Depression

 

woman with depression sadness loneliness grief

What is depression?

Depression is defined as feelings of severe despondency and dejection.

What are the symptoms of depression?

Sadness, emotional, weeping, despair, hopelessness, helplessness
Low energy, drive or motivation
Difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, excessive desire to sleep
Thoughts of suicide, making suicide plans
Loss of interest in activities that would normally be enjoyable to you

How can I heal my depression naturally?

As naturopathic doctors, we help patients address the root cause of their depression such as hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid), adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalance, and neurotransmitter imbalance.

We help you feel supported and cared for as you improve diet, rebalance your body and make lifestyle changes to help yourself.

Naturopaths provide counselling and support around healthy lifestyle changes such as exercise and quitting smoking.

Psychotherapy helps depression by providing an objective outlet to discuss issues that may be contributing to depression such as relationships, spouses, losses, family issues and work stress. Our psychotherapists can provide constructive techniques and tips to get through whatever challenges you may be facing.

Massage therapy relieves depression by helping reduce stress and improve your sense of well-being.

Depression and Natural Medicine Research

Folate:

Dietary intakes of folate and vitamin B6 were found to be inversely associated with prevalence of depressive symptoms in both boys and girls. Source: Psychosom Med, 2010 Aug 17;.

A recent study found that a combined low folate and low vitamin B6 levels are associated with depression. Source: J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2012;3:170-8.

L-methylfolate supplementation was found to decrease symptoms severity and increase the effectiveness of SSRI drugs in depression patents who had partial or no response to SSRIs. Source: American Journal of Psychiatry, December 2012

A 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey found that deficiencies in nutrients such as folic acid, magnesium and omega-3s were linked to depression.  Source: Solomon et al, Nutrition and Depression, June 2010.

Diet:

A study conducted by Spanish researchers in Granada found that people who consumed a lot of fast food were 51% more likely to develop depression. Source: Carmen Chai and Allison Vuchnich, Global News, May 10, 2013.

A 2009 study conducted by Spanish researchers found that the risk of developing mental disorders was decreased by 30% by eating a Mediterranean diet. Source: Carmen Chai and Allison Vuchnich, Global News, May 10, 2013.

Processed foods, high in sugar and fats with minimal nutrients, may actually trigger depression or make its symptoms worse. Source: Carmen Chai and Allison Vuchnich, Global News, May 10, 2013.

A 2012 study found that fast foods like hamburgers, fries and pizza were directly connected to depression.  Source: Carmen Chai and Allison Vuchnich, Global News, May 10, 2013.

Creatine & Major Depressive Disorder:

Major depressive disorder patients taking creatine for 2 weeks showed greater improvements in the Hamilton Depressive Rating Scale. Source: Am J Psychiatry. 2012 Sep 1; 169(9):937-45.

Selenium & Major Depressive Disorder:

Lower dietary intake of selenium was found to be associated with an increased risk of developing major depressive disorder. Source: Complement Ther Med 2012; 20(3): 119-123.

Light therapy & SAD:

Bright light therapy has been found to affect circadian rhythm and decrease fatigue in seasonal affective disorder patients. Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.27, Issue 3, Feb 2013.

Fish oil:

A significant correlation was found between fish oil consumption, change in erythrocyte DHA and the change in depression scores. Source: Lipids, 2013 Jun 4; [Epub ahead of print].

Vitamin B6:

Higher vitamin B6 status was found to be associated with a decreased risk of depressive symptoms. Source: Eur J Clin Nutr, 2013 Jun 26;.

High vitamin B6 status may be associated with a decreased risk of depressive symptoms in adults. Source: European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, October 2013

A recent study determined that anemia and slight vitamin B6 deficiency are associated with depression. Source: J Geriatr Psychiatry Neurol. 2012;3:170-8.

Curcumin & Major Depressive Disorder:

Curcumin supplementation in addition to regular fluoxetine treatment in major depressive disorder lead to a higher rating on the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale, 17-item version. Source: Phytother Res. 2013 Jul 6.

Omega-3s:

Omega-3 fatty acid intake in women was found to be associated with reduced odds of elevated depressive symptoms by 49%. Source: J Nutr, 2013 Sept 4;.

Supplementation with long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids was found to be effective in the amelioration of depressive symptoms and quality of life scores in the elderly. Source: J Am Coll Nutr, 2010; 29(1): 55-64.

Supplementation with 1050 mg/d EPA and 150 mg/d DHA was found to be more effective than placebo in reducing depressive symptoms in patients with major depression. Source: J Clin Psychiatry, 2010 June 15;.

Lower levels of omega-3 fatty acids and higher circulating levels of inducible nitric oxide synthase, superoxide dismutase, interferon-gamma, and nitrotyrosine were found in depressed patients, compared to controls. Source: Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids, 2013 Sept 21; .

Intake of omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA were found to be associated with fewer depressive symptoms. Source: Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids, 2012 April 1

Low omega-3 fatty acid levels were connected to depression in adolescents with eating disorders. Source: Acta Paediatr, 2011 July 6.

Vitamin B6+B12:

Higher intake of vitamins B12 and B6 were found to be associated with decreased likelihood of depressive symptoms in the elderly. Source: Am J Clin Nutr, 2010 June 2; .

Omega-3 fatty acid intake was found to be inversely related to elevated depressive symptoms in women in the United States. Source: J Nutr. 2013 Sep 4.

Vitamin D:

Very low, low and normal vitamin D levels were found to be associated with depression in patients aged 50 or above with a cardiovascular diagnosis. Source: Am Heart J, 2010; 159(6): 1037-43.

 

Vitamin D supplementation in adolescents with depression improved many of the depression symptoms, such as depressed feelings, irritability, tiredness, mood swings, and sleep. Source: Acta Paediatr, 2012 Feb 28.

In an analysis of vitamin D intake from foods and supplements and risk of depression, vitamin D was found to be associated with a reduction in depressive symptoms. Source: Am J Clin Nutr, 2011 Aug 24

Low vitamin D levels may be associated with depression, however is not alleviated with supplementation. Source: Br J Psychiatry, 2012 Jul 12.

Low serum levels of vitamin D have been linked to a higher risk of developing depression in midlife. Source: Clinical Nutrition – 23 January 2013.

Alpha Linolenic Acid:

Alpha linolenic acid intake was found to be inversely related to depressive risk with a stronger association found in women between ages 50 and 77 with low linoleic acid intake. Source: Am J Clin Nutr, 2011 June; 93(6): 1337-43.

Zinc:

Zinc, in conjunction with anti-depressant drug treatment, was found to significantly reduce depressive symptoms. Source: J Affect Disord, 2011 July 26.

 

Acupuncture:

Acupuncture might be effective as a monotherapy for major depressive disorder and as a means to supplement the effects of antidepressant drugs. Source: Can J Psychiatry, 2012 Jul; 57(7):397-405.

Acupuncture was found to accelerate the response to selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and prevent an increase of depression symptoms. Source: J Psychiatr Res, 2013 March 13.

 

Chamomile:

Depressed, anxious patients chamomile was found to reduce overall depression rating scores. Source: Altern Ther Health Med. 2012 Sep-Oct;18(5):44-9.

C-reactive Protein:

Depressed and anxious people have higher levels of inflammatory cytokines in their blood as well as inflammatory markers such as C-reactive protein. Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.26, Issue 12, Dec. 2012

C-reactive Protein: Long term use of selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor antidepressants and tricyclic antidepressants led to elevated levels of C-reactive protein. Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.26, Issue 12, Dec. 2012

Fibrinogen:

Higher levels of inflammatory marker fibrinogen were found to be associated with psychological distress, antidepressant medication use in patients with depression. Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.26, Issue 12, Dec. 2012

 

Obesity, Lack of Sleep & Depression:

Conditions such as obesity and sleep loss, that cause a rise in the inflammatory cytokines IL-1β and TNF-α, are linked to depression. Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.26, Issue 12, Dec. 2012

Inflammation & Depression:

Inflammatory cytokines might be to blame for inflammation’s role in depression. Source: Complementary Prescriptions Journal, Vol.26, Issue 12, Dec. 2012

 

 

 

 

Antioxidants & Anxiety and Depression:

High serum levels of antioxidants, particularly vitamins A, C and E, were found to decrease anxiety and depression scores in patients. Source: Indian Journal of Psychiatry, July2012

 

 

Vitamin C:

Fluoxetine plus vitamin C treatment for six months was found to significantly decrease symptoms of pediatric major depressive disorder. Source: Nutr J, 2013 March 9.