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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

Dump Your Depression

Apr 07, 2011 06:58PM

More people suffer from depression than you might think. Depression strikes people of all ages, backgrounds, and ethnic groups. Estimates range between 19 to 34 million American adults suffer from depressive disorders. Nearly twice as many women as men are affected by a depressive illness each year.

Depression is defined as a lasting sad mood and/or a loss of interest or pleasure in most activities. People with clinical depression experience some of following symptoms: changes in appetite or weight, changes in sleep patterns, restlessness or decreased activity that others notice, loss of energy or feeling tired all the time, hard time concentrating or making decisions, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, or repeated thoughts of death or suicide. According to the American Psychiatric Association, to be diagnosed with clinical depression four or more of these symptoms must last for at least two weeks and the symptoms must be serious enough to cause worry and to get in the way of the person's work, social life, or daily life.

The exact cause of depression isn't clear. No one is sure why some people get depressed and others don't. Sometimes depression seems to happen because of a stressful event. Sometimes it seems to happen for no reason at all. Genes could play a role. People whose blood relatives have had depression are more likely to have it, too. However, not everyone who has a relative with depression is going to develop it. Scientists believe that it could be linked with an imbalance of a chemical in the brain called serotonin. If this imbalance happens, it can affect the way people feel.

Alternative treatments to correct this imbalance and raise serotonin levels may include using one the following supplements:

5-HTP is a form of the amino acid tryptophan, and it is the immediate precursor of serotonin. 5-HTP works simply by enabling the brain to make more serotonin. It is a nutritional antidepressant. Studies have shown that 5-HTP can safely elevate serotonin production in the brain without any dangerous side effects.

St John's Wort has been used for centuries to treat depression. More recently, there have been a number of clinical studies that have demonstrated that St John’s Wort was more effective than a placebo in the treatment of depression. The active ingredients in St John’s Wort boost serotonin levels. In some countries like Germany, St John's Wort is the most popular treatment for depression.

SAM-e is involved in methylation in the body, which is critical in the manufacturing of many body components, such as brain neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine. SAM-e helps regulate these neurotransmitters that affect our mood.

Always follow the recommended dosage on the supplement bottle unless otherwise instructed by a qualified healthcare practitioner. Never take these supplements if you are taking prescribed medication for clinical depression.

Dr. Kevin Kilday, PhD is a certified nutritional counselor. He is a member of the American Holistic Health Association and he is the founder of Life Recovery Center specializing in spiritual and nutritional counseling for addictions, depression and anxiety. Call 321-704-0602 for more information.

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