Are you feeling empty, overwhelmed, or just plain sad all the time?
Feeling irritable or frustrated, even over minor issues?
Are you losing interest in the things that once made you happy?
If so, you may be dealing with depression.
Depression is becoming more and more frequent in the modern world, with about 1 in 8 Canadians reporting symptoms that met the criteria for depression according to a 2012 survey (the most recent data at the time of this writing).
If you’re dealing with depression, there are naturopathic solutions available to help. Contact the Mindful Healing Clinic to find out more.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a common reaction to depressing circumstances. If you’ve recently lost a loved one, lost your job, or had a major setback in your life, a bout of depression is reasonable to expect. You shouldn’t be concerned about it.
However, if you’re faced with persistent and ongoing feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or despair without anything specific to attach it to, it may be a problem.
Depressive episodes may come and go depending on various life circumstances. However, during a bout of depression, you may expect to feel:
- Extreme sadness or hopelessness
- Irrational frustration
- Bouts of anger
- Chronic fatigue
- Appetite and weight fluctuations
- Cognitive impairment
- Suicidal ideation
- Back or neck pain
- Decreased libido
- Loss of interest in hobbies
- Depression In Children
Depression in children and teenagers often manifests with similar symptoms as it does in adults. However, there are some minor differences.
In younger children, you may see them worry more, become clingier, refuse to go to school, or display separation anxiety.
Meanwhile, teenagers who experience depression may leave them feeling misunderstood, isolated, and sensitive, which can affect their performance at school. It’s bouts of depression that can push teenagers to their first experimentation with recreational drugs, and with self-harm.
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A Naturopathic Approach To Depression
When it comes to offering treatments for depression, conventional medicine will often focus on the use of pharmaceutical drugs to manage your symptoms.
This can be effective in some cases, particularly if you have an imbalance of serotonin. However, it doesn’t focus on why you’re dealing with depression in the first place.
Much like anxiety, depression has been linked with the health of the microbiome inside your gut. This has to do with your enteric nervous system, your body’s second nervous system, which is located in your gastrointestinal tract. If you’ve ever had “a gut feeling” about something, or had “butterflies in your stomach,” your enteric nervous system probably had something to do with it.
In the past, medical science believed that mood disorders like depression came about as a side effect of the embarrassment, isolation, and other negative social impacts of having a digestive disorder. However, we’re now finding that the opposite may be true. When your digestive system is suffering, your enteric nervous system suffers as well. And when your enteric nervous system suffers, it can lead to mood disorders.
On top of this, a number of essential nutrients have been associated with easing the symptoms of depression. In particular, low vitamin D levels have been associated with depression. This has also been connected with seasonal affective disorder – most of our vitamin D comes from sunshine. Other nutrients associated with reducing depression include vitamins B9 and B12, omega-3 fatty acids, and certain amino acids, as well as several herbal supplements.
Lifestyle factors may also come into play. Several lifestyle factors can contribute to an increased rate of depression. These include obesity, a high-stress lifestyle, poor sleep and diet, and a lack of exercise, as well as the presence of several chronic diseases.
Whatever the cause of your depression, however, Dr. Maria offers naturopathic solutions designed to help you.
Contact the Mindful Healing Clinic today to book an appointment, and find out how naturopathic medicine can help you.