I’m going to share with you how I overcame severe depression naturally and how you can do the same.
This is very personal for me. About 25 years ago, I was suffering from severe clinical depression. Now, I had no reason to be depressed. Everything was going right in my life at the time, but every single day I felt sad and I cried a lot and I had negative thoughts. I had a suicide attempt at the ripe old age of 23. Luckily, I’m here with you today and I want to share my story so that if you’re going through this also, you know that there are things that you can do, as well.
I was pretty unhealthy for most of my childhood. I had a lot of infections growing up. I was put on multiple rounds of antibiotics. I had my tonsils out and my adenoids out more than once.
The main problem that I had was severe digestive issues, and I went to the bathroom only once per week. I really strongly feel that this negatively contributed to my health problems at the time. The older I got and the longer this went on, the worse and worse I started to feel.
It didn’t help that I had a very bad diet as well. I was a full blown sugar addict growing up as a kid and I experimented with smoking, alcohol and recreational drugs as a teenager. All of this combined made me have a very unhealthy body and therefore an unhealthy mind.
It was pretty intense, and I sought traditional medical treatment. At the time, I didn’t know any better. I went to doctors, therapists and I did try the traditional route with medications. I have to say that for me personally, they didn’t work. As a matter of fact, that made me worse. Keep in mind that I was only about 19 at the time, so my brain was not quite totally formed yet and the chemicals in these medications just made me worse. I’m not saying that every single person is going to have this issue, but I do wholeheartedly believe that we don’t have a deficiency of Prozac or some other medication. That there are other underlying causes for depression in the first place. In any case, I’m glad that I’m here with you today to share with you some of the things that I did to turn myself around.
Once this event occurred and I went on with my life, I knew that I had to get healthier. That’s the first thing that I worked on. At the time, I hadn’t had any formal education yet into natural health or nutrition. I started with just exercise. I actually became a fitness trainer and I was working out on a regular basis, and this started to improve my mood in and of itself because exercise is basically a natural antidepressant.
I also knew that my gut issues were a big part of my problem and I had to figure out how I was going to get myself to go to the bathroom every day. I made changes to my diet, all from self study at the time, from reading books and doing research. As my diet started to improve my gut health started to improve, and therefore I started to feel better and better over time.
On top of that I started to read books that would fill me with positive types of thinking and get me on the road to personal growth. I believe that was a big part of it too.
I strongly feel that what helped me was getting over my digestive issues, eating better, and taking care of myself. At the time I actually wasn’t even taking any supplements like I do today. But there are lots of supplements that can help with this as well.
I really think that the underlying cause has to be figured out as to why someone is depressed in the first place. Things can happen, you can get depressed because life happens. Depression is a natural emotion for human beings. But to be depressed for no reason is not. I think as a functional medicine practitioner, getting to the root cause is extremely important. And I really don’t feel that the traditional medical system has any interest in doing this.
I actually watched some videos while doing some research and the things that some of these psychiatrists and doctors were saying in the videos really made me cringe. I didn’t write any negative comments, but it was very hard for me to hear the information that they were saying and how they were poo-pooing the natural remedies because there are no studies.
Meanwhile, all studies prove that antidepressants are just fine, right? No, the drug companies are funding them, so they’re going to show that they’re fine. But believe me, lots of people have side effects from medications, especially antidepressants, not to mention they’re very hard to get off of. I’m obviously not a fan of antidepressants because I had tried them myself and they made me worse.
What I recommend to people now that I have figured a lot of this out on my own and have learned from being in the profession, is that first and foremost, we’ve got to get to the root cause. What could be one of the possible reasons why someone’s depressed in the first place? Do they have gut issues and if so, are they addressing them?
Nowadays, modern science does recognize that the gut contains lots of bacteria and that bacteria plays a critical role in everything that we do, not to mention that most of our neurotransmitters are made in the gut. So if you’re having gut issues, you’re going to have neurotransmitter issues; serotonin and dopamine, for example, they’re produced in the gut.
If you have an imbalance of good and bad bacteria in the gut, if you have an infection in the gut, or if you’re eating foods that inflame you all the time, you’re going to have neurotransmitter issues and mood issues as well. There’s a strong connection between the gut and the brain.
Another contributor to gut health is nutrient deficiencies. Many of us don’t get the right vitamins, minerals, or essential fatty acids into our diet, and that can cause not only gut issues but body wide problems as well. The big ones are the B vitamins. The B vitamins are really, really critical, and when your gut isn’t working, you’re not producing as much and you’re probably not eating enough in your diet, things like B6, niacin and inositol. I think you should get the entire B complex together, all of the B vitamins are important, especially B6, niacin and inositol.
As far as minerals go, all the minerals are important too, but magnesium is especially important for mood and brain health.
Now another thing that does have science behind it is essential fatty acids, things that come from fish, omega-3s, EPA and DHA. These are really critical for brain health and mood, and a lot of us perhaps don’t eat enough fish, don’t get enough of these essential fats into our diet. Supplementing with EPA and DHA can be really important as well.
On the herbal side, there’s another area of controversy with the doctors because they all say that if you’re taking meds you shouldn’t take herbs. There are places besides the United States that actually use herbs first before prescribing medication, especially in places like Germany. They actually prescribe St. John’s wort instead of antidepressants as their first remedy.
I have a lot of experience using St. John’s Wort in my clinic and it works pretty good for most people. If you are already on medication, please be mindful of this. They recommend that you don’t do both.
The main point here is obviously that we are all different and there’s going to be different reasons for your depression. I figured out what mine was caused by and I made changes to my diet, lifestyle, and over time I did get better. It’s possible for you as well, there is hope and you are not alone. Depression can be really scary. If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, please give us a call and schedule a free consultation. We can come up with a customized protocol for you and we can help you with testing.