Depression has always been a hot topic of discussion and with the recent death of actor/comedian, Robin Williams; it seems to have people talking even more.

Let’s face it; we all get “depressed” from time to time. The daily demands we face are often enough to stress us out and damper our moods. Symptoms don’t always, automatically, equal depression either. But regardless, if you find yourself sinking into a deep funk that you are struggling to climb out of, then it’s time to examine the possible causes and explore some solutions before it gets out of hand!

This is the part where things get tricky!  

Depression is such a confusing topic for many people; it’s riddled with hearsay, opinions, clever marketing ploys and the like. To make matters worse, many doctors have no trouble “helping” you by handing medication out like candy. “Oh you’re sad, here’s a pill!” Complete insanity!

This is where part of the problem lies; no one is digging deeper to discover “why.” Let’s just take the easy road and label the cause as a “chemical imbalance.”

Well, NEWS FLASH: Despite popular belief, this so-called “chemical imbalance” theory has never been proven and simply doesn’t exist. It is a bogus marketing ploy that the pharmaceutical companies conjured up and, unfortunately, many doctors and patients follow suit with.

“There’s no biological imbalance.  When people come to me and they say, ‘I have a biological imbalance,’ I say, ‘Show me your lab tests.’  There are no lab tests.  So what’s the biochemical imbalance?”   – Dr. Ron Leifer, New York psychiatrist.

…And then there are antidepressants! Oh, anti-depressants! What can I say about anti-depressants?  Well, anti-depressants can take weeks to relieve symptoms (if they do at all) not to mention that they are downright dangerous, having the potential of catastrophic interactions. They can even lead to possible violent episodes and an increased risk of suicide.

In fact, according to Dr. Mercola, “Psychiatric drugs kill 42,000 people every year—that’s 12,000 MORE people than successfully commit suicide due to depression! And the death count continues to rise.”

As if that isn’t bad enough, you can find ads about anti-depressants almost EVERYWHERE. They depict people dealing with normal daily stress and struggles and just because of this; they are falsely perceived as “depressed.”

I don’t know about you, but if I can’t pay a bill or my car won’t start, there is a darn good chance that I’m going to be unhappy for a period of time. We are human; we are supposed to FEEL/HAVE emotions. It’s impossible and unnatural to be happy all the time. It’s even more unnatural to NUMB these feelings.

We are led to believe that being sad or unhappy is ABNORMAL. It’s not. It’s HUMAN. These ads lead you to “believe” something is wrong with you when there may not be. It’s easy to be misled; drug companies WANT and NEED your business. Think about it!

Am I implying, all of the sudden, that depression is a myth? Of course, not!

your depression to your advantage

There are people who truly struggle with it. I will, however, imply that depression is NOT a disease and it can’t be fixed by a pill alone. Whoa! How dare I say that? It’s true! Depression is a disorder, meaning something isn’t quite right. It’s not as easy as being told that you have diabetes, take insulin. With diabetes, for example, the cause is high blood sugar, but with depression it can be literally, ANYTHING!

The nature and cause of this disorder may be different for every single person experiencing it. There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for depression. That’s why you can’t just take a happy pill and go about your business.

The one common factor with depression is that there is an underlying, root cause of it. There is ALWAYS a root cause, people and you have to address it. It may come as a complete surprise, but your cause of depression or unhappiness just might be something rather simple and overlooked.

On the other hand, it may take some deep soul searching. It’s possible that you aren’t even thinking or focusing on the problem at all, only the cure.

One thing is for certain; the mind is a powerful thing and believe it or not, YOU can take control! You aren’t alone and you need not struggle. Education yourself! Find the cause and work on correcting it, don’t just apply a Band-Aid!

Possible Cause: Nutritional Deficiencies

This is the easiest to point blame at and the first place to start. This is due to the simple fact that nutritional deficiencies are way more common than you may think and they can bring on a host of problems, including depression.

Our food is so processed these days and so many people have poor eating and lifestyle habits, that this paves the way for complete physical and mental malfunction. In fact, almost every problem we encounter health wise is the direct result of poor nutrition and/or lifestyle.

While we may be lacking in any number of nutrients at a given time, I am going to focus on the most common. The key players here are: Magnesium, Vitamin D, and B-Complex Vitamins.  The truth is most people have, at least, one of these deficiencies.


Let’s start with magnesium; magnesium is by far the most important mineral in our bodies.

According to Dr. Norman Shealy, “Magnesium is the most critical mineral required for electrical stability of every cell in the body. A magnesium deficiency may be responsible for more diseases than any other nutrient.

Magnesium plays a role in every biochemical reaction in the body making it a must-have. The main causes of magnesium deficiency are; overconsumption of calcium, alcoholism, and phytic acid (an anti-nutrient) in grains and nuts which bind to magnesium and other nutrients leading to malabsorption.

Almost all plant foods, including grains, contain phytic acid and that isn’t an issue alone, but when your body is already mal or undernourished, it can quickly become a problem.

We are told that the largest part of our diets should consist of grains and that wouldn’t be a problem if our grains weren’t so processed and refined. These days grains are little more than genetically modified franken-foods providing little to no nutritional value and actually robbing us of crucial nutrients.

In 1905, before grains were widely refined, the rate of depression in America was about 1%. Is that just a coincidence? Not likely!

Vitamin D

Moving on to vitamin D! Vitamin D is vital to immune and brain health and lacking in vitamin D is linked to obesity, cancer, autoimmune disease, and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), all causes of depression! All the hype over sunscreen and skin cancer is robbing our bodies of this much-needed nutrient leading to deficiency.

Our bodies naturally make vitamin D from exposure to the sun! Sun exposure (without sunscreen) is a must, even if it’s 15-20 minutes a day. This is crucial because sunscreen prevents the body from making vitamin D.

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Amie Moses, B.Sc., B.A.

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