DEPRESSION & ANXIETY
Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
Today, depression is one of the main causes of disability not only in developed parts of the world but also in medium and even in low-income countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that by the year 2020 depression is going to be the second most prevalent disease worldwide.
EFFECTS OF DEPRESSION & ANXIETY
Researchers point to the fact that depression and anxiety can be very dangerous as they may significantly increase the risk of stroke, sudden cardiac death, cancer, suicide, addictive behaviours, migraines and headaches, osteoporosis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, hormonal imbalance, and other health problems.
Depression can make people up to 7 times more likely to lose their jobs. If you are employed depression may lead to a loss of about 35 % of your lifetime income.
MAIN SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
The following symptoms are associated with depression:
Fatigue (tiredness), Sadness, Feelings of emptiness, Agitation or irritability, Lack of interest in daily routines, Problems with falling asleep, waking up too early, or constant sleepiness, Slower body movements, Feelings of worthlessness, Problems with concentration, Morbid thoughts, Problems with appetite.
According to Dr Nedley if you experience at least half of the listed above symptoms for the most of at least two weeks, you can be almost certain that you suffer from a condition called major depression. Experiencing less than 50% of these symptoms indicates minor depression, which untreated will eventually lead to major depression.
TYPES OF DEPRESSION
There are 4 main types of depression:
- Major depression involves at least five of the above-listed symptoms for at least two-week period. Major depressive episodes may occur once or twice in a lifetime, or they may recur frequently. They may also be triggered by a romantic breakup, the death of a close person, a medical illness, or other stressful experiences. Some individuals with major depression may attempt to commit suicide.
- Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) (formerly called Dysthymia) is a form of depression that usually continues for at least two years. Although it is less severe than major depression, It involves the same symptoms as major depression, mainly low energy, poor appetite or overeating, and insomnia or oversleeping. It can manifest as stress, irritability, and mild anhedonia, which is the inability to derive pleasure from most activities. People with PDD might be thought of as always seeing the glass as half empty.
- Bipolar (Manic) Disorder includes major mood swings when periods of depression alternate with periods of mania. When manic, they are in a state of high excitement, and may plan and may try to carry out over-ambitious schemes and ideas. They often have periods of severe depression.
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is caused by shorter day length and lack of sunlight. It usually starts in the autumn or winter, when days are short and the sun is low in the sky and gets better as the days get longer, sunnier and brighter.
These four main types of depression can occur with any of the anxiety disorders.
Other types of depression include the following:
- Psychotic depression is a rare form of depression accompanied by a distorted view of reality, If you are very depressed, you may get hallucinations or delusions. Atypical depression – features include excessive eating or sleeping, a “leaden” feeling in the limbs, and being sensitive to rejection by others.
- Antenatal and Postnatal (Postpartum) Depression (PPD) – triggered by pregnancy or childbirth. About 10 per cent of pregnant women and 16 per cent in the three months after birth may suffer from depression.
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder (PMDD) is a severe form of premenstrual syndrome (PMS) that interfere with social activities, work, and relationships.
- Situational (Reactive) Depression is characterized by the development of symptoms in response to a specific and possible to identify stressful situation.
- Atypical Depression is a type of depressive condition that produces some symptoms not usually found in people suffering from depression.
- Melancholia – a less common and more severe form of depression which causes slowed movements and a complete loss of pleasure in everything.
Anxiety is defined as an emotional and mental disorder characterized by feelings of fear and worry about different aspects of life such as current and future events. Like psychological stress, short experiences of anxiety are part of our normal life, but it gets challenging when anxiety develops into a chronic and difficult to control problem. In addition, the difference between associated with stress fear and anxiety as a disorder is that a person with an anxiety disorder may panic or experience strong fear in situations which normally do not make us feel anxious or threatened. Those who suffer from anxiety may experience sudden panic or fear attack without any recognized trigger.
It is very important to get rid of prolonged periods of anxiety because it greatly weakens the immune system and often leads, or at least greatly contributes, to various health problems including the weak immune system, increased risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer, or numerous autoimmune diseases which are very difficult to recover from and much more prevalent among women than men. Also, young women who suffer from anxiety have 80% higher risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life!
It is, therefore, very important to know about those risks and if possible read the chapter “Mind Cure” from the book Ministry of Healing to realise how bad impact chronic fear can impose on our health.
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN DEPRESSION & ANXIETY
I decided to deal with these two conditions at the same time because although there are some differences between them with regards to symptoms yet the lifestyle and nutritional causes as well as herbal remedies, supplements and other elements of natural treatment are basically the same.
Depression and anxiety are often triggered by life events – and the symptoms are not easily separated. According to Harold Cohen, Ph.D., “Depression generates emotions such as hopelessness, despair and anger. Energy levels are usually very low, and depressed people often feel overwhelmed by the day-to-day tasks and personal relationships. A person with anxiety disorder, however, experiences fear, panic or anxiety in situations where most people would not feel anxious or threatened. The sufferer may experience sudden panic or anxiety attacks without any recognized trigger… Both anxiety and depression are frequently treated in much the same manner, which may explain why the two disorders are so often confused. Antidepressant medication is often used for anxiety, while behavioural therapy frequently helps people overcome both conditions.”
CAUSES OF ANXIETY
There could be many different causes of anxiety including an imbalance of sex hormones (progesterone and estrogen), prolonged stress, low serotonin, dopamine or PABA levels, poor colon health (insufficient amount of probiotic bacteria in the colon, leaky gut syndrome, etc.), nutritional deficiencies (tryptophan, magnesium, zinc, B complex, omega 3, vitamin D), sedentary lifestyle, hypoxia, lack of sleep, lack of sunlight, etc.
KEY CAUSES OF DEPRESSION
– Low Serotonin levels! It is a well-known fact that people who have depression, those who commit suicide or serious crime, as well as people who are obese, have very low levels of this extremely important hormone. And the main cause of serotonin deficiency are stimulants, bad diet (low in Tryptophan, B vitamins – especially B12, B3, B6, D3, and Folate), Zinc, Magnesium and Complex carbohydrates), and lack of sunlight and exercise: In the book Natural Way to Overcome Depression, Obesity, and Insomnia, Dr Michael Murray says that serotonin deficiency should be blamed for causing depression: “Bad diet, lack of exercise, use of harmful substances such as caffeine or alcohol can rob your brain of the ability to make enough serotonin. This produces a range of significant complications: depression, obesity, insomnia, migraine headache, chronic fatigue.”
Read more about DEPRESSION AND SEROTONIN >
– Nutritional deficiencies (low in nutrients refined diet). According to DR. Stephen Shouber, „A deficiency of any single nutrient can alter frontal lobe function and lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental disorders.”
– Diet low in amino acid Tryptophan. Tryptophan is required to produce serotonin in our brains. Deficiency of this amino acid, therefore, will lead to low serotonin and depression.
– Artificial sweeteners (Aspartame, NutraSweet, Splenda, etc.). Many now believe that one of the main causes of depression (especially in America and some other countries) is aspartame (NutraSweet, Equal, etc.) It is very common among people suffering from depression to have a habit of drinking a lot of diet drinks (e.g. Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi) or consume different diet foods. And as soon as those individuals get depressed they go to their doctor and get a prescription for Prozac. This, however, starts a never-ending cycle of increasing levels of harmful antidepressants without being told to stop using aspartame (which causes depression)!”
Ann Blake Tracy, PhD, who has treated many patients who decided to stop taking Prozac wrote the following statement: “It is rare for me to interview someone who is using Prozac who is not drinking at least a gallon or generally two to three gallons per day of diet soda sweetened with NutraSweet! However, although in many cases aspartame can be the key cause of depression, there are many other causes as well, which combined with aspartame make symptoms much worse. Aspartame is known as an ‘excitotoxin’ because it stimulates brain cells far beyond their normal state. This stimulation can actually lead to brain cell death. Another excitotoxin is monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG. Hydrolysed Vegetable Protein (HVP) frequently has MSG added to it. They are also known by many other names and are added to almost all junk foods.”
Also, Dr Lawrence Wilson blames artificial sweeteners, MSG, caffeine, and other dangerous chemicals for causing depression and anxiety: “Nutrasweet (also labelled as Equal, Canderel, Spoonful, aspartame, aspartic acid, neotame or phenylalanine) is notorious for causing brain fog, fatigue, dizziness, depression and panic attacks, to name just a few of its symptoms. It is found in over 5000 products and affects some 25% of Americans who use it. It is often hidden in prescription medication, vitamins, toothpaste, breath mints and all types of diet products. Everyone should avoid this food chemical. Other food chemicals that affect sensitive people include excitotoxins such as MSG (monosodium glutamate), caffeine, pesticide residues, bacterial and fungal toxins, fluoride, chlorine (water) and hundreds of other substances that either contaminate or are added to drinking water and food. Caffeine and other stimulants can give one a boost, but eventually, contribute to adrenal exhaustion.”
– Insufficient exposure to sunlight by leading to low serotonin, melatonin and vitamin D levels contribute to depression and anxiety.
– Lack of Exercise as it leads to low serotonin, dopamine, endorphins, etc.
– Sugar, refined products (white flour products, white pasta, white rice, etc.). Diet high in refined carbohydrates such as refined sugar contributes to depression and anxiety because sugar leads to nutritional deficiencies. It causes a lack of magnesium, calcium, zinc, chromium and vitamin B complex and without them, our nervous system can’t function properly. Apart from that, sugar causes hypoglycaemia effect (mentioned earlier) and dopamine deficiency. All those factors greatly contribute to chronic fatigue, mental disability and depression. As a result, the exhausted brain is looking for something to boost its energy. For this reason, it may create sugar craving to elevate blood glucose or it may increase your desire to use stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine, or drugs (which also contribute to depression) to increase energy.
– Another factor which contributes to depression, anxiety and mental sluggishness is an overgrowth of yeast called Candida albicans as a result of sugar consumption as people who suffer from depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, ADHD, and autism also have an overgrowth of a yeast called Candida albicans which feed on glucose from sugar.
– Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar/glucose level). The key cause of hypoglycaemia is, of course, refined sugar and other refined carbohydrates including white flour products, refined rice, white pasta, and all foods and drinks which contain refined sugar, such as ice creams, desserts, cakes, carbonated drinks, etc.
When you consume anything with refined sugar it almost immediately gets into our blood because the sugar is separated from the fibre. As a result, the sugar level goes dangerously high. Therefore, in order to solve the problem pancreas produces insulin which gets into your blood and lowers blood glucose. And for some time everything seems to be alright, in spite of this bad habit. Unfortunately, if you keep on consuming refined products for a longer period of time, your pancreas may become so exhausted that it starts making mistakes. It may start producing too much insulin thus lowering blood sugar (glucose) way too much. As a result, now your brain is affected by the low glucose levels because it is the brain’s key source of energy. And since your brain doesn’t have enough fuel in the blood it produces all sorts of negative symptoms including depression, anxiety, or even suicidal thoughts! And the only way to recover from hypoglycaemia and its symptoms is by avoiding sugar and all refined foods as well as regular physical activity. Unfortunately, it usually takes months for the symptoms to disappear.
Read more about HYPOGLYCAEMIA >
– Nutritional deficiencies (a diet low in vitamins and minerals).
– Stimulants (Caffeine, Alcohol, Drugs, Cola drinks, etc.). According to Dr Agatha Thrash, “Since caffeine first stimulates the nerves then causes depression, presence of fatigue in those who use caffeinated drinks is common. It is a fact that the commonest complaint in physicians’ offices today is that of fatigue. Yet, many people mistakenly believe that coffee helps them get through a difficult day. In addition to fatigue, mental confusion and depression also result from the use of caffeinated drinks. While caffeine drinks cause an immediate increase in the learning ability, the overall result is a decrease in learning; the physical fatigue resulting from pharinacologic depression of the nervous system produces emotional depression, leading to a reduction of interest in and retention of new material. Headaches are common among caffeine users and often clear up after only a short period of caffeine abstinence–a week or two. Headaches may occur as a caffeine-withdrawal symptom; some people are so sensitive that they get a headache soon after drinking their last cup.”
Also, Dr Lawrence Wilson states that caffeine may contribute to depression and anxiety: “Other food chemicals that affect sensitive people include excitotoxins such as MSG (monosodium glutamate), caffeine, pesticide residues, bacterial and fungal toxins, fluoride, chlorine and hundreds of other substances that either contaminate or are added to drinking water and food. Caffeine and other stimulants can give one a boost, but eventually, contribute to adrenal exhaustion.”
– Arachidonic Acid (Meat). According to Dr Greger, “Arachidonic acid in our diet produces inflammatory compounds which may inflame our brain. The omnivores ate 9 times as much arachidonic acid than the vegetarians, which is not surprising, given that arachidonic acid is not found in plants!”
– Gluten sensitivity. According to Dr Osborne gluten sensitivity causes anxiety, depression, and migraine > There is also evidence that gluten may cause depression in people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.
– Low Dopamine. According to Ward W. Bond, Ph.D., “The type of depressive-feeling caused by a lack of dopamine in the brain is a very low energy depression, with a complete lack of motivation. If you are low in serotonin, you would be craving carbs (sugar), dairy or even bananas. If you are low in dopamine, then you tend to reach for stimulating foods such as coffee or chocolate. If your problem is not with serotonin, but only a lack of dopamine, then you probably won’t feel much anxiety. You probably also won’t have trouble sleeping, but you will have trouble getting going in the morning. If you over-increase your dopamine so that it’s too high, you’ll feel angry at things that wouldn’t normally make you feel angry.”
– Parkinson’s disease (low dopamine) contributes to depression and anxiety.
– Hypothyroidism (Underactive thyroid) can cause depression. Thyroid hormone acts as a neurotransmitter and its deficiency may lead to low serotonin levels. So, if you experience depression symptoms together with fatigue, cold sensitivity, constipation, etc. try to check your thyroid. Read more about Hypothyroidism >
– Noradrenaline (Norepinephrine) deficiency. It works as both a hormone and neurotransmitter and is synthesized from dopamine, another mood neurotransmitter deficiency which may also be involved in depression and anxiety. Noradrenaline improves concentration but dopamine has a greater influence on cognition. Frequent stress is responsible for deficiency of this hormone because when we become stressed, norepinephrine is secreted to boost energy by increasing the amount of heart contractions and blood flow to our muscles.
– Mercury, Lead, Fluoride and other neurotoxins which damage brain cells contribute to depression and anxiety.
– Sexual abuse.
– Sexual addictions, chronic masturbation, addiction to porno, etc. Read more >
– Stressful Events.
– Medications such as Premarin (for menopausal symptoms), Accutane and Isotretinoin (prescribed to clear up severe acne), Valium and Xanax (insomnia drugs), Lopressor (prescribed to lower blood pressure); Lipitor (a cholesterol-lowering drug), etc. If you are on drugs read the potential side effects and talk with your doctor.
– Watching depressive films and TV programs such as negative news. Read more >
– Insomnia and other sleep disorders. Sleeping more than 9 hrs/day or less than 6 hrs/day routinely.
– Spending too much time in chat rooms and on social-networking sites.
– There is no doubt, and I know it from experience, that spiritual starvation and neglecting spiritual aspect of life is one of the key causes of anxiety and depression. According to Jesus Christ, no man can be really mentally and spiritually healthy if he feeds himself only with physical food: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” (Mathew 4:4)
– Hypoxia (deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the brain cells) caused by a sedentary lifestyle, pollution, and rarely breathing fresh air. In addition, hypoxia impairs an enzyme involved in producing serotonin, which can lead to depression.
– Other causes include high cholesterol levels, Stroke, Heart disease dementia, Alzheimer’s, Anorexia, Hepatitis C, Fibromyalgia, Recent head injury, Terminal cancer, Uncontrolled diabetes, Diet too low in complex carbohydrates, Regular exposure to syncopated rhythm music >, Going against your conscience.
In order to effectively treat depression and anxiety, you must go back to the previous section in which I listed the possible causes. Study them carefully and make sure you eliminate all the causes and treat any health condition which may trigger your depression including hypoglycaemia, candidiasis, allergy, hypothyroidism or other conditions. Find its description in the DISEASES section and implement the recommendations.
In addition, read carefully and do your best to implement all the principles and recommendations included in the HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN.
SUPPLEMENTS AND HERBAL REMEDIES
In case of depression almost always the combination of energetic daily exercise, exposure to sunlight or strong light imitating sunlight, high daily doses of Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Omega 3, Chlorella, Methylcobalamin (B12), St John’s wart, Turmeric, Folic acid, Magnesium, 5-HTP Tryptophan, and Vitamin D3 give excellent results. I have recommended it to many people suffering from depression due to different causes and it effectively increased their serotonin levels and energy, detoxified their bodies, improved memory, concentration and quality of sleep.
– High doses of vitamin B3 (Niacin) is usually the quickest and most effective way to get rid of depression! Read how to use Niacin to cure depression quickly >
Find out more about Niacin >
– Chia seeds are very helpful too. Like flaxseed, it is regarded as the best source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Mix 1-2 tablespoons with fruit juice or plant-based milk every morning and eat it after at least 30 minutes with your breakfast.
– Ashwagandha reduces anxiety, depression & sleep problems; Promotes the feeling of calmness and relaxation by enhancing GABA signalling and serotonin levels in the brain. Ashwagandha’s Latin name “somnifera” can be translated as “sleep-inducing”.
The anti-anxiety effect of Ashwagandha may be also due to the ability of Withanolides to mimic the activity of the calming neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) which reduces overactivity in neurons, acting as a nerve tonic and helping relax, improve mood, reduce anxiety, and promote good sleep. (>)
In the 12-week 2009 study, a standard multi-vitamin and 300 milligrams of Ashwagandha twice daily decreased anxiety levels by 55 per cent without side effects or adverse reaction. Significant improvements in vitality, energy levels and overall quality of life were also noticed (>).
In a 2000 experimental study involving rats, Ashwagandha proved to have antidepressant properties. It was concluded that it can be used as a mood stabilizer in clinical conditions of depression (>).
In a study involving 64 people suffering from chronic stress found that supplementing Ashwagandha for two months decreased stress by 44% and significantly improved mood.
According to a 60-day trial stressed adults who took 600mg of Ashwagandha extract every day reported a 79% reduction in severe depression (>).
– Methylcobalamin (a form of vitamin B12) is another very important remedy which helped many people to get rid of depression, anxiety, chronic fatigue, insomnia, and low mood as deficiency of this vitamin is regarded as “rampant” today (>). B12 is involved in neurotransmitter function and research shows that low levels of this vitamin are linked to depressive symptoms. This is especially true for alcoholics and those who have been treated their depression with lithium as people who take long-term prescription levels of lithium for bipolar disorder tend to have lower serum levels of B12 (probably because more B12 is found in cells) (>). According to Dr Yasko “Lithium not only plays a role in mood, glutamate control and limiting aggression but also has been shown to be involved in B12 transport” (>). She recommends making sure your lithium level is balanced before supplementing with good B12 such as sublingual methylcobalamin. In addition to Dr Yasko’s clinical work associating B12 and lithium, there are some studies that seem to lead to the same conclusion (>).
– Lithium Orotate (5mg daily) has been used by physicians as an antidepressant for a long time but it is important to use the right form of this mineral which is orotate. It helps boost serotonin, reduce stress and tension, improve mood, reduces mood swings, and boosts energy levels (>). A study in Greece found that lithium levels in drinking water ranged from 0.1 to 121 mg/l. Areas with higher levels of lithium in the natural water supply had lower suicide rates (>). According to another study, homicide rates are lower in areas with higher levels of lithium in the water supply (>).
– Multivitamin-mineral formula: 1-2 tablets after breakfast. Please do not buy cheap formulas as their potency is very low and they contain only a short list of inorganic ingredients. It must be a good quality formula such as Healthy Mega (HealthAid) which is an excellent multi-vitamin and mineral formula fortified with alfalfa powder, lipase, rutin, citrus bioflavonoids, bromelain, lutein, PABA, lycopene and many other super nutrients. Take no more than 1 or 2 tablets, preferably with meals. If your diet is very healthy and you stay away from refined foods, sugar and stimulants then take only 1 after breakfast.
– Selenium. Some individuals reported that the amount of selenium in a few Brazil nuts daily is enough to keep depression at bay. Selenium is also important in thyroid T4 to T3 conversion, and therefore can be helpful in coping with symptoms of depression if it is contributed by an underactive thyroid.
LIFESTYLE AND DIET
In order to recover from depression the following recommendations must be followed:
– Go to sleep as early as possible. Try to sleep at least seven or eight hours a day.
– Avoid eating foods rich in refined sugar and other refined carbohydrates such as white flour products (body turn white flour into blood sugar).
– Avoid ALL artificial sweeteners! Artificial sweeteners can usually be identified by many different names such as sucralose, saccharin, or aspartame (Splenda, Equal, Sweet n Low). There are almost a hundred side effects listed by the FDA, including depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, memory loss, nerve cell damage, Alzheimer’s, migraines, reproductive disorders, brain lesions, weight gain, food cravings, seizures and more.”
– Avoid high glucose/fructose syrup (HFCS).
– Avoid monosodium glutamate (MSG)
– Do not consume Agave syrup since as it is almost all fructose. Your blood sugar will spike just as it would if you were consuming regular sugar or HFCS. Agave’s rise in popularity is due to a great marketing campaign, but any health benefits present in the original agave plant are processed out.
– Instead of sugar and other harmful sweeteners you can use xylitol, stevia or organic raw honey in moderation.
– Switch to a well-balanced plant-based and unrefined diet.
– Avoid food containing Arachidonic Acid (animal products). According to Dr. Greger, “Arachidonic acid in our diet produces inflammatory compounds which may inflame our brain. The omnivores ate 9 times as much arachidonic acid than the vegetarians, which is not surprising, given that arachidonic acid is not found in plants!” (Michael Greger M.D., Improving Mood Through Diet, 29/09/2011)
– Don’t use stimulants such as caffeine products or alcohol.
– Learn to control stress and think positive.
– If you are on a prescribed medication check whether bad mood is one of its side effects.
– Alternative hot and cold showers will improve circulation, elimination of toxins and will stimulate the nervous and immune system. Start with hot shower, and after about 5 minutes when your body is warm enough take a short (3 min) cold shower slowly reducing the temperature. Then alternate the flow of water from hot to cold, back and forth 5-7 times in a row. Before using this treatment consult your physician first if you have any chronic health conditions especially if they are associated with heart.
– Increase SEROTONIN!
We know that serotonin is very important in fighting depression, fatigue, or insomnia. Serotonin is the “feel good” hormone and neurotransmitter which helps us regulate moods and use good judgement. Unfortunately, the older we get the less serotonin we tend to produce. Dr. Carolyn Meltzer’s research has demonstrated that with age serotonin receptors decrease by over 50%. People who struggle with overweight, obesity, and depression, those who commit serious crime as well as people who commit suicide have very low level of this extremely important hormone. Unfortunately, if you don’t have enough of serotonin or when the number of serotonin receptors is low then it leads to depression.
Serotonin deficiency can be caused by sedentary lifestyle (lack of physical activity), insufficient light during the day, refined and low in nutrients diet, use of stimulants (alcohol, nicotine, coffee, tea, cola drinks, chocolate and other caffeine products), or insufficient amount of sleep.
– Exercise in the morning outside to boost serotonin!
In the beautiful book „Ministry of Healing” Ellen G. White wrote that, “The sick, shut within four walls, look out on houses and pavements, with perhaps not even a glimpse of blue sky or sunshine, of grass or flower or tree. Shut up in this way, they brood over their suffering and sorrow, and become a prey to their own sad thoughts. The pure air, the glad sunshine, the flowers and trees, and outdoor exercise amid these surroundings, are health- and life-giving. Outdoor life is the only remedy that many need. It has a wonderful power to heal diseases caused by the excitements and excesses of fashionable life, a life that weakens and destroys the powers of body, mind, and soul. How glad would they be to sit in the open air, rejoice in the sunshine, and breathe the fragrance of tree and flower! There are life-giving properties in the balsam of the pine, in the fragrance of the cedar and the fir, and other trees also have properties that are health restoring. In nature may always be found something to divert the attention of the sick from themselves and direct their thoughts to God. The beauty of nature leads them to think of the heavenly home, where there will be nothing to mar the loveliness, nothing to taint or destroy, nothing to cause disease or death.”
– Increase consumption of foods high in Tryptophan (to boost Serotonin): Cooked soybeans, Tofu, beans, lentils, ground sesame, tahini, hummus, etc.
According to Dr Michael Greger, “Prozac appears to work by boosting serotonin levels but it can cause significant side effects. How about using foods high in serotonin, such as plantains, pineapples, bananas, kiwis, plums, and tomatoes. Plants contain dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin at concentrations high enough to actually alter levels in our bloodstream. We don’t need serotonin in our blood, though; we need it in our brain. Serotonin can’t cross the blood-brain barrier, but the precursor to serotonin can. This precursor is an amino acid called tryptophan that we get from our diet. When people think tryptophan, they think Thanksgiving turkey, but researchers at MIT dispelled those myths about a decade ago. Tryptophan is one amino acid among many found in turkey (or meat and dairy) proteins, and they compete with one another for transport across the blood-brain barrier into the brain. Since tryptophan is present in most animal proteins in relatively small quantities it gets muscled out of the way. When we eat plant foods, though, the carbohydrates trigger a release of insulin that causes our muscles to take up many of the non-tryptophan amino acids as fuel, potentially leaving our tryptophan first in line for brain access. Animal foods can even make things worse. In the experiment, those given a turkey/egg/cheese breakfast experienced a drop in tryptophan levels, whereas those given a waffle/orange juice breakfast saw their levels rise.”
– Boost Dopamine levels!
– Take 5HTP (best tryptophan supplement): 50mg with breakfast and 50mg before bed.
According to the scientific paper by Professor T.C. Bridsall 5-HTP is very well absorbed and effective in boosting serotonin in the brain: “5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) is the intermediate metabolite of the essential amino acid L-tryptophan (LT) in the biosynthesis of serotonin. Intestinal absorption of 5-HTP does not require the presence of a transport molecule, and is not affected by the presence of other amino acids; therefore it may be taken with meals without reducing its effectiveness. Unlike LT, 5-HTP cannot be shunted into niacin or protein production… 5-HTP is well absorbed from an oral dose, with about 70 percent ending up in the bloodstream. It easily crosses the blood-brain barrier and effectively increases central nervous system (CNS) synthesis of serotonin. In the CNS, serotonin levels have been implicated in the regulation of sleep, depression, anxiety, aggression, appetite, temperature, sexual behaviour, and pain sensation. Therapeutic administration of 5-HTP has been shown to be effective in treating a wide variety of conditions, including depression, fibromyalgia, binge eating associated with obesity, chronic headaches, and insomnia.” (SOURCE >)
– Make sure you have some Complex carbohydrates everyday in the form of fresh and dried fruits, bananas, etc. as they increase ability of tryptophan to pass blood/brain barrier.
– Take Vitamin B6, B1, B3 (Niacin), Magnesium citrate, Zinc, Folic acid, as they are required to produce serotonin.
Read more about DEPRESSION AND SEROTONIN >
– Take Vitamin D3: 20,000 IU a day.
– Increase intake of Omega 3 fatty acids: Chlorella, ground flaxseed, soaked in water chia seeds, good quality organic Omega 3 fish oil with antioxidant to prevent oxidation (HealthAid and Viridian offers a very good quality Omega 3 fish oil).
Since due to the fact that soil is depleted in nutrients and therefore we can’t be sure we provide our body with a sufficient amount of nutrients she should take the following at the same time:
A powerful clinical study (>) concluded that a daily dose of supplemental magnesium provides an effective and safe alternative treatment to dangerous and relatively ineffective pharmaceutical antidepressants.
The study titled “Role of magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression: A randomized clinical trial (>)” was published in PLOS One.
While previous studies have looked only at the link between magnesium and depression, this is the first placebo-controlled clinical study which evaluated the effectiveness of treating depression with over-the-counter magnesium.
During the 6 week period, 126 adult subjects diagnosed with mild-to-moderate depression, received a daily dose of 248mg of elemental magnesium (in the form of magnesium chloride).
According to the results of this trial, magnesium was effective in treating mild-to-moderate symptoms of depression:
“Consumption of magnesium chloride for 6 weeks resulted in a clinically significant net improvement in PHQ-9 scores of -6.0 points … and net improvement in Generalized Anxiety Disorders-7 scores of -4.5 points … Average adherence was 83% by pill count. The supplements were well tolerated and 61% of participants reported they would use magnesium in the future. Similar effects were observed regardless of age, gender, baseline severity of depression, baseline magnesium level, or use of antidepressant treatments. Effects were observed within two weeks. Magnesium is effective for mild-to-moderate depression in adults. It works quickly and is well tolerated without the need for close monitoring for toxicity.”
The conclusion of this study states that the use of magnesium supplement generated improvement in PHQ-9 scores of -6.0 points. In comparison, when conventional antidepressant drugs manage to produce improvement in PHQ-9 scores of -5.0 points, they are regarded as highly effective and recommended for long-term use.
Since magnesium score according to the study results was higher, it deserves to be recommended with expectations for a complete response, which is sometimes termed “remission.” In addition, the use of supplemental magnesium does not give any serious side effects. The administration of conventional antidepressants, on the other hand, result in nearly half of patients discontinuing treatment during the first month, usually due to their dangerous side effects.
5HTP (tryptophan), Magnesium citrate 400 a day between meals with water, B complex (100mg) – 1 a day after breakfast (B6 should be 100-200mg a day and Folic acid – 400 mcg a day), Zinc – 15-30 mg after breakfast, Methylcobalamin (MetCobin by HealthAid) (well-absorbed form of B12) – 1000 mcg under the tongue (all of us should have it as it is the only vitamin which can even reverse neurological damage and is best energy booster).
You need also Omega 3 fatty acids which are also crucial for the proper functioning of the nervous system. The best sources: 1-2 tablespoons of soaked in water or juice or plant-based milk for at least 30 minutes chia seeds, or 1-2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed with breakfast (shouldn’t be mixed with hot but warm food). Also, chlorella or spirulina contain some omega 3 EPA and DHA fatty acids (much better absorbed).
Since everyone almost in the UK is deficient in Vitamin D3 (especially dark-skinned people she needs 5000 to 10000 IU a day plus 400mg of magnesium as D3 leads to magnesium deficiency.
A good probiotic formula such as MoodProbio (HealthAid) is another one which can improve her mood as people with anxiety do not have enough good bacteria in their colon leading to vitamin B deficiency, LGS and accumulation of toxins. Surprisingly, more recent studies have found conclusive proof that the proper balance of bacteria in our gut may have more to do with our mood than any other contributing factor. Researchers found that the microbiota living within the intestines may positively influence our mood as it plays a large role in creating the various brain neurotransmitters and feel-good hormones. Some specific strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium (included in the MoodProbio may optimize the production and function of important chemicals like GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), serotonin and dopamine involved in mood and required in the brain for healthy cognitive function and focus. In addition, a healthy bacterial balance in the human gastro-intestinal tract is positively correlated with higher levels of amino acid tryptophan which is used by our body to make vital antidepressant and good mood factors such as serotonin and niacin (vitamin B3). It means that deficiency of certain strains of probiotic bacteria in the colon may contribute to bad mood, anxiety, depression and other problems associated with mental health. In one study participants who took a probiotic supplement every day for thirty days felt happier and reported feeling less affected by stressful situations than those who didn’t take probiotics. Other studies also suggest that supplements with probiotic bacteria can help to cope with bad mood, depression and anxiety. Due to its excellent formulation, the MoodProbio 30 Billion Vegicaps Formula contains the well-studied strains believed to produce neurotransmitters and to regulate the level of inflammation throughout the body including the brain. It may be helpful in improving mood by possible positive influence on the production of B vitamins, amino acid Tryptophan, as well as the release of antidepressant and, feel-good hormones such as serotonin, dopamine or GABA. In addition, some strains of probiotic bacteria included in this excellent formula may play a vital role in boosting immunity and coping with various gastro-intestinal discomforts including diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, gas or indigestion.
– Take ground organic Turmeric (1 teaspoon 3 times a day) or Holistic Turmeric capsules (made by Pukka as its absorption is 10 x better) – 2 times a day 1 caps about 30 min before meals. In one study turmeric gave better results in treating serious cases of depression than Prozac without causing any side effects. But don’t expect it to work immediately.
– Agnus Castus (Vitex) (Natures Answer drops) – the best herbal remedy to treat hormonal imbalance in young women. It should help to eliminate heavy menstruation and anxiety if it is linked to hormonal imbalance. Read more on PMS > Maca powder also helps regulate progesterone and estrogen.
– Chlorella. Nothing in the world is better to boost mental and physical energy, remove neurotoxins and heavy metals from the body and regenerate or renew our organism as chlorella. Start from lower doses (2 x a day 3-5 tablets 30 minutes before breakfast and lunch with 2-3 glasses of water). After a week – 2 x 10 tablets). Read more about CHLORELLA > and CHLORELLA FOR DEPRESSION >
– To get better results all animal foods (meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products) should be avoided.
– The only oil which is good for her nervous system is raw coconut oil and cold-pressed flax oil.
– Avoid sugar, fructose and high-fructose corn syrup, white flour products, gluten, stimulants (coffee, tea, green tea, chocolate, cola, etc.), hot spices (irritate nervous system), MSG, fluoride, chlorine and other neurotoxins, trans fats, margarine, etc.
– It doesn’t seem a good idea to consume fish if you want to treat depression and anxiety: Fish Consumption and Suicide >
– At the same time try to increase consumption of raw vegetables as cooking destroys antioxidants present in them and most phytonutrients. In order to be healthy, we need about 7 cups of raw vegetable salad a day or even better fresh cold-pressed vegetable juices.
– Light therapy. Expose your body to sunlight whenever it is possible or use strong light imitating sunlight.
SPIRITUAL ASPECT OF TREATMENT
– Learn to control stress, depression and anxiety by positive thinking, frequent smiling and laughter exercises, taking care of others, helping people in need, going for a walk, enjoying life and the beauty of nature. In this way you will boost good hormones, program cells to live longer, build new strong neural pathways, greatly reduce the number of free radicals, and show the immune system that you enjoy life. As a result, those smart and intelligent tiny soldiers (leukocytes) will never attack your own body (causing autoimmune diseases) but will protect and fight for you like Kamikazes.
Unfortunately, from experience, we know that for most of us it is very difficult and often even impossible to control stress, overcome fear, anxiety and depression, or to become a positive thinking person simply because those negative emotions and fears are so deeply rooted and even seem to be a part of our nature. Sometimes we even feel like slaves of those negative attitudes and bad emotions.
And that is the very reason I included on my website a very special, unique and even most important section called EMPOWERMENT >. So please read it carefully and then study also another article – the GOSPEL OF FREEDOM >, which is even more significant as it reveals the secret of finding the only source of true inward peace which according to Apostle Paul “surpasses all knowledge” and which can “guard (protect) our hearts and minds (emotions)”. Combined with true strong faith this message will lead you to freedom from negative emotions such as anxiety or existential fears (one of the key source of deadly free radicals). It will also empower you with moral strength necessary to overcome long-cultivated bad habits or addictions, often impossible for us to defeat on our own. Finally, this unique and most wonderful Good News of the Gospel will also give you new strength and a powerful motivation to not only practice but also enjoy the new and very healthy way of life.
Read also: DEPRESSION & SEROTONIN >
WATCH THE VIDEO – DR. NEIL NEDLEY ON OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER, POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER, PHOBIA OR PANIC DISORDER, PSYCHOSIS, BIPOLAR DEPRESSION, MAJOR DEPRESSION:
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Birdsall TC (1998) 5-Hydroxytryptophan: a clinically-effective serotonin precursor. Altern Med Rev. 1998 Aug;3(4):271-80.
Michael Greger M.D., Improving Mood Through Diet, 29/09/2011
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Any information or product suggested on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any medical condition. Never disregard medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. Consult your primary healthcare physician before using any supplements or making any changes to your regime.