on top of each other

 Anger alternating with cheerfulness  Anger alternating with depression

 Cheerfulness alternating with mania, melancholy, sadness  Destructiveness followed by remorse and depression  Egotistical alternating with depression

 Industrious, creativity, desire for mental work alternating with lassitude depression characterized by self reproach

In cases where anger, violence, destructiveness are predominate symptoms, usually unresolved issues are at the source of cause often originating early in their

childhood. Remedies for consideration in such cases are Belladonna, Stramonium, Hyoscyamus, Veratrum, Anacardium and Lachesis.

In cases where extreme over activity, creativity, over working without sleep

the following remedies can be considered, Phosphorus, Bryonia, Tarentula, Mercurius, Sulphur, Lycopodium, Cannabis Indica, Staphisagria, Ignatia and Arsenicum.

In cases where the individual has created high expectations of themselves which are humanly impossible to reach, sometimes suicidal depression can be common especially when expectations are not acheived, Aurum Met, Carcinosinum and Nux Vomica should be considered.

HOW DO PATIENTS SUFFERING FROM BIPOLAR RESPOND

TO DRUG THERAPY

There a numerous drugs prescribed for bipolar, possibly the better know

one is Lithium. There are also numerous antidepressants being prescribed as well. In the short run patients usually respond well. However the long term is not as rosy. In cases where there is the anger element usually from time to time there is a resurfacing of the anger requiring increased medications. It must be remembered the traumatizing

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events of their life is not being addressed. With time these patients can’t function, hold down a job due the amount of drug required to suppress their anger. The toxicity of these drugs also has its serious consequences.

In cases where hyperactivity, trying to be over create, tying to accomplish and achieve their unrealistic goals very often leads to burnout. They will fall into a

state of neurasthenia which has been mentioned causing a deep state of depression. In these circumstances the objective should be to reduce their unrealistic goals, however drugs remove all of their ambitions. The consequences of drug therapy is total lack of ambition and creativity. In other words they remain in a hypoactive state.

It is most important never stop taking your drugs, the repercussions can be serious. A thorough investigation, understanding all of the events of their lives, how they have responded to them is necessary to determine the underlying cause and the homeopathic remedy required. The correct homeopathic remedy can achieve this inner state of wellbeing.

If you explain to your doctor you are taking homeopathic remedies and feeling much Better they can reduce your drugs in the appropriate way.

Depression and Physical Pathologies

I’m hoping I’ve created an awareness that depression goes far beyond its diagnosis, especially in terms of the many influencing factors. At this point in this discussion I would like to replace the word depression with imbalance. An individual’s imbalance can be expressed on two levels, mind and body. The mind expresses itself in terms of sensations, emotions and delusions; the physical body expresses itself in terms of pain of which there are many types. However, it is not uncommon for the human body to express an imbalance of mind and body at the same time. Example: A young man suffering from ulcerative colitis attending elementary school, had his mother arrive at school only to inform him she would never return home to he and his father. Within days he succumbed to ulcerative colitis. His words were “I was devastated, my world was crumbling in on me”. Ignatia was very effective in treating his condition.

An elderly woman suffering from cardiac myopathy suffered a traumatic life during her childhood and marriage, her delusion was that she had been neglected her entire life. She responded well to Magnesium Muriatricum.

Even though an individual may be expressing their imbalance on the physical level, their mental and emotional symptoms, their life story and the manner in which they have responded to griefs and emotional upsets is profoundly important.

Common and Frequent Side Affects of Antidepressants

It is estimated that 70% of people taking antidepressants will experience side affects ranging from mild to severe.

Mild symptoms:

 Excessive weight gain  Irritability

 Aggressiveness  Impulsiveness

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 Dry mouth

 Momentary memory lapses  Sexual side affects

 Insomnia Severe symptoms:

It is well documented that for many, antidepressants can create suicidal thoughts. With the continual firing of serotonin, brain receptors are bombarded. It is estimated that 30 to 40% of brain receptors will be destroyed. It is unknown even if antidepressants are discontinued for several years if these receptors will return. This may result in permanent brain damage causing dementia and Alzheimer disease later in life.

With increased serotonin firing this results in increased production of cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol is essential in helping us deal with our everyday stresses. However, continual high blood concentrations are extremely destructive, especially to blood vessels. This leads to a premature aging of our arteries called arthrosclerosis, the leading cause of heart disease.

Akathisia is a syndrome characterized by neurological agitation. This results in an inner restlessness. It becomes impossible for patients to stop moving. This can lead to panic attacks. Symptoms can continue for many months after medication has been discontinued. The continual firing of one neurotransmitter may result in the inability of other necessary neurotransmitters from being fired. The consequences of this, as yet, have not been established. Long term users of antidepressants, upon observation, are usually suffering from severe physical pathologies.

The articles written on the side affects of antidepressants fail to mention how very addictive they are. When a person tries reducing their medication they experience withdrawal compounded by the return of the original symptoms. Most often the emotions, sensations and delusions are far more intensive than originally experienced. This may result in suicidal thoughts.

ADDRESSING DEPRESSION NATURALLY

Diet and Nutrition

The human body always functions more optimally mentally and physically when receiving an adequate supply of nutritious food. Skipping meals, eating on the run, consuming large quantities of stimulants coffee, alcohol etc., is common practice for many with their busy pace of live. This lifestyle does little to supply good quality protein, carbohydrate and fat and various other nutrients which are essential for all biochemical processes. As well as the body becoming extremely toxic, the over consumption of poor quality carbohydrates and fats results in episodes of low blood sugar. The end result is reduced vitality. Depleted energy can profoundly affect ones ability to cope with their depression and daily stresses. Regardless of your health concern, eating nutritiously is common sense.

Importantly, diet should consist of three meals daily. A well balanced diet providing protein from meat, fish, poultry and whole grains and carbohydrates obtained from fruits, natural sugars. Carbohydrates obtained from white flour should be avoided as they may cause a drop in sugar levels. Fats should be obtained from good quality unrefined vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. Excessive coffee should be avoided as it is a stimulant. Increased energy by excessive caffeine causes nervousness and fatigue. Alcohol should be totally avoided. It is well documented that alcohol increases ones depression.

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A Natural Approach to Your Depression

Putting Mother Nature on the back burner has created major problems in our society not just with depression but many other health issues. When people realize the medical approach isn’t giving them the results they hoped for, they reach out in desperation for a natural alternative. By the time they reach the homeopath their original health concern has worsened and they are now contending with unwanted side effects.

First and foremost with all health concerns, including depression, make sure you have two health providers, a homeopathic doctor and a physician. There are many times when diagnostic procedures are necessary and in terms of depression your physician can provide a temporary solution to your problems. The homeopath will endeavor to understand the origin of your disease through understanding your personality, the traumatizing events of your life and how you responded to them. This information will lead to a perfect homeopathic prescription for your health concern. This is the only sensible and logical approach to any disease. In today’s society people very often never think beyond medical science until it is too late. Never put Mother Nature on the back burner.

Nutritional Support

Nutrition plays a very important roll in the treatment and management of depression. During times of high stress including depression there is a hyperactivity of neurotransmitters. This facilitates an increased need for precursors, especially the amino acid tryptophan which is essential for the synthesizing of serotonin. Other nutrients and catalytic cofactors are also essential for the production of neurotrans-mitters. (B6, B12, Folic Acid and C). As mentioned at times of high stress and depression antioxidants are required to reduce the arterial destruction caused by high concentrations of cortisol. (Vitamins E, C, A, Zinc, Selenium)

5-HTP

One to two capsules 3 x daily

B-Complex

One tablespoon once each morning

Basic Antioxidant

One tablet 2 to 3 x daily

Insomnia

Insomnia has a tremendous influence on one’s ability to cope with stress and depression. I consider sleep equally as important as food, air and water. During times of high stress and depression the pituitary and hypothalamus may fail to stimulate the pineal gland which is responsible for production of the hormone melatonin. Melatonin is responsible for regulating other hormones and maintaining the body’s circadian rhythm. This circadian rhythm is an internal 24 hour time keeping system. A deficiency of melatonin will result in insomnia.

For many centuries herbs have been used for insomnia. Herbs do not leave the feeling of drowsiness and are non-addictive.

Recipe for Insomnia

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Lyle’s

Nite o san

Contains Melissa, Avena Sativa, Passiflora, Humulus and Valarian. 35 to 70 drops taken in a small amount of water at bedtime.

Can be repeated if awakened through the night.

Treating Depression with Herbs

If you are taking antidepressants herbs are contra-indicated unless you are at the stage of treatment where antidepressants are being reduced. As previously mentioned there are different types of depression. If you are suffering from acute or delusional depression herbs are ineffective without the required homeopathic remedy. In all other types of depression herbs can be very beneficial. For many centuries St. John’s Wort has been used to treat mild to moderate depression successfully. If nervousness is accompanying your depression the addition of Avena Sativa (Lyle’s Avenasan) and Passion Flower is recommended. For those suffering from Neurasthenia adaptogens (herbs that increase ones energy) are very beneficial.

Lyle’s Adaptasan

Contains Siberian Ginseng, Avena Sativa and St. John’s Wort 15 to 20 drops taken in a small amount of water 3x daily, 20 min. before the meal.

How Do I Get Off Of Antidepressants?

As we all know this is an extremely difficult undertaking and for many unsuccessful. There are basically two primary reasons for this impossibility. One, antidepressants never address the cause and second the medication is extremely addictive. Trying to discontinue antidepressants, especially if one has been taking them for an extended time, is usually a dreadfully unpleasant experience. The emotions surrounding their depression, the reminiscence of their painful past experiences resurface. To complicate matters

withdrawal very often presents symptoms of anxiety, insomnia, extreme lassitude and finally panic. The experience is overwhelming and the patient is apprehensive to try for the second time. They are hooked for life.

There is a more sensible way of accomplishing this monumental task. Most individuals while taking antidepressants even though feeling better, at no time have that real sense of well being. They can still experience highs and lows. Most people under the care of their physician or specialist feel they should remain faithful or most often have the fear if they explore help outside of medicine their doctor will no longer accept them as a patient. Doctors of today have changed; they are more open and accepting of alternative ways in getting a patient off of antidepressants. The Homeopathic Doctor during a consultation will create a comprehensive understanding of the patient’s personality, life events, their effects and, most importantly, the sensation in the experience. Only then will the Homeopath understand the root of your depression and select a remedy. After one month the patient is reassessed. If you are experiencing an improved sense of well being, only then can your physician reduce your medication. During the reduction of medication if there is a slight return of long past emotions no further reduction in medication takes place. The emotions and feelings are thoroughly assessed and resolved with a homeopathic remedy. Interestingly, St. John’s Wort is contra-indicated while taking antidepressants; however, once you start your gradual reduction it helps immensely with withdrawal possibly combined with Avena Sativa (Lyle’s

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when all is said and done and you have successfully thrown your antidepressants away. Only then can you experience total mental and emotional freedom and furthermore cope with the everyday stresses of life.

The western world of medicine has narrowed the topic of depression down to a fixed idea pertaining to its cause, a deficiency of the neurotransmitter serotonin. Lack of individualization exist in their approach to all disease, depression is no exception. In 600 B.C. the father of medicine Hippocrates made this

statement; its better to know your patient rather than knowing the patient’s disease. It has been well disseminated in this article that one’s personality, their life events and the manner in which they have responded to them is of extreme importance. This is the essence to understanding disease. Traditional medicine will one day adapt these principals, only then will they proclaim a decided victory over disease, they must look beyond the hosts of test required to arrive at a diagnosis. Individualization is essential in the overall equation. There isn’t one solution to a disease, such as an antidepressant for all emotional states. Health care costs are escalating far beyond inflation. Is this a reflection of society’s health? The time is now to take charge of our health through clinical nutrition, phytotherapy and homeopathy.

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