What is Depression?

I’m not going to insult you by trying to answer this question. If you have depression, you already know it. I have had it and once it came on I recognised it within a few days. Something is wrong and it’s not the flu and you don’t know how to solve it and it feels like it’s in your head. Depression is a disease like a cold or the flu or cancer. You can't catch it from someone. You probably did it to yourself but it was not intentional. You are not a bad or defective person. You are just someone who did what you thought was the right thing and it didnt turn out like you hoped. You can fix it and its not too difficult.

It’s not in your Head

I know it feels like it, but it’s not in your head. It’s in your gut. Fix your gut and you will fix your depression. I have done it myself and helped others with these simple techniques. I know how that sounds, and appreciate that it’s going to need a big leap of faith from you to join me on this journey.

I will tell you how to fix your depression, possibly for good, hopefully quickly and without great cost. I won't tell you to meditate, give up drinking, eat a vegan diet, take-up jogging, or find God. (Although those things may be helpful, they will not fix your depression in my opinion).

As far as I am concerned I have found the treatment for almost all depression - not bipolar, not psychosis - but regular (unipolar) depression and anxiety. The treatment isn't too difficult and there’s plenty of science behind it. I have found it’s easy, fast and inexpensive.

We are all cavemen. We should act and eat like cavemen, not so much for our physical health but for our mental health. The Paleo diet people have a point. I don’t follow that diet but they do have a valid point. One thing you will need to do is give up McDonalds, but you wont have to give up burgers!

How often do you take an antibiotic? Is it once or twice a year? Is it once every five years? You might be surprised to know for most people it's every day. If you use Australia's, America's or UK’s top-selling toothpaste brands then you take antibiotics every day! Look for Triclosan or Trichlorcarban, both are antibiotics and one or the other are in all the top-selling toothpastes. Antibiotics kill off your good gut microbes. This could affect your mental health.

THE CAUSES OF DEPRESSION

This is a list of factors that cause Depression, Anxiety and poor gut health in approximate order of importance.

You may find this a bit overwhelming but there are simple ways to minimise this damage that I am about to describe.

  1. Antibiotics*
  2. The modern food supply
  3. The modern lifestyle/cleanliness/loss of Nature
  4. Chemically treated water
  5. Prescription drugs**
  6. Difficult life events/stress

* I am not advising anyone to stop taking antibiotics now or in the future.

** I am not advising anyone to stop taking any drug prescribed by a doctor.

I recognise that depression existed in society before antibiotics were invented, but I reckon it was rare. Today it is an epidemic.

YOUR GENES | NATURE VS NURTURE

You do not have weak genes. All of that was sorted out 5,000 or 50,000 years ago depending on what you believe. Those with weak genes died out centuries ago. If your genes weren’t quick enough to outrun the tiger, you were gone. The fact that you are here means your genes are good.

I am no geneticist, but I have an enquiring mind. There is nothing wrong with your genetics. If your mother had depression, that does not mean that you should also get depression.

So, your mother had diabetes and you have diabetes. The reason you have diabetes is because you ate too much sugar. Your mother probably ate too much sugar as well. If you hung out with her for 20 years and ate what she ate, you will probably get diabetes too. It has nothing to do with your genes.

If your mother drank petrol she would get sick or die. If you drank petrol you would get sick or die. So would the rest of the world. This is not a genetic weakness.

Sugar is a poison, so is Alcohol, so is Petrol, and so is Water (Google search Hyponatremia and see what I mean or https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/features/water-intoxication). I am not suggesting you give up sugar or alcohol, or water, but petrol sniffing is out.

If you have depression, you just had a dose of something, or many things, that exceeded your body’s abilities to deal with those things. It is reversible. I will tell you how.

MY long and expensive road to find answers

Some of the “natural” things I tried to help fix my depression before I was successful.

  • Vitamin B
  • Vitamin B12.
  • Tri methyl Glycine.
  • Betaine
  • St John's Wort
  • Thyroid medication (not natural but some success)
  • Magnesium
  • Water/hydration
  • Alkaline Water
  • Fish Oils
  • Vegetable Juicing
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin C
  • 5HTP
  • 5MTHF (more about this later)
  • Zinc
  • Ltyrosine
  • L. Phenylalanine
  • L.Trytophan
  • Yucca
  • Gingko Biloba
  • Herbs and exotic potions I can't even remember
  • Combinations of the above
  • Fish Oils
  • Evening Primrose oil

You can do an internet search of every one of these above fixes and they will tell you that there is a link to depression. I believe that's correct to some extent and that there are some incremental benefits associated.  

The Serotonin Theory of Depression (GABA for Anxiety) Dopamine and Noradrenaline

The psychiatric community generally believes that lack of serotonin causes depression. I agree with that belief. Serotonin is the “feel good” neurotransmitter. Think of a neurotransmitter as a chemical. The most useful drugs for depression are SSRIs or Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (for example, Zoloft, Prozac, Pristiq, Celexa, Lexapro). Basically, the SSRI helps to recycle the serotonin or slow down the destruction of the serotonin. Those drugs can be effective but they do have side effects and change your metabolism. Many of the SSRI drugs cause weight gain, but if it fixes your depression you probably don’t care, at least until the weight becomes a problem. They can also be quite difficult to come off.

These drugs also take a few weeks to “kick in.” I am not against psychiatric drugs. If you think you need them, get them by all means. You have to know though if you want to fix the actual cause, there is more work that you should do.

Other Neurotransmitters are: GABA is anti-anxiety or calming, Dopamine is motivation and reward and Noradrenaline is energy and action. You can take GABA supplements but they seem to have a very low efficacy. Interestingly GABA supplements are made in a fermentation process. The reason I mention this will become clear later. Dopamine supplements are available. They are mildly effective but I don’t know about their extended use or side effects.

Benzodiazepenes (eg Valium, Clonazepam) are very helpful for anxiety and can also help depression. They are considered highly addictive after only a month of use (more a dependency rather than addiction). If you need them they can be very helpful especially if you only use them occasionally.

Certainly, what the SSRI drugs don’t do is manufacture more serotonin or any other neurotransmitter. Benzos do not make more GABA. It is another well understood fact that about 80% to 90% of the serotonin is found in the gut and is produced in the gut. By gut I mean the large intestine/colon (i.e. which ends where the poo comes out).

When you have depression/anxiety you can often have trouble sleeping. This is most likely due to low MELATONIN. Melatonin is the sleep hormone/neurotransmitter. Melatonin is made from Serotonin. Not enough Serotonin= not enough Melatonin. So you are exhausted but still can’t sleep! Double whammy!

I have a theory that GABA and dopamine and noradrenaline are also manufactured in the gut. More about that later.

Famous People with Depression.

Just to drop a couple of names, James Packer, Australias’ 5th richest man with $5 billion has depression. Johnny Depp suffered with Depression. Bruce Springsteen talks about having it in his biography and apparently Angelina Jolie also suffered. I know, that's no help to you at the moment. 

There are millions of people all around the world - people just like you and I - who know what it's like to have depression. I know when I had it, I didnt care about who else had it or how famous they were. I just wanted to get rid of MY depression. That is my goal for you. Do what I did and I reckon you will get rid of your depression.

Take control of your mental health for the cost of a case of beer 

Serotonin is what makes your brain “happy”. 80% to 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut. Depression is your body shutting down non-essential services to survive, like being happy.

I don’t pull any punches. I’m going to tell you my theories on causes of depression and anxiety - and I have first-hand experience. I will give you my solutions and lead you step by step to your solutions.

I am not going to tell you to stop drinking, or preach about a vegan diet (but you can do both if you wish).

All for the cost of a case of beer.

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