Table of Contents
How Bad is Depression?
Depression is a severe disorder that can have enormous consequences on an individual’s quality of life, and Depression is one of the most prevalent form of mental illness. Symptoms include:
- Anhedonia (the inability to feel pleasure)
- Disrupted Sleep
- Lack of Motivation
- Cellular Atrophy
- Neuronal Loss
What Supplements are Good for Treating Depression?
I would say to first identify the cause of the depression, whether it be a physical or mental ailment, and to treat it from there. Otherwise, Steven Fowkes gives a very good answer on this topic:
Which nootropics are the best for mood enhancement/depression?
The most likely issues underlying depression are not likely to respond significantly to nootropics (pharmaceuticals of the “racetam” family), but might to the larger meaning of nootropics as “smart drugs.” Deprenyl (selegiline in the USA), thyroid hormone and testosterone come to mind. These all have an energy-promoting aspect of their pharmacology, and a motivational one via enhancement of dopamine. However, if you are young, deprenyl can be easily overstimulating and can aggravate OCD symptoms. And if you have inflammation, testosterone can convert into estrogens, making your situation worse. Taking thyroid hormone inappropriately can cause mania and sleeplessness, and if you go off it suddenly, your depression can get much worse during the thyroid rebound. So none of this should be done lightly.
Depression usually has either physiological roots in diet, nutrition, metabolism or toxicity, or psychological roots in friends, family, work or other relationships. Although pharmaceuticals are the go-to choices of the vast majority of physicians, they are often ineffective, frequently non-sustainable and almost always impose unwanted side effects. Short-lived may be your way to describe non-sustainable.
From your brief description, it sounds plausible that you might have a hypometabolic condition. Depression is a common symptom of low basal metabolic rate, which could be caused by a lack of thyroid-hormone influence, or the presence of an anti-thyroid factor in your body (heavy metal burden, infection, allergy, inflammation, leaky gut, microbiome dysbiosis, dental problem, environmental toxicity from xenoestrogens or mycotoxins, fluoride or bromide toxicity, or mitochondrial insufficiency). If so, in addition to your depression, you might be experiencing a low body temperature, sensitivity to cold weather, difficulty in warming up after getting chilled, a tendency towards constipation, difficulties with sleep, slow wound healing, edema (puffiness under the eyes, sock marks on your ankles when you take them off), snoring, and brain fog.
If I were in your position, I’d consider a series of self-care tests to verify the above, which might easily include medical testing, followed by self-care challenges to see what ameliorates the associated symptoms. So, for example, if your body temperature is 1-2 degrees low, does it raise slightly when you take carnitine, coconut oil, B-complex vitamins, CoQ10, PQQ, or restrict carbs and go into ketosis? Does it go up if you eliminate wheat, rye, oats and corn from your diet? Does it go up if you try phototherapy (red-rich light in the AM, blue-enhanced light mid-day, and red-only light in the evening before bed?
Maybe your biorhythm is out of phase? Do you wake up late, and poorly? Or are you getting up before dawn with a racing mind?
If you are psychologically over-stressed, maybe you might benefit from vagal exercises, EFT, therapeutic shaking, HRV biofeedback training, or meditating in a float tank? I mention this last because I would have expected you to mention nervousness or anxiety in your description.
If you just focus on the bad things in life, consider the flip side of the coin. Bad or good? You can count the things thatgo wrong, or you can count the things that go right. A practice of the latter helps the neuroendocrine system heal the body and upregulate metabolism.
As a middle-aged-and-older man, I have found deprenyl to be of amazing benefit to motivation and drive. But I’ve seen young men try it will disastrous results.
There is a HUGE amount of stuff that you could try. Without more details, this list is vague and scattered. But there is a solution. Your body, brain and mind are made to heal and be happy. Identifying the bottleneck for your wellbeing is half of the journey.
Good luck. Don’t stop asking your question until you no longer need to.
Why Do We Experience Depression?
A Lag/slowing of Brain Metabolism.
A decrease in BDNF is observed in depressed individuals. Specifically, the BDNF present in the hippocampal region of the brain experiences a decrease of BDNF during episodes of depression. BDNF is important, because it encourages neurons to grow, develop, and proliferate. The BDNF in the hippocampus is the signaling protein responsible for neurogenesis required for learning and memory.
How is Depression Treated?
In general, anything that promotes neurogenesis may have positive affects on treating depression. For example, anti-depressant medication and exercise both treat depression through neurogenesis. Essentially both exercise and anti-depressants work by helping the person “learn” how to overcome their depression.
Can Vitamin D Deficiency Cause Depression?
Certainly. But it is not necessary; there are plenty of other causes of depression.
Vitamin D serves a hormone role, one manifestation of which is an influence on cellular energy metabolism—specifically aerobic energy. The brain is a high-energy tissue, so when brain metabolism lags, depression can result. Vitamin D deficiency is one cause.
Other Causes of Depression
Insufficient thyroid hormone, progesterone or testosterone is another.
Toxic influences that sabotage energy are another, like heavy metal poisoning, estrogen dominance, fluoride toxicity, and mitochondrial antimetabolites.
Metabolic glitches like insulin resistance.
Chronic inflammation is one way to get estrogen dominant.
Lack of blood perfusion of the brain (coagulopathy), and on and on.