Depression is a nasty, silent condition that many people struggle with that sucks the joy out of life and can make every day a chore. Anti-depressants have been a help for many people .. especially for people who are suffering from what is called “situational depression”. This might happen after a major loss of some kind and will eventually resolve itself. Serotonin Selective Reuptake Inhibitors better known as SSRI’s trick the body into thinking that it has more serotonin (a calming neurotransmitter) than it really does. As I said , this can help in the short run but problems often arise when these drugs are used for long periods of time. This is because the drugs often actually deplete the amount of serotonin available in the body as time goes on. So a common scenario is that someone will be put on an SSRI and it will work like a charm but six months later they will need to double the dose to get the same effect. And six months after that they may need to try a different drug because the first one doesn’t work at all.
So what will work? From an Oriental Medicine point of view the answer is always that the individual needs to treated for THEIR energy imbalances.
So depression sometimes comes from grief and is affecting the lung channel. Often is is coming from stagnant liver QI and maybe suppressed anger or intense frustration is the issue. Acupuncture can be very helpful in moving this stuck emotion and energy.
From a bio-chemical point of view adding some tryptophan or 5-HTP as a supplement daily supplement will aid in helping the body make more serotonin. These should be taken on an empty stomach.
Really stubborn depression can be the result of food allergies! Gluten is one of the main suspects but it is not alone. Milk, eggs, soy are also right up there in causing long term problems.
How do you figure out what is the problem? Traditional skin tests are worthless in identifying food allergies. One of the best clues is to identify what you are addicted to. Allergies and addiction are two sides of the same coin. Can’t image living without your pasta and bread? You have usually found you answer…. at least part of it.
If you want to experiment on your own then go off the suspect food for AT LEAST 2 WEEKS and then re-introduce it two times in the same day. Often you will have a noticeable reaction shortly thereafter.. Could be a headache, bowel distress, joint pain…. something. Your body will talk to you….
For all of you that are suffering from depression know that there is hope for long term control and sometimes a cure if you will look at all of your options.