Like most of America, I am heartbroken over the sudden and shocking death of Robin Williams.
It has shaken me to the core. Yes I was a huge fan of this lovable funnyman who so generously gave of his time and talent to so many great causes.
Although my husband worked with Robin Williams, and has only wonderful things to say about him, I never had the privilege of meeting him.
I do not know the details of his medical history or treatment, but one can assume that he had the best care money could buy, but obviously that was not enough.
I just can’t stop thinking about what could have been done to prevent this tragic incident.
I want all my readers to know that there is hope for even the most severe cases.
After 25 years of life threatening depression and mental illness that psychiatry and every kind of therapy and drug you have ever heard of could not cure, Margot Kidder took matters in her own hands and found a cure that has been around for 40 or more years. More about that in a moment.
Depression is on the rise. In fact, it has become an epidemic that not only accelerates aging and can even be a life threatening issue.
If you are a regular Ageless Beauty reader, you know that I have discovered through personal life experience that we each must take 100% responsibility for our own health which is crucial for ageless beauty.
We must do our own research, educating ourselves while using common sense, which is not always so common, when taking care of our most prized possession: our bodies. After all, if you don’t have your physical and mental health, nothing else matters.
There are so many questions being asked.
- What are the causes of depression?
- What are the warning signs?
- Why are so many Americans suffering from depression?
- Do prescription anti-depressants work?
- Can severe depression be prevented or cured?
What causes depression?
Lack of sunshine – everyone’s heard of the winter blues. Good old fashioned sunshine is the best way to get optimal levels of vitamin D3. According to Dr. Mercola, there are 33,800 medical research papers on vitamin D, showing that vitamin D has far-reaching benefits to your physical and mental health. I am a big believer in getting your vitamin D levels checked.
Lack of Sleep – Do you get up in the morning after you are done sleeping? Or are you like most Americans living on less than 7-8 hours of sleep? Over time, a lack of sleep can disturb your biological clock making depression worse.
I have never forgotten the advice my OB GYN told me when my first child was born. “The Chinese torture their prisoners through lack of sleep and sunshine, which literally makes them go crazy.” Of course she was trying to stress the importance of sleep and sunshine for the mental well being of a new mother.
Hormone imbalance – Women who are anywhere near the age of menopause may experience mood swings, anxiety, hot flashes, all which can contribute to depression. Do not let yourself suffer, it can lead to serious mental and physical health issues. Find a natureopath doctor who specializes in bio identical hormones. If you live in the Los Angeles area, I highly recommend Dr. Angela Agrios.
Adrenal Fatigue – The Adrenal Glands are hormone producing glands that are part of the endocrine system and sit on top of each kidney. Their main function is to release hormones, such as cortisol and many others that help the body deal with stress. I know from personal experience that when your adrenals are fatigued they do not release enough cortisol to deal with stress which can cause extreme fatigue, anxiety and depression. For more info read Are You Aging Too Fast Because of Adrenal Fatigue?
Lack of Nutrition – Your brain needs an abundance of nutrients and healthy fats to develop and function properly. Even if you eat tons of fruits and vegetables you may not be getting all the nutrition you need due to poor farming practices. I believe you have to include super foods as well as supplements for optimal brain health. A couple of things I recommend are Barley Power, an inexpensive convenient super food, liquid fish oil to ensure you get enough Omega 3 Essential Fatty Acids, a good Probiotic and E3 Live Brain On. Read Cathey’s Immune Boosting Tips . Most people don’t realize the connection between the brain and the gut and the importance of probiotics when it comes to mental health. Did you know that when a fetus is first formed, the brain and gut are one? According to Dr. Mercola, “your gut is literally your second brain. It’s not a widely understood or emphasized fact, but studies have repeatedly shown that a healthy gut reinforces a positive outlook and behavior, while depression and a variety of behavioral problems have been linked to an imbalance or lack of gut bacteria.” To read the entire article click here.
Food allergies – according to Dr. Mark Hyman “Food allergies cause inflammation, and studies now show inflammation in the brains of depressed people.” The Virgin Diet by JJ Virgin is a quick, cost effective way to discover your food allergies or food intolerances.
Toxic Overload – as we age, more and more toxins accumulate in the body. Toxins from the air we breathe, water we drink and the food we eat. On top of that there are toxins from prescription drugs, synthetic hormones, plastics, and mercury from silver dental fillings. These toxins effect the way your brain operates which in turn effects your emotions.
Open Heart Surgery – no one seems to talk much about this, but most people who go through this procedure suffer from severe depression after the procedure. No one really knows exactly why. My intuition tells me it must have something to do with disturbing the heart chakra which is the center of our emotions.
Alcohol and Drug Addiction – Because alcohol is a central nervous system depressant, the use of this drug tends to trigger depression symptoms like lethargy, sadness and hopelessness. On the other hand many depressed individuals reach for drugs or alcohol as a way to lift their spirits or to numb painful thoughts. As a result, depression and substance abuse feed into each other, and one condition will often make the other worse.
What are the warning signs of depression?
- Low energy levels
- Sleeping too much
- Change in Appetite and Weight
- Colors appear dull
- Physical Pain
- Burnout at Work
- Memory Problems
- Social Withdrawal
- Unexplained Sadness
Why are so many American’s suffering from depression?
Here is what Therese Borchard from Everyday Health says and I have to agree.
- Frosted Flakes, the Big Mac, and caramel frappuccinos—the cost of high fructose corn syrup, genetically engineered wheat gluten, and a pantry full of processed foods in our diet;
- The lack of human connectedness (in the flesh) and interdependence courtesy of the iPad and some of our proudest technological advances;
- The breakdown of family and social structures and community support as evidenced on the Dr. Phil Show;
- Four-eyed frogs, ponds with flesh-eating bacteria, backyard nuclear plants, and a world of environmental toxins;
- And my favorite six-letter word … STRESS … which covers everything from having too much to do in too little time to not knowing how to do nothing if there were time for that.
I would also add to this list prescription and over the counter drugs and mercury in vaccinations and silver fillings. Over time all of these toxins accumulate in the body and begin to clog or short circuit the human operating system.
Do prescription anti-depressant drugs work?
This is a hot debate. 60 minutes did a story reporting the lack of research that shows the efficacy of anti-depressants. Many other studies have shown that anti-depressants are nothing more than a placebo effect with dangerous side effects.
No matter what the studies show, common sense would tell us that depression is not the result of a lack of synthetic drugs. Synthetic drugs that can have terrible side effects.
We know that antidepressants can induce violent and homicidal behavior. read http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/03/antidepressant-side-effects.aspx
According to the US National Library of medicine “Initiation of antidepressant medication was associated with a higher risk of developing Parkinson’s Disease.” to read the full report click here
Can severe depression be prevented or cured?
Remember Margot Kidder. After 25 years of failed psychiatry and every anti depressant drug available, the treatment she “discovered” and assembled on her own was, in effect, orthomolecular medicine, developed by Dr. Abram Hoffer, MD, PhD and his colleague Humphrey Osmond, MD., over 40 years ago.
You may be asking what is Orthomolecular medicine?
Orthomolecular medicine prevents and treats disease by providing the body with optimal amounts of substances which are natural to the body. This means food and vitamins.
Margot Kidder says that she had been “treated” for mental illness for most of her life and that conventional medicine provided her with very little help. But by taking charge of her own healing, discovering natural methods that dealt with the root cause of her problem, and with the help of family and friends, she got herself well.
This book outlines an orthomolecular program to cure depression.
Dr. Andrew Saul says
“Rather than give a synthetic drug to block or mimic the body’s chemical nerve messengers (neurotransmitters), it is possible nutritionally to encourage the body to make its own natural ones.
If we are what we eat, then our nerves also depend on what they are fed. Here is tremendous potential for the alleviation of depression and related disorders.”
I have the utmost respect for Dr. Saul’s work. I was first introduced to him via the documentary Food Matters. If you haven’t seen it, click here. You will gain knowledge that will not only slow aging, but will help prevent depression and even save your life.
The following excerpts are from Dr. Andrew Saul’s book The Vitamin Cure and his website Doctoryourself.com
MAKE YOUR OWN NOREPINEPHRINE
A depletion of the neurotransmitter called norepinephrine may result in poor memory, loss of alertness, and clinical depression. The chain of chemical events in the body resulting in this substance is:
L-phenylalanine (from protein foods) -> L-tyrosine (made in the liver) -> dopa -> dopamine -> norepinephrine -> epinephrine
This process looks complex but actually is readily accomplished, particularly if the body has plenty of vitamin C. Since one’s dietary supply of the first ingredient, L-phenylalanine, is usually adequate, it is more likely to be a shortage of vitamin C that limits production of norepinephrine.
Physicians giving large doses of vitamin C have had striking success in reversing depression. It is a remarkably safe and inexpensive approach to try.
MAKE YOUR OWN ACETYLCHOLINE
Acetylcholine is the end neurotransmitter of your parasympathetic nerve system. This means that, among other things, it facilitates good digestion, deeper breathing, and slower heart rate. You may perceive its effect as “relaxation.”
Your body will make its own acetylcholine from choline. Choline is available in the diet as phosphatidyl choline, found in lecithin.
Lecithin is found in egg yolks and most soy products. Three tablespoons daily of soya lecithin granules provide about five grams (5,000 milligrams) of phosphatidyl choline. Long-term use of this amount is favorably mentioned in The Lancet, February 9, 1980. Lecithin supplementation has no known harmful effects whatsoever. In fact, your brain by dry weight is almost one-third lecithin! How far can we go with this idea of simply feeding the brain what it is made up of? In Geriatrics, July 1979, lecithin is considered as a therapy to combat memory loss. Studies at MIT show increases in both choline and acetylcholine in the brains of animals after just one lecithin meal! Supplemental choline has even shown promise in treating Alzheimer’s Disease. (Today’s Living, February, 1982)
Lecithin is good for you. How good? Each tablespoon (7.5 grams) of lecithin granules contains about 1700 mg of phosphatidyl choline, 1000 mg of phosphatidyl inositol, and about 2,200 mg of essential fatty acids as linoleic acid. It also contains the valuable fish-oil-like, omega-3 linolenic acid. It is the rule, not the exception, for one or more of these valuable substances to be under supplied by our daily diet.
Lecithin tastes crummy. How crummy? Well, the lecithin that is available in capsules is the most popular. These are sold at health food stores and are admittedly convenient, but are also expensive. In order to get even one tablespoon of lecithin, you would have to take eight to twelve capsules! Since a normal supplemental dose is three or more tablespoons daily, that’s a lot of capsules to swallow. Much less costly is liquid lecithin. A taste for liquid lecithin has to be acquired, shall we say. It is easier to take if you first coat the spoon with milk or molasses. After taking liquid lecithin, it is wise to have a “chaser” of any dairy product or, again, molasses. Beef and sheep brains are also an excellent source of lecithin, but don’t expect me to recommend them.
Probably the best way to get a lot of lecithin easily is to take lecithin GRANULES. Stir the granules quickly into juice or milk. They won’t dissolve, but rather will drift about as you drink. Lecithin granules can also be used as a topping on any cold food. Ice cream comes to mind. Also, they are not bad if stirred into yogurt. If you put lecithin granules on hot food, they will melt and you will then have liquid lecithin.
If that “brains” comment a while back is still bothering you, please bear in mind that all supplemental forms of lecithin are made from soy beans. An alternate non-soy source is egg yolk. Generally, maximum benefit is obtained when you eat the yolk lightly cooked (such as in a soft-boiled egg).
By the way, the correct pronunciation of LECITHIN is “LESS-A-THIN. This is easy to remember because you are probably less-a-thin than you used-to-a-be.
MAKE YOUR OWN SEROTONIN
Before the FDA temporarily removed all tryptophan supplements from the market due to a now-corrected, industrial manufacturing error, millions of people had safely taken regular suppertime doses of this amino acid, usually 500–2,000 mg, to help them sleep. Inside you, tryptophan is broken down into anxiety-reducing, snooze-inducing niacin. Even more important, tryptophan is also made into serotonin, one of your body’s most important neurotransmitters. Serotonin is responsible for feelings of well-being and mellowness. This is such a profound effect that Prozac, Paxil, and similar antidepressants artificially keep the body’s own serotonin levels high. You can do the same thing naturally through diet. And no one can tell us that beans, peas, cheese, nuts, sunflower seeds, and good ol’ wheat germ are toxic if you eat a lot of them!
Plenty of carbohydrates in your meals helps tryptophan get to where it does the most good: your brain. In order to cross the blood-brain barrier and get in, carbs are required. So cheese and crackers provides a better effect than the cheese standing alone. Cover your ears, animal friends, for I am also about to condone eating the occasional dead bird. Poultry, especially the dark meat, is a rich (yet very cheap) source of tryptophan. Add potatoes or stuffing, and you have the reason everybody is sprawled out and snoring up a storm after a typical Thanksgiving food orgy. But to be able to look your parakeet in the eye after the fourth Thursday in November, you can stay vegetarian and still get tanked up on tryptophan.
Consider that five servings of beans, a few portions of cheese or peanut butter, or several handfuls of cashews provide 1,000–2,000 mg of tryptophan, which will work as well as prescription antidepressants—but don’t tell the drug companies. Some skeptics think that the pharmaceutical people already know, and that is why the FDA is less than enthusiastic about tryptophan supplements. Here are two quotes in evidence:
Tryptophan is one of the ten essential amino acids you need to stay alive. It is by law added to liquid feedings for the elderly and all infant formulas. This says a great deal about its safety, as well as its importance.
And, tryptophan is really quite easy to get from the good foods listed below.
So go, eat, and be happy!
Foods High in the Amino Acid L-Tryptophan
(In milligrams per 100-gram (3.5 ounce) portion, about the size of a deck of playing cards. That is not a large serving, and in a single meal you might easily double or triple the figures listed here.)
Dried peas 250
Red kidney 215
Nuts and Seeds
Brazil nuts 185
Peanut butter 330 (natural, not commercial)
Pumpkin seeds 560
Sesame seeds 330
Tahini (ground sesame seeds) 575
Sunflower seeds 340
Other nuts generally provide at least 130 mg per small serving; usually more.
Wheat germ 265
Other cheeses tend to be lower in tryptophan, but are still very good sources.
*(Note how vegetarian sources are as good as, and often much better than, flesh sources.)
Brewer’s Yeast 700
(Source: USDA, Amino Acid Content of Foods)
Meats are generally regarded as a good source of tryptophan, organ meats supposedly being the highest. However, most meats are in the range of 160–260 mg/100 g, with organ meats ranging between 220 and 330. These figures certainly do not compel meat eating. They compel split pea, cheese, and cashew eating!
VITAMIN B-6 AS AN ANTIDEPRESSANT
Ample amounts of B-complex vitamins, especially B-6 (pyridoxine) must be present for for your body’s normal, depression-fighting chemical reactions to occur. B-6 deficiency is very common in Americans, and that “deficiency” is measured against an already ridiculously low US RDA of only two milligrams. The amount of B-6 needed for clinical effectiveness in, say, rabbits is the human dose equivalent of 75 mg daily. That is over 35 times more than the RDA!
Really enormous doses of B-6 taken alone have produced temporary neurological side effects. It usually takes between 2,000 and 5,000 mg daily for symptoms of numbness or tingling in the extremities. Some side effects have been reported as low as 500 mg daily, but these are very rare indeed. Therapeutic doses between 100 and 500 milligrams daily are commonly prescribed by physicians for PMS relief. A daily total of a few hundred milligrams of individual B-6, especially if taken in addition to the entire B-complex to ensure balance, is very safe indeed.
Copyright 2013, 2007 and previous years Andrew W. Saul.
Andrew Saul is the author of the book, FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Health.
If you or someone you know is suffering from depression, please share this information. Everyone deserves to know that yes, it is possible to prevent and cure depression without harmful synthetic drugs.