Prozac and statins. Two great money spinners for the pharmaceutical industry. And both massively controversial. People slug it out on both sides of the argument/research. Both are quick fixes for problems, hopefully meaning we don’t have to address lifestyle stuff like getting enough sleep, or change our diet. But both problems have unbelievably complex causes and having a good prod about finding out what we have to do to be less depressed or lower a cholesterol level that has risen will make us very much healthier – and happier.
When I first went on the Poliquin Biosignature course, I came back convinced I could cure everything from having a fat arse to diabetes. Courses do tend to be like that. I returned full of enthusiasm and encouraged all my clients to start taking basic supplementation like a high quality multi vit and fish oil. A few clients left me immediately. Some Brits do not believe in supplementation, even if its made by Jesus. For the majority that stayed, life changed. Until then, they would regularly come in and burst into tears. Not because of me! I’m not that horrible. It was because the children had been difficult/they’d had a row with the partner and so on. Nothing major. And so I had a box of tissues to hand. After about three months of pill taking, it suddenly occurred to me that I had to dust my tissue box – no one had cried on me for ages! All of them were less depressed. Which was utterly fascinating.
Deep depression is appalling. Any illness that has built up and got out of control ends up with pharmaceutical interventions, hospital stays and rehab. Much better to not allow things to get there. To assume that all depression can be cured by increasing the amount of serotonin floating about the brain is wildly simplistic. Sometimes taking prozac type drugs will cause great relief, but it won’t for everybody. There are a good 200 neurotransmitters in the brain and to just pick on Serotonin as a cure all is like picking a horse to win the Grand National because it has the longest legs. Yes, it might win. And it might not. So here is a nine things that help cheer us up.
What we eat has a powerful effect over mood. What we are told is healthy eating: low fat, vegetarianism, is a recipe for depression as well as fatness. Yup, a shortbread with a cup of coffee may be nice in the moment, but a couple of hours later, blood sugar has crashed, we feel jittery, unable to concentrate and bad tempered. Another sugar fix temporarily solves the problem. We feel as if we need sugar. The food we eat should be of the highest quality we can afford, including plenty of good proteins at each meal, especially at breakfast. Eating regularly is important for most of us. Leaving the easy path of convenience food and sandwiches requires energy.
Ridiculously unfashionable. But a cornerstone of feeling good is getting enough good sleep. We need 6 – 9 unbroken hours a night, depending upon the individual. Staying up late watching a film will not help feeling on top of the world tomorrow. Going to bed on time, but not sleeping well will also leave us feeling like a winded nag the next day.
There is loads and loads of sun in Australia and they are wise to take care in it. There are loads and loads of clouds in the UK and we would be wise to get some sun. Covering ourselves and our children with sunscreen the moment we poke our noses out of doors can only lead to vitamin D deficiency. And resultant ill health and depression. So build up exposure to the sun (a sentence written in hope rather than expectation of seeing the golden globe much). Do not wear sunglasses in the sun or we reduce our production of melanin and increase our likelihood of burning.
Good quality basic supplementation.
It is expensive. It is very hard to find in the shops. But it works. For instance, insomnia is helped by taking a good magnesium. The Poliquin Multi Intense works within days of starting. For me it is the starting point with all new clients. They come to me for weight loss/to go faster/feel better. All these things require change in what they currently are doing and all change takes energy. This extraordinary multi helps them get onto their starting blocks. They feel less depressed and have more energy. Omega 3 oils increase serotonin in the brain and help the body in very many ways. As we get healthier, we feel happier. There is a correlation between the two events.
Don’t ignore dopamine or GABA.
Hormonal imbalances certainly cause depression. PMT, the menopause and the andropause can all give times of depression. An enormous subject.
Poor posture means we can’t breath properly, so every breath is short and high in the chest, making the brain think the body is under stress. Poor posture leads to the head poking forwards, loading the muscles that lift the shoulders which are also the muscles that go up when we are tense, so the brain thinks we are under stress. Bad accidents in the past: whiplash, bone breaks and so on leave their mark in the body and we have constant stress until these issues are resolved. And this adds its quart to depression.
Time and again it has been proved that exercise has an excellent effect on getting happier. This is top hole in theory, but in practice if it hurts to exercise or there is no energy to even pick up a pair of socks, then knowing that exercise will help – but we aren’t – will add to the whole hair shirt and therefore make us more depressed. Why we aren’t exercising is tied up to the physical and to good supplementation. Lower pain, increase energy, then start moving.
Of course this can help. It can also make it worse if the therapist constantly digs up old traumas. This is like looking at the hole we are trying to avoid when cycling down our wrecked roads. A therapy session should make us feel better, not worse. Dwelling on the causes of depression for weeks on end can only make them stronger. Good therapy can be an important ramp in bumping us out of our rut.
The above list cannot be exhaustive, but it gives ideas as to how to go about cheering ourselves up. I think depression should be addressed whilst it is still only The Blues. And yes, it will involve changing what we are currently doing. As they say, lunacy defined: keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.