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Dealing with Depression

By Liz Barrington, Natural Body Healing


Depending upon the time of year, many of us often feel a little down or fed up – perhaps because of the dark days and long nights, the lengthy hours we all work, maybe we’ve had a bad day at the office, or it may have taken us several hours to get home.  We may even be unhappy about the state of our relationships with those close to us.  More often than not, these feelings are just temporary – and within a couple of days or so, we start to feel better, more positive and back on top of things again. 


However, depression is a very different condition to that of simply ‘feeling the blues’.  It can often be experienced as a short-term sense of ‘grieving’ as a result of a natural reaction to, for example, a death in the family, the loss of a job, the difficult birth of a child, a marriage or relationship breakup, or some other traumatic situation.


Depression in the UK, especially amongst young people, has been rising at an unsettling rate.  In fact one in six adults will suffer from depression or chronic anxiety at some point.  It is a very serious, debilitating condition, leading to 3,000 avoidable deaths every year.  Depressive disorders that develop can be long-term or prolonged forms of depression which manifest into bipolar disorders involving alternating episodes of depression and mania. 


Symptoms of depression can often include long-term feelings of sadness, despair and hopelessness; too much or too little sleep; lack of energy and fatigue, changes in appetite resulting in weight loss or weight gain; constant crying; irritability and anxiety; headaches and backaches; loss of sexual desire and interest in pleasurable activities; feelings of inadequacy and worthlessness; digestive disorders and constipation; perhaps even thoughts of death and suicide.


Manic depression affects around one in 100 people in the UK but it is a condition rarely spoken about openly.  During a manic episode, the sufferer often has symptoms of hyperactivity, rapid speech, frequently changing topics of conversation, an overactive mind and even sleeplessness.


In the West, it is widely accepted by medical professionals that psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety are often caused by chemical imbalances within the brain which may have genetic or psychological origins; it could also be caused by thyroid disorders, hypoglycaemia, underdeveloped social skills, or inward feelings of fear, guilt, stress and anger - the symptoms of which can often be manipulated and ‘treated’ by taking certain drugs. 


The UK has a drastic shortage of therapists to treat people with depression.  Indeed economists have warned that the UK needs 10,000 more therapists to treat the one in six adults suffering from depression or chronic anxiety and get people back to work.


Common antidepressant drugs that are prescribed for depression include Amitriptyline (Elavil, Tryptizol), Citalopram (Cipramil), Fluoxetine (Prozac), Paroxetine (Seroxat) and Venlafaxine (Efexor), for which there are often too many long-term side effects and issues with dependency and withdrawal.


In Chinese medicine, the mind, emotions and spirit are fully integrated with the physical body – they are energies that are fully interrelated and entwined.  The condition of the physical body therefore will affect our emotions, our mind and our spirit - and of course, vice versa. 


Holistic therapists also recognise the key relationships between mind, body and spirit and therefore acknowledge that any disease which manifests in the body does have mental, emotional and spiritual aspects that will also need healing.  They will investigate nutritional deficiencies, poor bowel elimination and parasitic infections, food allergies and intolerances, lack of exercise, dehydration, quality of sleep, close relationships, your own support network, social time spent on pleasurable activities, little exposure to the sun, time spent being outside in the open air etc.  They will often suggest dietary changes, the use of nutritional supplements and lifestyle changes.


The link between nutrition and behaviour has been recognised for centuries.  Deficiency, for example, of the water soluble B Complex vitamins often leads to various emotional problems.  Nutritional deficiency can be caused by consumption of nutrient-deficient processed foods or as a result of improper absorption (due to food allergies or parasites), poor bowel transit times or issues with metabolism. 


Hyperglycaemia and diabetes are certainly well-recognised sources of emotional disorders and depression.  For example, any sudden drop in the blood sugar level will lead to lethargy and depressive tendencies.


It is well researched that artificial food additives and food chemicals along with too much sugar in the diet can give rise to hyperactivity, especially for the young.  Heavy metal toxicity, often caused by amalgam fillings, or an over-consumption of swordfish, tuna or canned foods is another cause of emotional disorder; mercury, cadmium, and lead toxicity are well documented sources of mental problems. 


Endocrine-related disorders such as hormonal imbalances before and during the menstrual cycle can often affect the emotions.  Hypothyroidism may also be a cause of lethargy and depression.  All of the above conditions can be corrected through proper nutrition and adopting your own 'self-help' strategies.


For those who regularly suffer with depression, a key priority should be to detox your liver 3-4 times per year and daily cleanse your bowels by drinking plenty of water and eating lots of high-fibre in your diet.  In addition, you should aim to eat organically-grown wholesome foods rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lentils, beans, soya, oats, nuts, chicken and oily fish 2-3 times a week.  You also need to greatly reduce your consumption of convenience and processed foods, sugar, dairy, red meat, alcohol and coffee.


In addition, natural food supplements will certainly help those suffering with depression.  Nature’s Sunshine Products (NSP) is THE global leader in technology in both the production and testing of herbal and dietary supplements.  Their supplements are guaranteed to be the purest, the safest and the most potent that you'll find anywhere in the world.  The following are highly effective and are also naturally fast-acting as they are easily absorbed into the body:


Zambroza – This is an antioxidant-rich juice blend formulated with 10 highly nutritious organic fruit and herbal extracts known to reduce inflammation and protect the body’s tissues against oxidative stress (free radical damage) and associated diseases such as cancer and coronary heart disease.  In addition, it helps the body fight the effects of ageing, promotes energy, reduces stress levels, helps maintain healthy cell growth and enhances the immune system. 


Super Supplemental Vitamin and Minerals – This vitamin complex will augment any diet and is essential if balanced nutrients are in short supply during periods of physical stress, depression or convalescence, or indeed if you consume a diet consisting of mostly processed foods, alcohol, caffeine, fizzy drinks etc.


Vitamin B Complex – During times of stress, anxiety and depression, the nervous system uses extra B-complex vitamins to help relieve the body of tension.  Because it is water soluble, B Vitamins in foods are often destroyed during cooking, in water, through the consumption of caffeine and alcohol, and also smoking.  Therefore, if you suffer from bouts of depression, Vitamin B Complex is essential.


St. John’s Wort – Often referred to as the ‘Sunshine Herb’, this herb has long been popular for replenishing the nervous system, especially when the brain seems depleted or when the nervous system is out of balance.  It contains ‘hypericin’, a natural compound that has been proven to support the nervous system by minimizing the effects of minor depression.


Flax Seed Oil or Omega 3 EPA – A daily supply of Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) are important because they are used to form the membranes surrounding each of our trillions of cells.  EFAs are used by the brain, nerves, arteries, skin and what’s more, they balance your hormones and boost your immunity!  They are termed ‘Essential’ because the body cannot manufacture them and so has to rely on us to include them in our daily diets, often in the form of supplementation.


LOCLO – This supplement must be taken with plenty of water.  LOCLO makes it easy to get essential fibre into the diet which is required for regular bowel movements.  Irregular bowel movements (ie. non-daily) and constipation which is often due to dehydration and lack of dietary fibre and exercise, often results in poor bowel transit times.  Consequently, the body slowly reabsorbs the fluid content in the faeces, along with many soluble toxins.  This re-absorption of toxins poison every cell and organ of the body and puts a huge amount of pressure on the liver to work even harder to cleanse the blood and deactivate those toxins.  Poor bowel habits and slow transit times often lead to headaches, coated tongue, bad breath, tiredness, mental depression, mood swings and feelings of  mental ‘fuzziness’.


Finally, it’s important to make simple changes to both your lifestyle and diet.  For example, remember to also take regular physical activity to lose weight if necessary, and to release those 'feel-good' endorphins. 

Try to minimise your exposure to harmful electric fields that can contribute to ill health.  Evidence suggests your health can be compromised, so it’s important not to have prolonged close proximity exposure to electrical appliances, cordless phones, mobile phones, PCs, laptops, wireless appliances and electronic equipment, power lines, telecoms masts and electrical pylons.  Instead, why not go for a good long country walk and get outside in the fresh air and exercise at the same time?

Take up pleasurable, sociable activities to have fun and improve your self-esteem.  You should also try to avoid toxic chemicals in your household cleaning and garden products, avoid smoking, reduce your alcohol intake and avoid the use of unnecessary drugs whenever possible. 


Depression is dramatically on the increase in the UK.  Sufferers often feel lost and alone, unable to face what life throws at them.  Perhaps by being more sensitive, compassionate and caring as individuals, we can each help those in need of our support and so create a happier and healthier society.

The nutritional supplement product links stated in this article can only be purchased from this website in UK and in Europe; however all other health product links stated on this page are available worldwide from Natural Body Healing.  

The above information should not be treated as a substitute for the medical advice of your own doctor or any other health care professional.







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