In the past 30 days, 12.7 percent of Americans have used an antidepressant medication. If that’s not bad enough, for Americans ages 45 to 64, that number is 21.9 percent.
In fact, the use of antidepressants has increased more than 300 percent in the last decade.
Needless to say, antidepressants make a lot of money for Big Pharma. The bad news is that for most people who take them, they don’t work any better than a placebo.
Antidepressant medications are purported to work by balancing brain chemistry. Unfortunately, for the vast majority of people who take them, they do not cure depression. The chemical imbalance theory of depression simply doesn’t hold water.
The most commonly prescribed antidepressant medications — selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs — work by poisoning an enzyme in a neuron that is responsible for the reuptake of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Big Pharma’s logic is that maintaining high levels of serotonin in the nerve synapses, through the use of SSRI medications, helps relieve depression. But this has never been proven to be true. In fact, many studies call that line of reasoning into question.
A holistic treatment for depression involves searching for the underlying cause — which certainly is not SSRI deficiency. Depression can develop from a multitude of factors, including nutritional and hormonal imbalances, poor diet, stress, and dehydration.
Exercise is one of the most effective treatments for depression. In every study comparing exercise to medications, exercise has bested the drugs. Just 30 minutes a day, five days per week is incredibly effective at treating and reversing depression.
I have also found that maintaining hormonal balances with bioidentical, natural hormones is a very effective way to treat depression.
Natural progesterone is particularly helpful. DHEA, pregnenolone, and testosterone are also effective.
Lastly, adequate hydration is crucial to preventing and treating depression. I have helped countless patients who suffered with depression by simply advising them to drink more water.
The brain is made up of 80 percent water and requires adequate hydration to optimally function.
Unrefined salt also helps the body and brain to maintain intracellular hydration.
How much water and salt should you ingest? Take your weight in pounds, divide by two, the resulting number is the amount of water to drink in ounces per day to keep yourself hydrated.
Add in about one teaspoon of unrefined salt per day for even better results.
Posts by David Brownstein, M.D.
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