Depression - Nenah Sylver

 
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Depression



 
 


Many women suffer from depression. It can be directly due to trauma such as sexual abuse, poverty, or the loss of a loved one. It can also be caused or augmented by the manner in which one responds to life—i.e., are certain issues perceived as challenges or problems? Depression also contains a distinctly biochemical component. A complex relationship exists between the body and the mind (see the entry, "Stress").

The term "mental illness" has been used too often to stigmatize women and assign personal blame to what is more accurately described as social problems caused by gender bias. In addition, most mental health professionals apply a limited allopathic medical model to the various forms of mental, emotional and spiritual distress that people suffer. Clearly, the definition of "mental illness" is dependent on the mindset, prejudices and cultural conditioning of the person making the diagnosis.

Another problem in the mental health field is the ease with which drugs are prescribed. Despite the positive publicity surrounding mind-altering drugs (including serotonin-uptake chemicals like Prozac), according to the Physician’s Desk Reference, almost 75% of Prozac users have so-called "side" effects including gastrointestinal upset, abnormal vision, fatigue, blood sugar abnormalities, and impaired thinking. Other patients experience increases in anxiety and insomnia, the very symptoms that Prozac is supposed to alleviate. Chemical imbalances do affect mood, but it is also true that both good and bad moods alter the chemical balance of the brain. Rather than immediately reach for a pill, it may be worthwhile to approach depression from a psychological standpoint first, breaking it down into more manageable components:

1. External.
What event or events triggered it? Can something be done to eliminate or ease the external circumstances that led to the depression? (For instance, if you were raped, have you taken steps to remove the perpetrator from your presence?)

2. Internal.
Do you feel low in self-esteem? This may have been triggered by your lover’s leaving you. What can you do to reconnect to your strength and make yourself feel better?.

3. Biochemical.
If your brain is not producing enough of a particular hormone, this may indicate depression. In a cyclic cause-and-effect relationship, it can also cause the depression.


 


Specific Related Health Condition



  • Low Thyroid Function or sluggish thyroid (Hypothyroidism). An often-overlooked aspect of depression is low thyroid function. A slow metabolism depresses all bodily functions, including mental, cognitive and perceptual capacities. A surprisingly high number of women suffer from a sluggish metabolism. People who live inland suffer higher rates of hypothyroidism than those who live near the seashore, probably because there is more opportunity to obtain fresh, iodine-rich seafood near the coast. Iodine is a major food of the thyroid gland.

  • Restorative Strategies: Ask a doctor to check your metabolism, and if necessary prescribe thyroid hormone replacement. Eat plenty of ocean fish and kelp.   



  • Blood Sugar Disorders. Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and even diabetes (chronic high blood sugar) can contribute to or even cause depression. See "Blood Sugar Disorders."

  • Restorative Strategies: Many people with blood sugar disorders require extra niacin (Vitamin B-3, in its niacin rather than niacinimide form). Also see "Dietary Support" and "Balancing Blood Sugar Levels."



  • Candida Albicans and other Fungal/Yeast Infections. A localized or systemic yeast infection can cause major depression. This is because of the toxins that the fungal forms excrete. Depression often inhibits the adequate flow of digestive juices; and when this happens, the friendly intestinal flora die, thus providing the opportunity for yeast and fungal forms to proliferate unchecked.

  • Restorative Strategies: Eliminate gluten from the diet, which can cause intestinal damage and even autoimmune disorders. Take a supplement of acidophilus, bulgaricus and other friendly flora, available from the health food store. Go on a high protein diet. (The amino acids that naturally exist in the protein foods will help combat depression.) A naturopath or herbalist will be able to suggest herbs to combat the fungal overgrowth. Allopathic drugs should be used only as a last resort.



  • Biochemical Deficiency. There are drugs intended to substitute for the body’s missing hormones. Many people opt to take these drugs. However, be aware that drugs that substitute for the body’s own functions can ultimately completely dismantle the body’s ability to get back into balance. You might consider consulting a holistic practitioner who can recommend nutritional supplements that will help your system create its own hormones again.

  • Restorative Strategies: Make sure your blood sugar levels are normal. Consult a qualified health care practitioner; you have lots of work to do. Depression isn’t the normal condition of the bodymind; it’s an indication that something is wrong. Also see "Dietary Support" and "Balancing Blood Sugar Levels."



  • Nutritional Deficiency. This is a common cause of, or contributor to, depression. The power of nutrients to radically alter one’s mood and emotional reactivity should not be underestimated.

  • Restorative Strategies: The more popular supplementation includes niacin (Vitamin B-3, in its niacin rather than niacinimide form) and amino acids. Many people with blood sugar disorders and mood swings have larger requirements of niacin than usual. Amino acids, which are more easily assimilable in their raw state than in protein foods (which must be broken down by the body), help build and repair tissue and improve the digestion as well as contribute to a brighter outlook.


 
 

For much more detailed information
on what has been discussed here,
including a wide variety of other
health-related topics, see
The Rife Handbook of Frequency Therapy
by this author.

Also read the Thyroid Section excerpt
from Chapter 5 (the Frequency Directory).



 


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