June 16, 2021
by: Kathy Best – Intuitive Living Expert, Nutrition & Wellness Specialist, and former depression sufferer
More people are suffering from depression and anxiety than ever before. There are many causes for depression, including:
- prolonged stress
- unresolved emotional issues
- neurotransmitter imbalances
- hormone imbalances
- nutrient deficiencies
- food allergies
- toxic levels of heavy metals
- toxic mold
- lack of sunlight
- strong need for self-validation from others
- obsessing about past mistakes or constant worry about the future
According to NBC News, ABC News, the New York Times and just about every other online resource rates have doubled or tripled in the last year and it’s no wonder. The BBC reported that 1 out of 5 adults experienced depression and 4 out of 10 young women are affected by depression. From social isolation and lockdowns to unemployment, misinformation, fear campaigns, and coercion there’s plenty of reason for everyone to feel depressed or anxious. This is often magnified for children and adults who live in poverty and unsafe or unsupportive environments.
“Suicide rates in the United States were also on the rise before COVID-19. Sales of firearms, which are the most common suicide method for men and for women, skyrocketed during the pandemic, with an estimated 2 million more weapons purchased between March and May 2020 than normal, according to Federal Bureau of Investigation’s background check data.”
If you’re a human being then you almost assuredly turned to electronic devices and social media for communication and connection. For many they were a life saver, but they also play a role in depression and anxiety. From the harmful effects of blue light to the promotion of narcissistic, superficial behaviors, you can definitely get too much of a “good thing.”
So many people have turned to drugs and alcohol, or prescription medication to soothe themselves and find some peace. Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol actually intensify depression and anxiety. They give the illusion of providing some relief, but after the effects wear off you’re drowning even deeper in the thoughts, problems, and fears you were trying to avoid.
Antidepressant prescriptions offer their own alarming side effects that should be seriously considered before deciding to go that route. There are several different types of antidepressants from selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and serotonin-noradrenaline reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) to Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs).
According to NHS.uk some common side effects include:
- feeling agitated, shaky or anxious
- feeling and being sick
- indigestion and stomach aches
- diarrhea or constipation
- loss of appetite
- weight gain
- not sleeping well (insomnia), or feeling very sleepy
- low sex drive
- difficulties achieving orgasm during sex or masturbation
- in men, difficulties obtaining or maintaining an erection (erectile dysfunction)
- dry mouth
- slight blurring of vision
- problems passing urine
- excessive sweating (especially at night)
- heart rhythm problems, such as noticeable palpitations or a fast heartbeat (tachycardia)
- Serotonin syndrome – an uncommon, but serious condition that can cause confusion, agitation, muscle twitching, sweating. shivering, diarrhea, seizures, irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia), and unconsciousness
- Hyponatraemia – another serious, but uncommon side effect which can cause feeling sick, headache, muscle pain, reduced appetite, confusion, disorientation, agitation, psychosis, seizures, stop breathing, or enter a coma
- Diabetes – long-term use increases your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes
- Suicidal thoughts – some people experience suicidal thoughts and a desire to self-harm when they first take antidepressants. Young people under 25 seem particularly at risk.
There are other ways to overcome depression that do not have harmful side effects and don’t create other health issues.
A major contributor to our moods, and health as a whole, is our gut health. The gut is connected to our nervous system, neuroimmune system, and neuroendocrine system. Poor gut health has been known to cause a wide variety of illness or symptoms and even mental health problems. You can address this with dietary changes like removing gluten, sugar, refined carbohydrates, chemicals, additives, MSG, preservatives, caffeine, and GMO produce. Fresh fruits and vegetables, omega 3s, and other healthy fats have been shown to have a beneficial effect on physical and emotional wellness.
Getting optimal nutrients, vitamins, and minerals are crucial for maintaining wellness and helping to minimize symptoms of depression. A good nutritionist, or naturopath can help you implement specific strategies and determine supplements that could help. Lab testing for deficiencies is a great place to start. Some vitamin B deficiencies, magnesium deficiencies, and vitamin D deficiencies can play a role in depression.
Herbs like St. John’s Wort Ashwagandha, and Rhodiola have been used effectively for decades. I suffered from severe depression for many years and at my lowest point contemplated suicide, but I knew in my heart there was a better way. I never used prescription medications, but I did use SAMe, St. John’s Wort, Rhodiola, Passion Flower, and Lemon Balm. Never all at once and I rotated them taken a few days off each month. SAMe is not meant for long-term use.
Evaluating and redefining beliefs and attitudes about God, your Higher Power, or Spirit, whatever you want to call It, can make a big difference in your outlook and you ability to develop resiliency during life’s struggles. My own investigation into my conditioned beliefs and feelings about myself, my relationship to the Creator, and my relationship to Life played a pivotal role in my well-being.
Meditation is another wonderful tool for providing stress relief and promoting feelings of calm and even joy. Guided meditations work best for those who have trouble with money mind. I prefer guided meditations myself as my analytical mind loves to run all kinds of garbage through my head when I’m trying to relax.
Other natural tools include:
- Deep breathing
- Getting outside in the sun
- Walking in nature
- Life Coaching
The key is to find the combination of tools and resources that work best for you. You truly can overcome depression and anxiety naturally. I’m living proof.
Kathy Best is an Intuitive Living Expert, Certified Nutrition & Wellness Expert, Empathic Empowerment Coach, creator of the Light Weight Living Experience program, a Platinum Distributor for CrowdPoint Technologies & the Advanced Medicine Exchange, and COO of Integrity Products & Services LLC