Depression: Treatments that go beyond medication

A number of imbalances in the body or brain could be the cause of depression. At Nature Cures Clinic, we seek to find and change those causes.

October is National Depression Awareness Month. This is a good opportunity to reflect on the treatment for depression that our “health care industry” almost universally utilizes.

Sales of anti-depressant medications brings in around $12 billion in profits annually for the pharmaceutical industry. Approximately 30 million people are currently taking anti-depressant medication in the US alone. But, that is not the only treatment for depression- and  not the right one for everyone.

Naturopathic treatment approaches to depression shed light on causes instead of masking symptoms with meds.

We support a more holistic approach to treating and supporting you through depression that includes looking into the cause, while finding the best solution for your specific needs.

Through longer patient visits, collaboration amongst our providers, we look at the “whole you” to formulate a plan of support.

And that includes our belief that diet and nutrition play a profound role in health generally and in the regulation of mood in particular. Dietary excesses of some foods deplete serotonin and dopamine, the brain chemicals associated with feeling good. Likewise, lack of specific nutrients can have profound effects on the body’s ability to maintain optimal function of the nervous system. Simply correcting these issues can lead to dramatic improvements in symptoms.

A much larger issue is the way in which our society has turned circumstantial feelings of sadness, grief, isolation or hopelessness into a diagnosis that requires medication to manage. When individuals experience profound loss, or feel trapped in relationships or jobs, or are unable to resolve past traumas, medications to mask those valid emotions are not addressing the cause of the depression.

Our approach to depression utilizes a comprehensive understanding of the history and circumstances that contribute to the depression. It can involve lab testing to determine metabolic imbalances. It will virtually always involve a close look at nutrition and the ways in which eating habits might be contributing to the ongoing symptoms. It can include recommendations for regular exercise, because that is a therapy that has been consistently found to relieve depression as well as medications. And yes, it can include a standard pharmaceutical Rx, if that is appropriate for you.

There are many reasons that any given person might experience depression. Treating depression can only be done if the underlying cause is understood as clearly as possible, and therapies are used to re-establish balance in an individual’s life.

During National Depression Awareness Month, those who feel they may have depression should seek out a naturopathic physician. The most important thing to know about depression is that it is not simply a chemical imbalance in the brain that requires medication to correct. Depression is a dynamic relationship between an individual, their lifestyle, their circumstances and their way of thinking about their life. In the context of a naturopathic treatment plan, all of these factors are addressed to optimize an individual’s full capacity for optimum wellness.




Image courtesy:  TheAlieness GiselaGiardino