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Clinical Depression and Society
It’s hard to turn on the TV without seeing a commercial about depression drugs these days. And the sad truth is that the number of adults dealing with depression is really high- 14.8 million Americans are suffering from it. And the even scarier part to that statistic is that women are twice as more likely to deal with depression than men are. Dr. Kelly Brogan is a psychiatrist and best selling author on the subject of women and the truth behind depression and how they can heal their bodies.
Dr. Brogan came from the traditional world of medicine- went to MIT and was really good at prescribing drugs to her patients. She says that in our society we define depression as having a “chemical imbalance” and that “it’s a brain-based problem, you’re going to have to manage it with other chemicals to compensate for your imbalance, probably for the rest of your life.” It wasn’t until she was 9 months post having her baby that she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and everything changed for her. She stepped out of character and consulted a naturopath, changed her diet completely by taking out dairy and gluten and her potentially debilitating autoimmune disorder went into remission within a couple of months. Pretty life altering!
Symptoms Reflect Your Body’s Imbalances
Dr. Brogan believes that depression isn’t something that should be looked at just through the brain or through blood work. She believes it is a symptom of many different potential sources of imbalance in the body be it both physical and emotional. There are psycho-spiritual mismatches going on with people and the question she likes to pose to her patients is “are you living a purpose driven life?” There are many things that our bodies need such as movement, sleep, sunlight exposure, family love and social connections. If some of these areas are disconnected, the symptom of what might be called depression is rearing it’s ugly head and causing pain and disturbance in one’s life. She believes strongly that the first thing to tackle is the mindset shift, where the goal goes from becoming getting your symptoms gone as quickly as possible and suppressed as quickly as possible. Then she says it’s about understanding what your specific symptoms are actually reflecting about your bodily imbalances and doing major changes to bring about the healing.
It May Not Be Just About the Serotonin Levels
Stress is doing really doing bad things to our bodies. It is causing major harm and inflammation in the body. And because we have bad bacteria floating around and it doesn’t belong circulating around our blood system, when it gains entry to systematic circulation which is often described as Leaky Gut. But the symptoms you can develop is also depression.
Dr. Brogan says research is showing there is a major conduit between the gut and the brain. And she believes that serotonin has gotten a lot of attention but wants the medical community to not put all the weight and link depression and serotonin levels together. She says research is showing that depression could be about inflammation in the body as well, not just this focus that has been around since the 1950s that it’s all about the low levels of serotonin. There are tons of cases of people who change their diets that can change debilitating disease and depression has been one of them. She just believes it’s not getting the attention it deserves because of how much of a strong hold pharmaceutical companies have in our culture. It’s hard to get the message out- that people can change their diet and be free of these drugs like Zoloft and Prozac.
Dr. Brogan’s quest is to bring attention to the reasons behind mental illness like suicidal depression, psychotic mania, and schizophrenia. She knows that other auto immune diseases have been cured with lifestyle change and believes there is strong evidence to support bodily imbalance that is completely reversible in mental illness as well. It’s about cleaning up your act meaning your food and what you’re putting in your body and not being so tied down to the pharmaceuticals everyone seems to be putting in.
For more fascinating info regarding this subject- check out Dr. Brogan’s book “A Mind of Your Own”.