25 Nov Do all cases of Depression need Antidepressants?
An article by Dr Roxanna Gunter
In my opinion, we have been marketed the idea that all cases of depression require pharmaceutical intervention. In research by Clinical Psychologist Jordan Peterson, only 5% of depression cases are due to an imbalance in neurotransmission in the brain.
This means that 95% of cases of depression are not due to a chemical deficiency.
What then, are other causes of depression?
The remaining 95% of cases of depression can be referred to as circumstantial depression. This means that the cause of the depression is exogenous, rather than endogenous. Endogenous causes of depression fall into the 5% bracket- these are cases where there is a chemical imbalance of Serotonin or dopamine in the brain and these cases require a pharmaceutical to balance the ratios of the neurotransmitters. The remaining 95% can benefit from other measures.
What are these other measures?
Well, for one thing diet plays a big role in mental health. Most people don’t realise that the neurotransmitter serotonin, which helps us feel good and emotionally stable- is actually produced in the gut! It is processed as a neuro-transmitter in the brain, but it is manufactured in the gut.
Our current epidemic of high refined processed foods depletes our production of serotonin in the gut! As has been mentioned in previous articles, we are what we eat, and the effect of this on mental and emotional health is no exception. Many people who are depressed have a long history of constipation and gut problems- these underlying health problems should be addressed to assist with mental health.
Seeing a therapist or psychologist to talk through circumstantial depression is also a good idea- talking through your problems and having guidance as to what is healthy versus unhealthy coping mechanisms or strategies goes a long way in alleviating depression.
Natural medicines including herbs and homeopathy can also help with depression. These natural medicines can help at a causal level to help the person gain insight into the cause of their depression to help them break through mentally and emotionally.
In some cases, especially the more severe cases of clinical endogenous depression, antidepressants are necessary.