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Old 02-07-2015, 10:52 PM
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Member Since: Oct 2014
Location: Boston
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Default Re: How I understood and then escaped

Just to keep track of it, here is an update of what I personally think is the best plan if you are depressed. I'm not a medical professional, I'm only writing this up because this makes so much more sense to me than what usually happens.

1. Deal with any physical/nutritional issues first.

As pointed out by Mark Hyman, M.D., there are a large number of common medical or nutritional issues that can case mental problems including depression. These include Vitamin B or D deficiencies, hypothyroidism, heavy metal toxicity, pre-diabetes, infection, gluten allergy, omega 3 fat deficiency and others. If you have any of these common issues, the best thing to do is surely to address them first. For references, see

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOPRp_K6QQY

The UltraMind Solution: Fix Your Broken Brain by Healing Your Body First: M.D. Mark Hyman: 9780743570480: Amazon.com: Books

The latter book by Mark Hyman is a great resource for diet as well. I often also use Andrew Weilís web pages as a source of information.

2. Try all the safe healthy ways to overcome depression next.

Very often if people see an M.D. and have the symptoms of depression, they are immediately put on an antidepressant. However, I think that this is a terrible idea. Antidepressant drugs have dangerous short and long term side-effects, can lead to dependence and often donít work:

Why Antidepressants Don?t Work for Treating Depression - Dr. Mark Hyman

Negative Effects of Antidepressants | Mad in America

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KFbs8s3VI6M

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4R6MXO2j0V0

It is important to realize that because of oppositional tolerance, taking these drugs may cause negative changes in your brain, which may be irreversible. Itís also important to realize that the ďchemical imbalanceĒ theory of depression is wrong (see the references above). If you have depression, you are not fated by biology to take drugs in order to get better.

Because of all this, it seems so much better to first try all of the safe, easy and/or healthy ways to overcome depression first, before even considering a drug approach. Promising things to try include exercise (walking, running, swimming, yoga, weight training, for instance), improving your diet and taking supplements (see Mark Hymanís books for great advice and for inspiration about what this can do), meditation, improving your sleep, talk therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, light therapy and mind training. I especially recommend starting with SNAP CLUB as described at the top of this thread. It is easy and fun and usually works and sometimes works spectacularly well, and, when it works, it really helps you take further steps on your upward healthy path.

3. If 1. And 2. above fail and you are desperate, go to the next steps with a medical doctor.

I suspect that in almost all cases of depression, a serious attempt at some combination of 1 and 2 above will greatly help or completely solve the problem, but thatís really only a guess on my part. Meditation is a good example of the need to try seriously, I think. If you look in the depression success stories on this site, youíll see that some people have completely resolved their depression, just with meditation. They also report, however, that it takes a solid couple of weeks of doing it before they get the big benefit. There are cases that I believe (on this forum and elsewhere) where people report that antidepressant drugs work dramatically well for them, even in the long term. This sometimes happens only after trying many different drug combinations. If nothing at all works in 1 or 2 above, you may have to try this, after, of course assessing the risks with a Medical Doctor. I have heard similar testimonials from people for whom only Electroconvulsive Therapy worked. See, for example,

Sherwin Nuland: How electroshock therapy changed me | Talk Video | TED.com

and people for whom nothing worked except for a cyngulotomy. See, for example,

Andrew Solomon: Depression, the secret we share | Talk Video | TED.com.

Now GO GET EM!!

As Stephen Colbert used to say: IíLL SEE YOU IN HEALTH!!!

- vital
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