In 2012 the WHO published a leaflet on depression with these stark facts.......
Around 350 million people live with depression, it’s the leading cause of disability worldwide
Depression often starts at a young age and affects women more commonly than men
1-2 mothers out of 10 have depression after childbirth
Almost 1 million people take their own lives each year and for each suicide , 20 or more make an attempt
Typical treatment for depression is psychological support such as cognitive behavioural therapy [CBT], and/or antidepressant medication.
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the most widely prescribed type of antidepressants. In the UK. Fluoxetine (Prozac) is probably the best known SSRI but others include Citalopram (Cipramil), Paroxetine (Seroxat) and Sertraline (Lustral).
The NHS tells us that most people benefit from taking antidepressants to some degree but anecdotal evidence suggests that this ‘some degree’ can often be minimal. The Royal College of Psychiatrists estimates that @ 50-65% of people on antidepressants will see an improvement. That still leaves around 50% of the population struggling.
So what is going on? Why do some people respond well , others slightly and others not at all?
Dr William Walsh, in his excellent book “Nutrient Power: Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain” found that depression is not a one size fits all diagnosis but can be grouped into 5 major classifications. The benefits from SSRIs differs, depending on the key imbalance.
Could this be why so many people find little or no relief from the classic SSRI approach?
I see depression as a symptom of an imbalance in the brain’s biochemistry, in the same way that Type 2 diabetes is a symptom of an imbalance in the body’s biochemistry and I think it's time to explore all options to help the millions of people out there who are struggling , often in secret, with this debilitating condition.
Pharmaceutical support has undoubtedly made a genuine difference to millions of lives. However for those where it hasn't helped or for those who are perhaps looking for a different approach with less side effects, then tackling depression through nutritional support and supplementation is an option well worth investigating.
IMPORTANT: Please do not stop antidepressant medication without consulting your doctor first or take supplements without seeing a qualified, registered practitioner