You've been programmed to believe that serotonin deficiency causes depression. If SSRI antidepressants actually cured people, we would not see escalating rates of suicide, agitation, anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and PTSD.
The secret sadness that people carry is not always apparent to the rest of the world. For example, I went to lunch with a new friend who has a picture perfect life by most standards. She confided to me that she has tried to kill herself three times and suffers with chronic depression. More than 2 decades has passed and not one psychiatrist or physician has ever suggested magnesium to this lovely lady. Not one! Unbelievable considering the studies that suggest magnesium plays some role in depression, even with suicidal tendencies. The type of magnesium matters though.
Studies suggest that cardiac problems may occur in the fetus when mothers take SSRI drugs during the first trimester, yet one in four women trying to get pregnant are taking an antidepressant.
Antidepressants target several neurotransmitters, usually epinephrine, dopamine or serotonin. But there are about 100 different brain chemicals involved in making you feel "happy" so targeting just those three is silly. No wonder there were nearly 37,000 suicides in 2009, and about a million attempts according to the CDC. It's ideal to get information and/or track your progress if you have severe depression. Here's how:
Interleukin 10 or IL-10. A blood test will measure this cytokine. Reduced IL-10 is seen with depression, feelings of helplessness, insomnia and migraines. Lift your IL-10 with resveratrol, vitamin D and exercise.
C Reactive protein. You're more likely to be depressed when it's elevated. Vitamin E and C, probiotics and CoQ10 can lower this.
TNF alpha. This cytokine (measured in the blood) is high in depression, narcolepsy, bowel disease and psoriasis. Reduce TNF (tumor necrosis factor) with probiotics, magnesium, lipoid acid, curcumin, boswellia and essential fatty acids.
Thyroid hormone. Evaluate your Free T3. If it's low, it's a slam dunk for depression, fatigue and weight gain. I suggest you get this between 3.5 and 4.3 using thyroid medicine or supplements. Read my book, Thyroid Healthy.
Neopterin and biopterin. It's a urine test and these two compounds are by-products of chemical reactions involving tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) which is required to make epinephrine, norepinephrine and dopamine. This ratio is important if you have depression, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, depression or autism.
Healing depression takes time, and requires relaxation. Breathing deeply reduces cortisol, a stress hormone which makes you tired, overweight and sad! Balancing estrogen levels, raising progesterone, thyroid or testosterone can help. Deficiencies of magnesium, vitamin C, B12 or folate are often involved. Methylation difficulties, definitely involved! Your gut is key, yet so overlooked. Probiotics improve your microbiome and positively influence your ability to deal with stress and make neurotransmitters. The cause of depression differs for everyone. Please don't give up on life. You are loved and needed by someone. I love you! I study every day to help you. And finally, don't let anyone dismiss nutrients, that is honestly your best mood food.
Suzy Cohen, is known as America’s Pharmacist. She has been a licensed pharmacist for 24 years and is a Functional Medicine practitioner. She’s the author of 6 books, including her most recent Amazon #1 best-seller, “Thyroid Healthy: Lose Weight, Look Beautiful and Live the Life You Imagine.”
She was the host of The Thyroid Summit which broadcast worldwide in June 2014. Suzy has been a syndicated columnist for 19 years reaching 20 million in circulation each week. She is a Huffington Post writer, and also hosts her own syndicated medical minute on TV. Suzy has been featured on The Dr OZ Show 6 times, and has appeared on The View, Good Morning America Health, The Doctors and hundreds of other networks. She is a member of The Institute of Functional Medicine, also the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, The American Pharmacists Association and ILADS, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. You can read free articles and receive your free newsletter by visiting her website, SuzyCohen.com
Books authored by Suzy Cohen include:
- Thyroid Healthy
- Headache Free
- Drug Muggers
- Diabetes Without Drugs
- The 24-Hour Pharmacist
- Eczema: Itchin’ for a Cure (kindle only)
- Understanding Pancreatitis & Pancreatic Cancer (kindle only)