Updated: Aug 1, 2022
For a condition as common as this one today, I truly feel there is so much misinformation about what depression really is, what causes it, why we experience the symptoms we do, and how to treat it properly.
I disagree with the way most "psychological" disorders are treated in general, because I feel there is no "getting to the root cause" that is a part of the treatment.
All health practitioners understand that in depression-sufferers there is an imbalance in the production of certain neurotransmitters causing the dreadful symptoms they feel. The problem is that most psychologists are trained to then prescribe a drug to chemically "force" the release of these little messengers from the brain to abate symptoms.
But no one is asking why this inability for the brain to naturally produce them on their own anymore is happening in the first place, and what damage this forced chemical control does long-term?
Depression is not a disease in itself. Depression is a symptom and the result of imbalance within, due to an unhealthy internal environment caused by many factors. The body is like a Dominos game, all systems work symbiotically together therefore when one falls, many others do as well. Mental health and physical health go hand in hand.
"The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen" - Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
A dear old friend of mine, just courageously spoke out about the life-long depression he's been suffering. This was my motivation behind choosing to write this piece today. There are a lot of misconceptions about what depression really is, and misinformation on how to go about treating it.
As someone who has suffered bouts of depression on various occasions in my life, I personally understand the debilitating symptoms that it comes with. It is as if your mind has been hijacked. You know you do not feel "normal", or as you should, or as others feel.
Something is very majorly off, and the symptomology leaves you feeling numb, emotionless, apathetic, lethargic, hopeless, self-loathing, irritable, frustrated, anxious, paranoid, fearful or angry. Just downright depressing really, hence the name of this depleting condition.
In this post there is some crucial information that all depression-sufferers need to know. It is vital information that will explain the true root cause of depression that conventional physicians/psychologists do not focus on.
In my opinion, the information I will share is the best way to heal this condition once and for all, and we are all designed to heal from any imbalances in the body. So Damien, I love you and this is for you…
In my blog post "What is health", I mentioned the direct correlation between our physical body's health and that of our mental/emotional well-being. Something most people never consider or focus on. When it comes to healing any ailment, depression included, we must always get to the root cause of the issue.
Often times, we are busy focusing on the negative symptoms we feel and how to dull them quickly, instead of asking ourselves the right question; why do I have this in the first place?
This is where I will explain GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome).
There is a vital connection between our guts and our brains. A major disruption to our intestinal bacterial balance (known as our gut microbiome), in turn causes a deficiency in our brain's neurotransmitter production. This is one of the main causes of "Depression".
Basically, an overgrowth of "bad bacteria" in our guts causes damage to the intestinal lining creating perforations slowly over time (known as leaky gut). This happens when our gut's "good bacteria" gets destroyed.
In this day and age, everything about our lifestyle and dietary choices contribute enormously to the demise of our intestine's precious good bacteria (poor diet, medications/ pharmaceuticals, vices, environmental toxins, radiation, heavy metals etc...).
Basically, we always need enough good bacteria for our bodies to run properly; our minds and brains included. They are what keep the co-habiting intestinal bad bacteria in check, and prevent destruction of the lining keeping our guts healthy.
Having a strong constitution is essential for proper gut lining formation and balanced intestinal flora. Many of us are at a disadvantage from birth, as many parents don't realize how crucially important breastfeeding is, and to feed for long enough.
The nutrients that come from breast milk are fundamental for the complete development of our baby's organs and tissues; intestinal lining included. Formula feeding, vaccinations, and synthetic chemical baby food, are all contributing factors to why some of us just have a poor constitution to begin with and never have the gut microbiome we are intended to have.
I wanted to put that in there because one of the elements my friend mentioned when talking about his history of depression, was that this was something that existed from as young as 6 years old. With many wondering around him how a child could be depressed so young. Well, this is how.
In a nutshell, bacterial-overgrowth in the intestinal tract damages the lining, whether that existed since birth from poor constitution or it is of our own doing with unhealthy lifestyle choices later in life. Once the lining is damaged, toxic by-products produced by that overgrowth of bad bacteria travel through that leaky-gut lining.
Once in the bloodstream, makes their way around wreaking havoc in multiple areas of the body including the brain. This causes imbalances in our neurotransmitters. For those of you who don't know, neurotransmitters are basically little brain chemical "messengers" that nerve cells use to communicate.
They control many of the processes in our bodies. Neurotransmitters regulate everything from mood, sleep, learning, social behavior, memory, attention, appetite and sex drive.
The main neurotransmitters responsible for depression are Serotonin, Dopamine and Norepinephrine. An imbalance in the production of these is what is behind all of the horribly exhausting symptoms we feel when we are depressed.
Now, although these are "hormone-type" substances produced by neurons in the brain, most people fail to realize that Serotonin for one, is found primarily in the gut. Ninety percent in fact! Since I first started learning about health 15 years ago and after many years of following a very unhealthy damaging lifestyle myself, I realized this crucial importance between gut and brain health.
In my opinion, almost all "mental" psychological/ neurological disorders stem from toxicity overload, heavy metal/ DNA damage from vaccines, emotional traumas/ energy blockages, and gut/ hormone-imbalance.
And as someone who naturally healed myself from all of the bouts of depression I have personally suffered, I concretely believe these are the true origins of this disheartening condition and all the alienating symptoms that go with it.
Repairing my gut over the last 10 years of my life has allowed my body to heal and re-balance from many of the disruptions that once existed within. Hormone and neurotransmitter-imbalance must be addressed to rid depression once and for all.
So, how do we do this?.. What do we do to begin healing depression?
I quickly want to mention, that conventional treatment methods such as anti-depressants, don't work and here is why...
Synthetic laboratory-made chemical medications that force our brain to do what it is unable to do naturally, IS NOT THE ANSWER. The idea behind healing any health issue is to address the root cause and allow your body to naturally re-balance itself.
Anti-depressant medications are beyond toxic. They chemically hijack your brain, flooding it with man-made substances to force the release of neurotransmitters that should instead be naturally produced by your brain on its own.
When parts of our body stops doing what it's supposed to be doing, we need to address the real reason why it stopped working. Not force it to do it anyway by harmful drugs. Doing this will only ever further damage your brain's ability to produce its own neurotransmitters naturally again.
Do you see the vicious cycle this becomes? This is why once you start the rolling ball of medication, you only go downhill from there health-wise. The dependency on these toxic drugs that never heal your brain, but that in fact disrupt it further by continually destroying your intestinal lining, becomes a never ending cycle onward.
And as is proven time and time again, these medications in continually higher doses are then needed for the rest of one's life. Wouldn't we want to actually heal the real issue, not use these toxic band-aid solutions for the rest of our lives to still never get well?
The idea is to heal your gut, therefore allowing your brain to re-balance and work as it should on its own. Something that will occur once enough healing happens.
Now, I will be honest, doing it the right way is definitely the most challenging part! But if you can manage to begin making these essential lifestyle changes, you will be well on your way to healing your gut, brain and depression for good!
1: You must eliminate ALL toxic factors from your lifestyle. This includes: All processed, white bleached unrefined foods and sugars, caffeine, alcohol etc.. As well as all vices (smoking, drugs...) and all medications (anti-depressants, birth control, allergy meds, sleeping pills, pain meds…)
This allows your body to actually be able to finally rest from all continually incoming toxin-overload, and begin the process of detoxification of these accumulative impurities within.
2: You must eat a chemical-free, WHOLE FOODS DIET. Supporting your digestive tract by the foods you eat is crucial to repairing your gut lining. Eat organic as much as possible as it is the most abundantly nutrient-rich foods we can consume today. No processed or fast food in your diet, as they are completely void of nutrition and full of chemicals that severely contribute to a damaged gut, and depression.
Your diet should consist primarily of high amounts of leafy greens and sprouts, vegetables, fruits and healthy fats (avocado, olive oil, coconut oil, wild fish oil, wild salmon etc..). A smaller amount of legumes like beans and lentils, as well as nuts, seeds and whole grains like quinoa and wild rice.
Limit dairy, only consuming organic raw un-pasteurized products. Personally I love organic eggs and chicken and find these essential for hormone health and blood sugar regulation. Red meat is best if it's wild, grass-fed and organic only. (Mass commercial production of meat is very acidic and damaging to our health furthering hormonal disruption, if not from reputable sources).
It is crucially important to consume a lot of "fermented" or "cultured" foods and beverages: sauerkraut, kimchi, kombu seaweed, dulse, kombucha, kefir etc. These are imperative for re-populating our guts with good bacteria!
3: Relieve overall stress in your mind and body. Exercise is great for eliminating toxins and boosting endorphins, helping us feel happier. Relaxing and deeply connective ones like yoga, are awesome. Meditating can help greatly, especially for decreasing anxieties and allowing us to connect more to ourselves during these particularly depressive times.
Taking time to listen to soothing spa music and deep-breathing helps a lot. Taking lavender oil and Epsom salt baths, and getting regular massages and energy healing sessions does wonders. Many times there are also metaphysical reasons and energy blockages that cause systemic imbalance and conditions like depression.
Even forcing yourself to smile or laugh when it's the last thing you want to do, or touching your own body by hugging yourself or running your hands down your arms and legs, can all help too. The power of touch and of laughter is incredibly healing, and actually changes our cellular chemistry!
4: Get in the sun! I can't emphasize this enough. Sunshine, and the wonderful Vitamin D that our bodies synthesize from the sun's UV rays, feeds our souls and supports brain health! We require regular sunshine penetrating our skin to be healthy and happy. We are like all living things that absolutely thrive with the sun.
We have been very misinformed to think the sun is unhealthy and we must cover up and avoid full exposure. No matter your skin tone and melanin, every human needs minimum 20 minutes of complete body sunlight exposure everyday for health. Bare skin, NO chemical sunscreen! (I will be doing another blog post to discuss this controversial topic further).
Get in the sun as much as possible for little bouts at a time, but as often as you can. This is essential for healing depression!
5: Take raw natural organic supplements and herbs to help this process of healing along can be very helpful. The main one's that will help your body over the hump most rapidly are things like: Magnesium, fish oils, Vitamin B Complex, and herbs like St John's Wart, Ashwaganda, Rhodiola and Holy basil.
These can be very beneficial in helping to alleviate your symptoms as your body goes through the healing process and the reparation of your gut and brain takes place.
At the end of the day, when it comes to healing from any health condition we are experiencing the answer lies in nature. We must use it. All of its healing foods, plants, sun, fresh air, earth, water and sand. It is all of nature's beautiful things that can allow us to stop toxifying our bodies and actually give them what they need to ultimately survive and thrive.
Depression is like any other health issue that comes from a serious imbalance within. Once addressed, our bodies can go back to working as they should and our physical, emotional and mental health will be restored.
Please know our bodies are designed to heal. Our internal system is made to and there are many ways to heal. To you Damien, and to all of you that are suffering from this depleting condition, please keep that chin up knowing you are not destined to live a life this way. It can be healed. You can heal.