Let’s Start with the Basic Facts
Every year, depression affects more than 19 million American adults, making it the most common serious brain disease in the United States.
If you count missed days at work, medical expenses, and premature death, depression costs approximately $43.7 billion annually. In any given 1-year period, 9.5% of the U.S. population suffers from a depressive illness.
Depression doesn’t discriminate; it affects people of all ages, races, and ethnic groups. However, women are almost twice as likely as men to suffer from depression each year. One in 4 women and 1 in 10 men will face depression at some point in their lives.
Unlike diseases that can only be contracted once in a lifetime, depression is a condition that can return. If you have had an episode of depression, then you face a 50% chance that it will recur sometime within 5 years. Left untreated, the disease can become chronic, with each episode increasing the risk for another bout with the disease. After 3 episodes, the odds are 90% that depression will return again.
The good news is that depression is very treatable. The majority (80% to 90%) of people with depression who receive treatment experience significant improvement.
Depression can occur at any age. There is an increasing rate among those born after 1945, perhaps related to factors such as single parenting, changing roles, and stress. Although many people experience their first episode of depression in their late teens or early adulthood, the incidence of depression increases with age. Because many older people experience loss, illness, or loneliness, depression can sometimes make this time of life much more difficult.
Unfortunately, only 1/3 of those with depression will get proper treatment. Individuals with depression may remain untreated because they do not recognize the symptoms as signs of an illness, or they may fear the reactions of family, coworkers, and friends. Of those untreated, 25% to 33% will continue to have symptoms and associated difficulty with daily life that can linger for months or years.
Now the Good News
According to natural medicine, here are the most common causes:
1. Blood deficiency. When a person is anemic or experiences subclinical anemia (this means that the levels are low but not low enough to be diagnosed), depression is quite common, particularly with women. This is the #1 cause of depression per natural medicine.
2. Weakness of part of the brain called the cerebellum. The cerebellum is considered the “battery pack” of the brain. When this area is weakened due to over work, over worry, over stress or improper nutrition, many symptoms such as depression, poor memory and fatigue will occur.
3. Hypothyroidism. Low thyroid functioning is also a very common occurrence. This not only contributes to depression is a major factor in fatigue and weight gain.
4. Adrenal insufficiency. This is the #2 common cause of depression and the one that is rarely diagnosed. The adrenals are 2 glands that rest on the apex of the kidneys. They are one of the 4 back up systems to the heart. When this is weakened, the heart is forced to work 3-5 times as hard as it normally does (which it can easily do). However, over time, the heart experiences fatigue and symptoms such as depression are common.
The treatments for the above are as follows:
1. Blood deficiency. One should look at a B-complex with additional Vitamin B12. Women in particular can add the herb Dong Qui which is known as the “female ginseng.”
2. For the cerebellum, nothing is better than the nutrition RNA or Ribonucleic Acid. It can be found in virtually all health stores.
3. Hypothyroidism. My favorite treatment for this is Organic Iodine. Kelp in higher doses is also used with success.
4. Finally, for the adrenals, nothing is better than Royal Jelly.
The natural way can be a safe and effective means to regaining the joy and happiness that is inherently ours.