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Credit: Sue Visser

Feeling low is a warning signal that you are in need of a tune up.

Depression is more of a symptom than a free standing ailment.

Depression is more of a symptom than a free-standing ailment. It means that something is wrong in your mind or your body. Feeling low is a warning signal that you are in need of a tune up. Just like a car one needs fuel, maintenance and a good driver with a sense of direction. A medication that smothers these feelings merely shuts down the indicator panel so you are not bothered by flashing red lights, temperature warnings, oil leaks and so on. Are antidepressant drugs going to solve the problems that set off those alarm signals?

It is from the subconscious mind that the body manifests the physical output mechanically. It is unable to discern between desirable or not desirable. It merely sets up the condition as health or disease. Faulty and negative programming establishes hang ups and feelings including ones known as symptoms of depression.

Here is the list of complaints that doctors use to diagnose depression. Here are some of the underlying causes listed in brackets lest we all think we need antidepressants!

  • Poor appetite with weight loss or increased appetite with weight gain. (How about food allergies or an intolerance, insulin resistance or thyroid disorders?)
  • Lack of sleep or too much sleep. Loss of energy and feelings of fatigue, diminished ability to think or concentrate. (How about carrying a heavy load of parasites and toxins or being in need of essential vitamins, Omega 3 oil, amino acids and some real sunshine?)
  • Physical hyperactivity or inactivity, loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities or decrease in sexual drive. (How about side effects of drugs, hormonal imbalances, adrenal burnout, stimulants, no exercise or a diet of junk food?}
  • Feelings of worthlessness, self-reproach or inappropriate guilt, recurrent thoughts of death or suicide. (Many women know what premenstrual stress can do! Oestrogen dominance can prolong the effects, so can continuous pain or a debilitating disease.)

As soon as your doctor is sure that you comply with his check list of symptoms you get your prescription for antidepressant drugs. You read about all the nasty side effects they have but are so keen to kick off the depression you willingly put up with the ones that begin to affect you. Some of medications merely suppress symptoms. It is funny that a loss of sexual drive is a prescribing symptom because that is a common side effect of some antidepressant drugs.

Placebo effect: the shocking truth about antidepressants versus sugar pills

A study comparing the efficacy of 6 popular antidepressant drugs against placebo (blank) tablets showed that there was less than 1% difference in the results. This means that patients who were taking the active medication were experiencing both the benefits as well as the side effects almost in parallel to those on the placebo! Some patients who took part in these trials were angry. How could the sugar pills have cured them of depression? What about some of the side effects they were experiencing. Could these have been auto-suggestions as a result of reading the package insert?

The fact is that all these patients believed the pills could cure them of depression. The products (including the blank placebos) had this curiously "curative" effect. This shows how the subconscious picks up our signals and carries them out as instructions. We can also create depression and up it comes!

Are you a depression junkie?

In some cases people can drift into a comfortably depressed zone to screen off their selfish or unproductive way of life. They become too“conveniently” depressed to act responsibly or take corrective action. Depression junkies harp on and indulge and list the things that are wrong with them and the world. They drag you in and suck you dry. They do not respond to treatment. We all know people like that! Depression is not a dead ended condition. For some people an "ailment" like depression has sly advantages and serves as a screen to hide behind, to "not is" the real problem.

So where is the real depression?

If it is a feeling coming from elsewhere deep inside then there are good alternatives to drugs that only short-circuit the problem. Safe and natural techniques like Kinesiology, EFT or Body Talk can track down and defuse the emotional or stress related causes within in the subconscious. Even hypnotism helps in some cases. But what if nothing really helps anymore?

We live in a toxic, stressed out world. Pills and tip-top supplements do not change that. The more we get addicted to junk food, stimulants and a line up of medications the more we need antidepressants. We first have to turn around and clean out all the toxins, drugs, stimulants and bad habits. People who undergo dietary changes and detoxification protocols are often surprised at how good they feel. The depression just melts away after trying all other treatments. This is telling us that depression has a lot to do with toxicity!

How nutritional deficiencies affect your mood

  • Depressed people crave food that makes them more depressed. Comfort foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. This can lead to an imbalance in the gut flora and so shut off the tryptophan produced there. Thus, they perpetuate a deficiency of serotonin, the feel good nutrient.
  • A zinc deficiency affects post natal depression due to increased levels of copper during gestation and birth. B vitamins are also in short supply and sleep becomes very disturbed.
  • Birth control pills cause vitamin B 6 deficiencies with resultant moodiness, bloating and depression.
  • Many popular medications that control cholesterol or blood pressure lead to nutritional deficiencies that result in depression or bad dreams, anxiety and sleeplessness.
  • Low blood sugar can cause the brain to slow down and wind you into a dull, confused state. One craves more sugar and carbohydrates which adversely affect insulin response. Take chromium supplements and high doses of calcium –D pantothenate (Vitamin B 5).
  • Most cases of high blood pressure are due to insulin resistance. Dietary adjustments can solve these problems. Cut down on the starches and increase the protein. Cut out the sugar. Eat more green and yellow vegetables. We all know we should.


The ravages of stress cause a constant loop of cortisol secretion whereby one is more in a state of panic, defence or aversion. Even perceived threats stop one from having a regular cycle of rest and recovery from stress. Over time this weakens the adrenals and causes a dull, depressed apathetic state and a weakened immune system. Being stressed for long periods at a time increases systemic acidity and causes calcium and magnesium deficiencies.

Toxic effects

Candida overgrowth results in a myriad of toxins that affect brain and behaviour. Laboratory tests have identified over 79 toxins that affect depression, anxiety, mood swings and anxiety attacks. Most people on a Candida elimination protocol find it reduces anxiety and depression and leaves one feeling energised. Establishing a healthy balance of beneficial gut flora is essential to control the overgrowth of Candida.

The body reacts to an allergen such as wheat or things you are sensitive to, like pollen or dust by releasing histamine. It causes localised redness, swelling and irritates the brain. A hidden food intolerance or allergy may also be a leading cause of depression as well as anxiety. These can have a constantly agitating effect on the brain, according to clinical observations . Taking an antihistamine drug dulls the brain and causes drowsiness as a result. A good alternative is a glass of water with 500 mg vitamin C. Better still is to take a look at the causes of your allergies. A good nutritional therapist can help you find them and  make changes to your diet.

Heavy metals and especially mercury cause much damage to nerve and brain cells. Consider chelation therapy or use a popular heavy metal detoxification protocol using green coriander leaves, green algae or Spirulina tablets and garlic. Take calcium and magnesium to help expel the toxins and make the body more alkaline.

Electro pollution from a normal power supply can poison your personal bio-electrical field. This is disturbing to brainwaves so do not sleep near live electrical appliances. Some people wear protective devices incorporating ELF or extremely low frequencies cause even more damage as do cell phones. Some people are unaware of just how bad the brain feels after long exposure to them. An electrically agitated brain is going to make depression or anxiety even worse.

Natural supplements that beat the blues

 The amino acid hydroxytryptophan is the precursor for serotonin, the hormone that makes us feel "normal" and ensures a supply of melatonin and dopamine as well. We need these neurotransmitters to control pain, to sleep, to have confidence and to feel relaxed and happy. A serotonin deficiency causes sugar, junk food and carbohydrate cravings. This leads to helpless obesity in some cases and of course depression. Popular supplements contain a natural extract of the Griffonia plant that is rich in the precursor to tryptophan. It is often combined with S-adenosyl L-methionine (SAM-e) to improve serotonin and dopamine.

L-tyrosine deficiencies cause feelings of sadness, irritability, nervousness and frustration. Tyrosine is responsible for healthy neurotransmitters and thyroid function. Stress, taking prescription drugs and bingeing on sugar, alcohol and coffee deplete tyrosine. L-tyrosine supplementation helps with feeling lousy and agitated, stressed and craving all the wrong foods and stimulants.

Depressed people have a definite shortage of omega 3 essential fatty acids. Without it the brain cannot function correctly. The body also suffers from an increase in inflammation that leads to pain, weakened immunity, fatigue and digestive problems. People on blood thinning medications need to discuss supplementation with their practitioner.

The supplement known as lithium orotate is a bio available and safer alternative to traditional lithium treatment. People taking it for depression, anxiety, manic conditions or nervous disorders improve after a few weeks. South Africans are generally lithium deficient. It protects brain cells and helps for other ailments including cancer, gout, fibromyalgia and Alzheimer's disease.

St John's Wort is a herb that is rich in hypericin. This chemical works as a serotonin uptake inhibitor, allowing serotonin an extended engagement with nerve cell receptors. It works well for mild cases of depression but does not help one to increase depleted serotonin levels. Side effects include light sensitivity and blood thinning.

A healthy mind in a healthy body

Why stay in a rut? All it takes is a helping hand to help you back into a happy space. It is a good idea to consult a sympathetic practitioners with a good working knowledge of supplements that are popular for treating depression. At a later stage you can see how diet and a toxic load or environment is affecting you. It is exciting to experience the changes, one by one this can make to help you get out of the depression rut.


Sugar cravings and especially chocolate cravings

Craving chocolate can upset your blood sugar
Credit: Sue Visser

Happy face listening to music

Listening to good music and smiling lifts depression
Credit: Sue Visser