Half of the American population will experience at least one episode of depression during their lives while more than 11% currently suffer from chronic depression. Anyone can be affected by depression, but it frequently affects patients with conditions such as HIV/AIDS, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and Parkinson’s disease. For decades, research has shown that brain chemistry, trauma, negative thinking, and stress play a role in the development of depression. However, more recent evidence is demonstrating that metabolic factors such as inflammation, insulin resistance, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial dysfunction also cause or exacerbate the condition. Ironically, all of these factors are primarily affected by what goes on or in the body. This correlation is often overlooked by mainstream medicine but not by Divine Design Natural Health.
Symptoms & Diagnosis
Depression almost always presents with emotional or psychological symptoms ranging from minor unhappiness to overwhelming despair. However, it is often accompanied by other symptoms such as pain, changes in energy levels, significant weight loss or weight gain, and cognitive difficulties.
Symptoms of depression are usually unbearable, often times making it impossible to sleep, study, work, eat, or find enjoyment in anything. Other types of depression include postpartum depression where a woman becomes depressed following childbirth and bipolar disorder which is characterized by episodes of extreme highs (mania) and lows (depression) in mood. Although depression seems clearly defined, it is unusual because it cannot be diagnosed by a blood panel or lab test and is therefore often ignored by traditional approaches.
- Constant or transient feelings of sadness, anxiety, and emptiness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once enjoyed
- Feelings of restlessness, hopelessness, or irritability
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt for no reason (suicidal thoughts may occur)
- Disturbed rest patterns (too little or too much sleep)
- Low energy levels
- Significant weight loss or weight gain due to a change in eating habits
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions
For decades, the frontline medical treatment for depression has been psychoactive prescription drugs sometimes in addition to cognitive behavior therapy. The use of these brain chemistry-altering drugs comes with a list of potential side effects, some as harmful as suicide. Also, many patients who try to discontinue these drugs experience a condition now called “antidepressant discontinuation syndrome.” This is likely the result of the brain becoming adjusted to the medication and unable to function properly when it is deprived of it.
Treating depression with medications is based on a hypothesis that implies dysregulation in neurotransmitter signaling. You have often heard this mistakenly described as a chemical imbalance, yet no chemical imbalance has ever actually been documented. Yes, you read that correctly. Treating depression with antidepressant drugs is based on a HYPOTHESIS, and there is no test or imaging procedure that has ever actually detected a chemical imbalance. The reasoning then follows that a “chemical imbalance” must be treated by using additional chemicals completely foreign to the human body. Take a moment to evaluate if society’s overall mental health has been improving or not in recent years, and you will see the evidence that this approach has failed miserably.
Furthermore, this rationale also fails to acknowledge many well-documented causes for depression. This may partially explain why the success rate of pharmacologic intervention for depression is dismal. Patients who don’t respond to treatment with antidepressants receive the additional diagnosis of “treatment resistant depression” and become candidates for barbaric procedures like electroshock therapy.
To summarize, the disproven chemical imbalance hypothesis is still widely accepted as fact while drugs continue to be the primary treatment of depression despite horrific side effects, low success rates, and epic failures in addressing the actual causes of depression.
Your brain perceives everything in this world. The difference between someone with depression and someone without it is that they perceive the world differently. When you receive a chiropractic adjustment or perform a functional neurology exercise, you are actually sending a specific and direct stimulus to your brain. This stimulus actually has the capability of naturally altering the way your brain sees the world by affecting neurotransmitters and the firing of neurons. As brain and nervous system specialists who utilize only non-surgical and drug-free approaches, chiropractors alone recognize and appreciate the potential that neurological inputs possess to modify conditions such as depression.
We also recognize the complex nature of depression and the need for a comprehensive natural health management strategy. Therefore, we do not address depression as a stand-alone diagnosis. In fact, depression is often related to stress, brain imbalances, nutritional issues, and surprisingly often, previous traumatic brain injuries. Depression is widely known to respond magnificently to modified diets and nutritional supplementation. Why? All of the neurotransmitters in your brain are also made in your digestive system. There is an undeniable link between how you feel and what you eat.
Like many other conditions, depression often subsides as a result of chiropractic adjustments, cold laser therapy, detoxification, and the rebuilding of hormonal and neurotransmitter pathways through whole food nutrition. The answer to the problem of depression is profoundly simple and wonderfully effective.