Depression affects a staggering 350 million people worldwide, and those numbers continue to go up each year.
It’s very difficult to treat because it’s not a cut-and-dry illness…and sadly that means many people are either untreated or improperly treated!
Here are some facts you probably don’t know about depression and ways you can help brighten your mood.
Depression—what exactly is it?
Depression isn’t like pregnancy—it’s not a matter of either you are or you aren’t.
Instead, most of us are on a “sliding scale” that ranges from happy and upbeat to completely depressed.
Many people may occasionally feel depressed or suffer from a low mood, but it’s temporary and before long they feel happy again.
Others have the “winter blues” otherwise known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and feel better once the sun starts shining.
But still others slide into a deeper, longer-lasting depression, and are very likely to seek help from a doctor.
It’s not one size fits all
It’s important to realize that depression isn’t one size fits all. There are actually two possibilities to explore—your frame of mind and your brain chemistry.
And where people run into trouble is when they take antidepressants that alter brain chemistry, yet their depression is due to their frame of mind—such as grief over the death of a loved one or stress over a job loss.
So they may be taking medication that they don’t need, which isn’t doing one iota of good for their depression, suffering side effects, plus they may actually be worsening their depression by causing too much serotonin to build up!
Many different causes, many different answers
One point that is unfortunately frequently overlooked when people seek help for depression is that there are underlying factors that can trigger or worsen depression.
And unless those underlying issues are resolved, your chances of truly feeling better are greatly diminished!
Here are six possibilities you should consider:
Blood sugar imbalances
This is most commonly the result of a diet heavy in refined carbs including white bread, bagels, hamburger and hot dog rolls, cookies, cakes, pastries, pasta, crackers, chips and soda.
Repeatedly eating foods like these stresses your pancreas, encourages insulin resistance, packs the pounds on you and can drive blood sugar spikes and crashes.
Oh, and contribute to depression too.
To help ensure a brighter mood, avoid refined carbohydrates as much as possible.
Low thyroid function
Depression is often a symptom of a low-functioning thyroid.
If you suspect this is an issue for you, ask your doctor to perform the very thorough and accurate “TRH challenge test” also known as the “TRH Stimulation test” to detect low thyroid function.
Many people who suffer from depression are deficient in B-complex vitamins, vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium.
Try to concentrate on eating more real foods—fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, poultry and fish, dairy, eggs, whole grains, good fats—that will help provide all the precious nutrients your body (and mind) so desperately need.
You can also help by supplementing with a high-quality multi-vitamin and mineral formula like Super Core to make sure you have all nutritional bases covered.
Celiac disease damages the villi in your small intestine, reducing nutrient absorption and opening you up to deficiencies in essential brain nutrients—especially zinc and B vitamins—that can bring on depression.
Plus studies have suggested that it’s possible that gluten can affect serotonin levels in people who don’t have celiac disease by limiting the availability of its precursor, the amino acid tryptophan.
If you want to eliminate gluten from your diet and need some guidance, check out the Great Taste No Gluten program.
Lacking Omega-3 EFAs
Omega-3 essential fatty acids (especially EPA and DHA) are crucial to mental health–your brain absolutely must have them to function properly.
Be sure to take in sources of omega-3 EFAs like fatty fish. If you want to supplement, choose an outstanding, pharmaceutical-grade fish oil formula like VitalMega-3.
Yeast (Candida) overgrowth
Yeast (Candida) overgrowth can contribute to depression in two ways—it reduces nutrient absorption (especially B vitamins) and it suppresses your gut’s production of serotonin.
Since between 90 and 95 percent of your body’s serotonin production takes place in your intestines, Candida can have a tremendous impact on your mood.
Yeasts feed on sugars, so this is yet another way avoiding refined carbs can fight depression. Plus you can help bring your gut microbes back into a better balance with probiotics like Super Shield.
See what a difference it can make in your mood when you address some of these possible underlying causes of depression.