Depression SUCKS…yes it does. I was watching a PBS special on remembering the life of Robin Williams. He was one of my favorite comedians that I grew up watching from Alladin to Mrs Doubtfire and Dead Poet’s Society. Then learning about his struggles with substance abuse and depression really struck a chord with me. I’ve known, helped and even battled depression myself and I can speak from personal experience: it’s not “all in your head.”
During college a few things led me down the path of depression, the main one being the passing of my grandmother. It was a very sad and challenging occasion, but the depression that followed was somehow a different feeling rather than just being sad. The crazy thing was that I could hide it really well, but when in the quiet moments the depression hit really hard. I mean it was gloom and doom thinking during those times. The cup wasn’t even half empty or half full…it wasn’t even there. What was really interesting was that I couldn’t even pinpoint that I was “depressed.” I thought I was just “feeling down.” I found two ways to deal with the ‘weird feelings’ – throw myself into studying and alcohol. I studied immensely and I drank immensely. The crazy thing…nobody knew. On the outside I looked like your normal person who was achieving a lot. I got great grades and doing well in music. But on the inside, I just wanted to crumble. I thought I was going insane.
Fortunately this led me to ask one question: why do I feel like this?
Then a few years later through my studies in chiropractic school the answers came flooding in. Depression is not “all in your head.” There’s a huge component that is linked to your digestive tract. That right there blew my mind! During college I began to have digestive issues. I wondered to myself “hmm…could that be a causative factor?” Then I learned that there is an Emotional link to it as well (duh) but this was an abnormal physiological response from a highly charged emotional event. Then learning about different “emotional” clearing techniques I found that depression was actually “anger turned inward towards oneself.” WOW!
The last piece that sealed the deal for me was learning how the central nervous system played an integral role in perpetuating depression and how spinal mis-alignments (known as subluxations) can interfere with the proper nerve signaling. I had been in many sporting injuries, which could have caused MANY subluxations in my spine that were never addressed. So I began to put it all together:
- Emotions – highly charged emotional event (YES) leaving a lasting abnormal physiological response
- Biochemistry – altered gut function (YES) irritable bowel syndrome and decreased sun exposure leading to vitamin D deficiency.
- Structure – spinal mis-alignments (YES) causing altered neurological function
Initially I changed my diet completely and went on a detoxification program. Liver and gallbladder were significantly messed up (which coincidentally have the related emotions of Anger & Depression). Then I got adjusted specifically and cleared out some emotions. Bam! Changed person!!!
I write all this stuff to let everyone know that there is a way out of depression. Its just about getting your body back into balance. Medications, while it may be needed to help curb serious symptoms, should not be the only approach. Psychotherapy may help a bit, but you must get to the root cause of it all. You don’t have to live like this.
The road out of depression
The feelings of being depressed sucks, I can say that from personal experience. Here’s what I recommend to my patients as a guide to get them out of the “funk”
- Fix your gut! Numerous studies have shown that 35% of patients with depression had leaky gut. An article published in Scientific American stated that there are specific microbes which affect your thinking! I highly recommend using something that has glutamine, N-acetylcysteine and probiotics to start balancing your gut. Using undenatured whey protein is a great source for those.
- Get your spine adjusted. Many chiropractors have stories and testimonials of patients recovering from depression through spinal manipulation. Part of that is due to endorphin release and also decreasing overall pain levels.
- Balance your Emotions! Use EFT to help balance emotions or seek out an NET (neuro emotional technique) practitioner.
- Stress reduction! Manage your stress levels through meditation and light exercise. I like to use the Holosync program. Holosync is an audio program that you can listen to and it will help put your brain into a meditative state. It’s amazing! I use it personally everyday.
So there you go…the basics to help get you out of slums of depression! Stay tuned for more articles on this topic in the near future.
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