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Depression – Natural approaches

Depression it’s something that effects us all in a variety of ways.  I recently attended a continuing education seminar with a focus on mental health, and I feel re-empowered about the role natural medicine plays in treatment of depression.

image source – www.healthline.com

For many years the most prominent  cause of depression was attributed to imbalance in the neurotransmitters – serotonin, norepinephrine, dopamine, glutamate and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA).  Newer theories are starting to look at depression beyond the brain, and examining the whole individual, one of the tenets of Naturopathic Medicine. New theories of depression take into account factors of stress and it’s effect on the body, individual nutrient deficiencies (vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, and fiber), sleep deprivation, and gut permeability (leaky gut).

Have you started taking vitamin D yet?

Except during the summer months, the skin makes little if any vitamin D from the sun at latitudes above 37 degrees north (in the United States, the shaded region in the map) or below 37 degrees south of the equator. People who live in these areas are at relatively greater risk for vitamin D deficiency.
Image Source – http://www.health.harvard.edu/newsweek/time-for-more-vitamin-d.htm


  1. I’ve looked into depression and Omega 3 deficiency, and it seems really interesting. The Omega 3 DHA seems to help with swelling in the brain which can cause neurotransmitters to work harder to “bridge the gap” in communicating with each other. This harder work (caused by the longer gap with the swelling) is thought to be a contributor to depression. Neat!

    DHA is only found in marine sources of Omega 3, so I knew my vegetarian diet wasn’t providing it. A-ha! I started taking a supplement (still not keen on eating fish…) and have found that my concentration has improved noticeably after just a couple weeks.

    I suppose this is a reason that fish is referred to as a “brain food”.

  2. That’s great to hear!