Depression is a medical condition that has both physical (biochemical) and emotional causes and consequences. This condition is not only characterized by feelings of low mood, loss of interest, worthlessness and guilt, but it can also include body aches, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping, weight fluctuations, or low libido. Depression can occur in many different severities ranging from mild sadness/loss of interest, to suicidal thoughts/actions but depression always has an underlying biochemical aspect.
It is now understood that chronic inflammation is commonly found in depressed individuals. Chronic inflammation affects mood by altering brain chemicals and hormones. Root causes of inflammation (infections, allergies, or hypersensitivities) should be investigated as part of your healthcare practitioner's standard depression evaluation.
A New Scientific Approach to Depression
It is very common for people with depression to take antidepressant therapies recommended by their doctor. Commonly prescribed medications for depression work by altering brain signaling via neurotransmitter modulation. Assessment of neurotransmitters involved in depression can be helpful in selecting the best class of medication, tracking the medication's effects, and determining the success of the medication.
Assessment of neurotransmitter levels can provide valuable information about the status of the nervous system and its interaction with other systems in the body. The immune system can be evaluated in a number of ways to identify the presence and cause of inflammation or other root causes of depression. Once the biochemical abnormalities contributing to the depression are identified, a personalized treatment approach can be undertaken.
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Changes in sleep patterns
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies
- Changes in appetite
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, or digestive problems
- Persistent sad, anxious, or "empty" feelings
- Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts