Happiness has its own biochemistry, which can be powerfully balanced and enhanced naturally. Let's start with the basics:
1. Overall nutritional support is essential, and I would recommend a good multivitamin powder.
2. Begin a walking program. Research has shown that walking briskly each day is as effective as Prozac for depression.
3. Get more sunshine (maybe while you are walking ;-) Inadequate sunlight is a common cause of depression (called "Seasonal Affective Disorder" or "SAD"), which should be considered if your depression is worse in the winter.
4. Use natural therapies if needed to get eight hours of sleep a night. Ambien is also reasonable, but about 1% of people will get severe depression which doesn’t begin until after they’ve been on the Ambien for over a year. If the Ambien is causing it, it goes away within a few days of stopping the Ambien.
These simple steps are very healthy in general, and will usually help improve how you feel considerably. That’s a good foundation. Take the following steps specifically for depression.
1. Take fish oil. Fish oil has been shown in numerous studies to be very helpful in depression and many other psychological problems. Most of your brain is actually made of DHA (docohexaenoic acid), one of the 2 key components of fish oil. In fact, taking fish oil during pregnancy (see next week's article) markedly decreases the risk of post partum depression. Fish is called "brain food" for a good reason! If you have depression or other psychological problems, try eating 3+ servings of salmon, tuna or herring each week, and/or take fish oil. Be sure the oil is toxin and mercury free, and not rancid. Take 1 teaspoon or 3 (1,000 mg) capsules 3x day for 6 weeks and then you can lower it to once a day.
2. Optimize thyroid function. Natural Armour thyroid hormone (by prescription) has been shown to be very helpful in treating depression in two separate studies—even when thyroid blood tests were normal! Taking the thyroid hormone helped even when Prozac failed. Interestingly, only the forms of thyroid which contain T3 thyroid hormone helped. The T4 thyroid hormone found in Synthroid (and most thyroid prescriptions used by non-holistic physicians) was not effective.
3. Be sure to treat other hormonal disorders as well. Suboptimal testosterone and estrogen levels can frequently cause depression and are easily treated by holistic physicians. These hormonal deficiencies often need treatment even if the tests are low normal.
Posts by Jacob Teitelbaum
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