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Need some advice dealing with major depression

Answered on November 13, 2017
Created July 20, 2014 at 8:23 PM

I've suffered from major depression for about the last 14 years and it's a constant struggle. At this stage I'm really trying to seek help from the proper experts, but I'm not sure who to turn to. I've been to doing paleo for the past couple of years, and it's helped me feel better physically, and to some extent mentally, but I feel like it doesn't address the root of the problem. I've been seeing a functional medicine doctor and she has recommended some supplements (Vitamin B, C, D, magnesium, 5HTP), but after a few months I'm not seeing significant improvement. Another thing she found though was that I'm very low on gut bacteria and I have yeast overgrowth. Apparently this can contribute to depression, but I'm not sure it accounts for all the trouble I've had over the years and everything I'm feeling right now. I'll continue down this paleo/supplementation path, but I feel like I need more.

I've done counseling, but it hasn't helped make long term progress at this point. I want to keep trying, but I feel like I need to find the right counselor. Are there any specific types of counselors that I should be looking for? And in terms of doctors, are there ones who are experts in treating depression who can help? I've been to my PCP, but she was too quick to prescribe drugs and I didn't feel like she really understood depression. I'm in the Bay Area if anyone can offer specific recommendations.

Thanks!

Ef40e29cee3d4f7b6d60e3473824f1dc

(267)

on July 23, 2014
at 02:35 AM

I'm pretty high in terms of animal protein/fat intake. Exercise is good too (almost every morning with a moderate to intense workout).

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 22, 2014
at 09:59 PM

Not a lack of critcal reasoning ability… I'm immune from koolaid and psuedo-science.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on July 22, 2014
at 07:21 PM

Major depression is nothing to fool around with. Antidepressants have helped many, many people. Agree with Matt -- antidepressants first, to at least get over the worst, then experiment with diet. I may be only an n=1 but it worked for me.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 22, 2014
at 07:17 PM

Nothing safe about untreated depression, or depression treated with random unproven herbs and dietary modifications.

83f300799b74f3b2aae3fa8c7ca2dfc2

on July 22, 2014
at 01:28 PM

An average GP will match symptoms to psychotropic pills, not "help" in any broad sense.

83f300799b74f3b2aae3fa8c7ca2dfc2

on July 22, 2014
at 01:27 PM

And that's surprising to you? Most people experiment with St. John's Wort without knowing the underlying cause of their depression, so of course the results will be "mixed." If you have a mineral imbalance, St. John's Wort isn't going to fix that. If you have SAD and incredibly low vitamin D levels in the winter, St. John's Wort isn't going to fix that.

The point is that it's safe and non-toxic, unlike the antidepressants you recommend, so if symptoms aren't alleviated the user can quit it without harm or risk of addiction. As a "PHD chemist" you sure seem to lack critical reasoning ability...

83f300799b74f3b2aae3fa8c7ca2dfc2

on July 22, 2014
at 01:22 PM

Yeah, take expensive synthetic drugs that have been proven in a 30-year meta-study to be no more effective than a placebo on average (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid... before trying safe alternatives. You're a moron.

The reason no supplement is "proven" for depression is that there are different biochemical causes of it in different people. You can't give a cure-all, like the pharma industry tries (and clearly fails) to do.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 21, 2014
at 07:53 PM

Results with St. John's Wort are mixed at best, lots of null results.

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9 Answers

0
75d85cf5e10de88ae4cce60dc5f81ea0

(-4)

on November 13, 2017
at 04:38 PM

Have you tried magnesium in high dose like 1-2 g/day ? 

0
8251b74bb49ed4a835f1e44f4340b90a

(0)

on July 24, 2014
at 08:39 PM

Have you read the book 'Nutrient Power' by William Walsh?

Nutrient Power presents a science-based nutrient therapy system that can help millions of people diagnosed with mental disorders. This approach recognizes that nutrient imbalances can alter brain levels of key neurotransmitters, disrupt gene expression of proteins and enzymes, and cripple the body's protection against environmental toxins. The author's database containing millions of chemical factors in blood, urine, and tissues has identified brain-changing nutrient imbalances in patients diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, behavior disorders, depression, schizophrenia, and Alzheimer's disease. This book describes individualized nutrient therapy treatments that have produced thousands of reports of recovery. Walsh's approach is more scientific than the trial-and-error use of psychiatric drugs and is aimed at a true normalization of the brain.

There are different "types" of deficiencies - so one person with depression will be lacking in micronutrients and others have gut-flora issues, there's no "one size fits all". Well, except it almost always comes back to oxidative stress, and in that case paleo is a great help (but supplements may be neccessary for some time). Also, like someone else mentioned - trauma. If there's a reason you're depressed you might need (or have) to work on that, but maintaining proper nutrient balance will make it easier. Dealing with my diet I'm not on medication anymore - but if a trauma trigger comes along, I will still feel miserable (although, for a short period of time, not for weeks/months like before). Working on it, and hopes for the best.

Almost forgot - I had to be on the Autoimmune protocol to deal with a leaky gut, might be helpful for you too.

0
8ff5e8bdd1f50e4c2a092dbfbcf0d470

on July 23, 2014
at 12:48 AM

How is your animal protein intake? What is your exercise routine like? Did you have any early developmental trauma ?

Ef40e29cee3d4f7b6d60e3473824f1dc

(267)

on July 23, 2014
at 02:35 AM

I'm pretty high in terms of animal protein/fat intake. Exercise is good too (almost every morning with a moderate to intense workout).

0
47cbd166d262925037bc6f9a9265eb20

(55)

on July 22, 2014
at 12:37 PM

IMO, look into cognitive behavioural psychotherapy apps/books. You can even do the apps in toilet. Melissa officinalis may be another thing worth trying.

PS: There must be psychotherapists/counselors doing cognitive behavioural psychotherapy, just google sth like:

"cognitive behavioural psychotherapy" "<enter your city here>"

PS: You may want to read this also, and write back here about what's going on, actually there may be more to offer and what you explained may be missing important pieces of information:

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/05/17/new-blood-urine-tests-find-5-distinct-types-depression-researcher-says/

PS: I'm also sharing links to my most trusted content provider about gut:

http://fixyourgut.com/treatment-of-gerd-protocol-1...

http://fixyourgut.com/gerd-treatment-protocol-9-ri...

You may also consider using leonardite alone, because though SBOs probably don't yet have enough research to back up their safety as mentioned in the series below, leonardite or some other form of humic/fulvic acids is actually what really makes soil harbor the organisms that makes some paleo folks incorporate soil into their diet, and what actually is found to increase the number of the bacteria in gut is prebiotics such as leonardite, not probiotics, and leonardite will boost all your HSOs that you already harbor. Though excess is almost guaranteed to harm, you can use small amounts of it for very cheap prices, I've been doing so and yet haven't seen a problem, the rest (most) can be spread for some agriculture and it will still be more economic than SBO probiotics like Prescript Assist which have a very small number of SBOs that aren't shown to be superior to what's already living inside one's gut...

http://fixyourgut.com/?s=hso+probiotics+part

0
E23363d46a6308c0990b478ac31d5eb4

on July 22, 2014
at 10:21 AM

With true clinical or even major depression,there is an imbalance somewhere that makes a person miserable, a few have to be on antidepressants for life but they do work if and when you discover the right one. Only a doctor will help you with that.

83f300799b74f3b2aae3fa8c7ca2dfc2

on July 22, 2014
at 01:28 PM

An average GP will match symptoms to psychotropic pills, not "help" in any broad sense.

0
0f8f77156cd0667d43194fc4b8bc3b5d

on July 22, 2014
at 03:42 AM

"I'm very low on gut bacteria and I have yeast overgrowth."

It might be worth your while to look into the resistant starch with SBO (soil based organisms) probiotics literature and on-line info and ask your functional doc what they know about this evolving field of treatment for depression and gut bacteria problems.

0
83f300799b74f3b2aae3fa8c7ca2dfc2

on July 21, 2014
at 06:16 PM

All "mental" health issues are mediated by physical and chemical imbalances in the brain. I know this myself by working through anxiety through diet/exercise/sleep. If you're looking for a short-term solution, you can try St. John's Wort which has the exact same mechanism as SSRIs (inhibiting serotonin from being "recycled" therefore increasing circulating levels in the brain). Long-term you should run tests with your functional practitioner to determine, as you said, the true root cause. Whether it's a mineral imbalance, heavy metal toxicity, etc, once you fix that the depression will be alleviated.

Also look into Chris Kresser's series on depression.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 21, 2014
at 07:53 PM

Results with St. John's Wort are mixed at best, lots of null results.

-1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41757)

on July 22, 2014
at 11:05 AM

Antidepressants. Don't mess around with unproven supplements and odd dietary changes. Of course, you can experiment with them, but antidepressants first.

83f300799b74f3b2aae3fa8c7ca2dfc2

on July 22, 2014
at 01:22 PM

Yeah, take expensive synthetic drugs that have been proven in a 30-year meta-study to be no more effective than a placebo on average (http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid... before trying safe alternatives. You're a moron.

The reason no supplement is "proven" for depression is that there are different biochemical causes of it in different people. You can't give a cure-all, like the pharma industry tries (and clearly fails) to do.

782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

(5231)

on July 22, 2014
at 07:21 PM

Major depression is nothing to fool around with. Antidepressants have helped many, many people. Agree with Matt -- antidepressants first, to at least get over the worst, then experiment with diet. I may be only an n=1 but it worked for me.

-1
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on July 22, 2014
at 10:09 AM

5HTP should be taken at night and balanced with L-Tyrosine during the day, otherwise you mess up the seratonin/dopamine balance. It has to be taken in a 10:1 ratio in favor of tyrosine. You'd take it like this: 5000mg L-Tyrosine, 500mg 5HTP along with with B6, Calcium, Vitamin C, cystine, folate.

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