5 Causes of depression
We live in a society where most of us will experience depression at some point in our lives. For many of us we get on top of the problem and we grow as a person. For many however depression & anxiety can become a chronic long standing problem. They have tried every treatment under the sun...Counselling, psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, Yoga meditation, medication etc. etc. all fail so where do you turn?.
The treatment model is built on an erroneous understanding that depression is caused by a lack of serotonin in the brain. With this understanding we have created a whole treatment system that relies on serotonin targeting drugs to treat this system. For a few it works but for the majority of people whom I have worked with it is not addressing the problem.
I have found the work of Dr. William Walsh in America whose book, Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain , has been instrumental in helping me understand what to look for in the chronic depressed individual. Manifestations of poor mental health include:
To summarise his work he has subdivided depression into 5 subgroups. This means that in a group of 5 drepessed patients you could have 5 different reasons as to why each is depressed. The 5 sub types of depression are.....
#1: Undermethylators (accounts for 38% or depression population)
Characteristics of this group include
Inner tension but calm exterior,
Tendency toward addictions &
If you find that you respond to SSRI medication then it is likely that you undermethylate. A nutrient approach to supporting an undermethylator would include SAMe or methionine which are amino acids which help increase serotonin production. Other critical nutrients include Vitamins B6 vitamin C, magnesium, calcium and inositol. Any undermethylator should avoid folic acid in any supplements.
The best way to determine if you over or undermentylate is to carry out a genetic mthfr test. Biolabs in London Is the lab I use to run a test that looks at the two key enzymes that determine how you methylate.
Type #2: overmethylators (20% of depressed population)
If you overmethylate then you would likely feel high anxiety, be non competitive, have low libido, be musically or artistically inclined, tendency for sleep issues and/or have food or chemical sesitivities. You would also not respond very well to SSRI's becuase you have enough serontonin but instead have a vitamin B12 and folate (vitamin B9) deficiency. Folates and vitamin B3 are excellent supplements for you if you overmethylate. Again you would run the above lab test to see how you methylate.
TYPE #3: Pyrrole disorder (15% of depressed poppulation)
In certain individuals there can arise an overprodution of a compound call 'pyrroles' which is a condition known as pyroluria. The problem is that elevated pyroles in the blood rob tyhe body of vitamin B6 and Zinc which causes a deficiency of these essential nutrients. The long term effect of these deficiencies is poor enzyme function which results in depression and/or anxiety. Therefore these patients respond really well to supplementation with Vitamin B6 and zinc. Other critical nutrients include essential fatty acids, borage oil and omega 6 fats. Antioxidants like Vitamin A, C, D and E work really well in the initial stages to help reduce some of the oxidative damage.
Testing for this is done through a very simple urine test to measure Krytopyrolles as shown below. The caption below shows a result from a test that I ran......
TYPE#4 Copper toxicity (about 17% of depressed population)
Women are ten times more likley to suffer from copper toxic related depression than men. Copper affects the brains production of ket neurotransmitters. It tends to result in elevated norepinephrine and low levels of dopamine. Characteristics of the type include heightened panic and anxiety, postpartum depresison tendency, tinnitus, skin that is very senitive and an estorgen hormone intolerance so will not do very well on the oral contraceptive pill. This can be tested for in the same test outlined below for heavy metals.
I typically recommend a metals detox alongside molybdeum, zinc (which competes for the same enzyme as copper), manganese and chromium. SSRIs are typically not very effective for this group.
TYPE#5 Heavy metal toxicity
These patients test positive for heavy metals such as aluminium, lead, mercury and many others. A carefully designed heavy metals detox is warranted to lower these metals. This include infra read suanas, chloerlla, alpha lipoic acid & certain amino acids. SSRI medication is not typically effective for those with depression driven by a heavy metal load. Below is a heavy metals test that I recenly received from the labs and shows the elevated levels of mercury and lead in a client. I see a lot of both of these metals in clinic
Paul Foley Nutritional Therapist Dip Nut CNM, mBANT, mCNH