According to recent studies indicating that antidepressants saturate the whole brain when only certain areas need help; much like pouring oil all over your car engine hoping that some gets in the oil container, while actually creating a ‘mess’ in the other parts that do not need it; and other studies that demonstrate that antidepressants are not much more than a placebo effect, how then can we begin to feel better? According to Dr. Mark Hyman, M.D., a few suggestions include –
7 Steps to Treat Depression without Drugs
1. Try an anti-inflammatory elimination diet that gets rid of common food allergens. As I mentioned above, food allergies and the resultant inflammation have been connected with depression and other mood disorders.
2. Check for hypothyroidism. This unrecognized epidemic is a leading cause of depression. Make sure to have thorough thyroid exam if you are depressed.
3. Take vitamin D. Deficiency in this essential vitamin can lead to depression. Supplement with at least 2,000 to 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 a day.
4. Take omega-3 fats. Your brain is made of up this fat, and deficiency can lead to a host of problems. Supplement with 1,000 to 2,000 mg of purified fish oil a day.
5. Take adequate B12 (1,000 micrograms, or mcg, a day), B6 (25 mg) and folic acid (800 mcg). These vitamins are critical for metabolizing homocysteine, which can play a factor in depression.
6. Get checked for mercury. Heavy metal toxicity has been correlated with depression and other mood and neurological problems.
7. Exercise vigorously five times a week for 30 minutes. This increases levels of BDNF, a natural antidepressant in your brain.
We do have alternatives, without having to suffer with the side effects of pharmaceuticals. It is so enlightening to know that depression is not about having a shortage of serotonin in the brain, but rather goes much deeper to the understanding that depression is more related to the structure of our neural pathways in the brain (see previous post). Hmmmm…..