L-Phenylalanine and DLPA For Depression

L Phenylalanine and DLPA For Depression flatlined moodMost people don’t realize that there are different kinds of depression and why 5-htp or phenylalanine could produce vastly different results for different people.

When some people are depressed, they have really dark thoughts, become obsessive, and hate themselves.

Other people describe their depression in a very different way.

These people say they feel numb, like life has flatlined.

They have no motivation, don’t feel pleasure, don’t want to get out of bed, and life is sort of just “gray”.

L-phenylalanine or DLPA are amino acids that are used primarily to help people that have no motivation, feel numb, or sensitive.

What is DLPA and L-Phenylalanine?

DLPA is actually both the d- and l- forms of phenylalanine.

Every amino acid can occur in two forms, except for glycine.

Your body primarily just uses l-amino acids, and that is why DLPA is unique as a supplement.

Taking DLPA will produce different effects and depending on what type of depression you have, you will most likely react better to one or the other.

L-phenylalanine can help increase your pleasure. It is needed to form endorphins and helps to produce PEA (phenylethylamine).  It is found in protein such as animal proteins and fish.

It is also converted into tyrosine. Tyrosine goes on to produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.

DPA is a bit rare and is the mirror image of l-phenylalanine. D-phenylalanine helps stop the enzymes that are responsible for breaking down endorphins so that the endorphins are allowed to build and expand.

Do I Take L-Phenylalanine or DL-Phenylalanine?

L Phenylalanine and DLPA For Depression

L-phenylalanine can be great for people that are low in catecholamines such as dopamine and epinephrine and is a great alternative to tyrosine.  A lot of people say that tyrosine makes them jittery or feel tense. L-phenylalanine also helps produce pleasurable feelings and motivation.

DLPA can be a better choice for someone that is overly emotional and sensitive, such as randomly crying for no apparent reason.  DLPA can help boost endorphins more than just l-phenylalanine by itself.

DLPA would be a great choice if you need both energy and you want to increase your pain tolerance.  DLPA is also a good choice for people that take l-phenylalanine and find that it gives them too much energy or gives them insomnia, as DLPA’s energy boost is more subtle.

Although a bit oversimplified, you can think of the d- form of phenylalanine as being more of the “painkiller”  and the l- form of phenylalanine as being more of the “energizer”.

Phenylalanine Side Effects

Phenylalanine side effects and DLPA side effects are very similar.  If you have migraines or high blood pressure, be careful taking either supplement.  Both DLPA and l-phenylalanine can cause migraines or slightly increase blood pressure.

Some common side effects include anxiety, jitteriness, or hyperactivity.

Rare side effects can include itching, mouth tingling, or swelling of the hands of the feet (these are rare).

L-Phenylalanine and DLPA Dosage For Depression

Always take the smallest dose possible and then slowly increase it when you know that you react well to it.

If you are taking antidepressants, you need be especially careful while taking amino acids.  You can read how to take amino acids while on antidepressants here.

L-phenylalanine and DLPA are best taken on an empty stomach and in the morning or early afternoon.  If you take them too late in the day, it can cause insomnia.

Buy the smallest dose of l-phenylalanine or DLPA (depending on which one you expect to work better for you, see above) and take it in the morning without food.  After 30 minutes, you should feel something.  If you don’t, you can take another capsule until you reach the desired effect.  If you feel negative effects, you can stop there.

Taking DLPA or l-phenylalanine can help raise endorphins and norepinephrine levels, which can take away some of depression’s effects on your mood and thoughts.

With either amino acid, you can take them for as long as you need them.  The good thing about amino acids is that after you take them for a while, you won’t need to take them anymore.  It is generally recommended that after you finish a bottle, try going a few days without it to see how you feel.  If your mood drops significantly, resume using the amino acid until the next bottle is up, then you can see what happens when you stop taking it.

This is different than taking traditional medicine, which can cause withdrawals and dependence. It can be excruciatingly hard to get off antidepressants for example.

My Personal Experience With DLPA and L-Phenylalanine

I have taken l-tyrosine, DLPA, and l-phenylalanine.  I personally react better to l-phenylalanine.  It gives me that sense of calm focus, the type of motivation where getting stuff done is pleasurable but you don’t feel all crazy at the same time.

L-tyrosine gave me inner tension and made me feel aggressive in an odd way.  The only time that l-tyrosine worked for me was when two weeks before moving to Thailand after selling all my belongings and buying a one way ticket, I shut down from the stress.  I used l-tyrosine to let me function and actually get up in the morning.  Once the burnout started going away, it gave me the same high tension aggressiveness as it normally does.

DLPA made me feel different, but something was just a bit off.

L-phenylalanine made me more positive, more focused, had increased pleasure, and increased motivation.

There was a time when I actually used l-phenylalanine to keep going towards the end of the month when I was selling solar to hit my goal.  I was starting to lose focus and used it the last weekend by taking one capsule, taking out just a little bit of the powder, and taking small doses throughout the morning and afternoon.  I was the top direct salesperson for the entire country that month.

I don’t recommend using l-phenylalanine or DLPA to keep going when you need to rest, however, they should optimally be used to help you get back on track and function.

My experience also shows how important it is to realize that each person will react differently to amino acids.  One person will do well with tyrosine, another person that experiences a lot of emotional sensitivity will love DLPA, and another person will like l-phenylalanine.

I personally would recommend that you try l-phenylalanine first, as it can produce more beneficial effects and is converted into l-tyrosine anyways.  However, most resources and books say to try l-tyrosine first before trying l-phenylalanine or DLPA.

Where To Buy DLPA and L-Phenylalanine

I always purchase supplements from Amazon or iHerb.  I have used both NOW Foods and Source Naturals.  Both are really inexpensive, with l-phenylalanine usually around $11 for a bottle and DLPA around just $9 for a bottle.

L Phenylalanine and DLPA For Depression Supplements

 

I get around $0.10 if you use my links to purchase the supplements.  If you want, you can search for them in Amazon or iHerb without using my link.

If you’ve ever taken any of these amino acids before, let us know in the comments what your experience was.

 

There Is Nothing Wrong With You If You Are Depressed

There is nothing wrong with you if you're depressedYour alarm goes off.

As you try to wake up, you can’t shake the feeling that the day is going to be hard.

Then the thoughts start coming in, like a river of self-hatred.

“Why can’t I beat this depression?”

“I’m worthless, everyone around me thinks I’m a drag.”

“What’s wrong with me?”

“If I was stronger I could just feel better.”

“Is this actually real or am I just imagining things?”

“Maybe I need to fix my thoughts. I just haven’t mastered changing my thoughts yet. Damn, there was another negative thought… Mentally I must be weak.”

“I’m a bad person.”

Notice a common theme here?

The Run Down Car Analogy

Before we dive into all those thoughts and what’s going on at a deeper level, let me introduce you to Tim.

Tim comes over to pick you up in his run-down car.

As you get in, he tries to start it.  All you hear is that quick clicking sound, signaling the battery might be dead.

All a sudden Tim hits the steering wheel and says, “Why can’t I just start this thing! What’s wrong with me!” You look over at him and you can see his self-esteem plummeting.

Finally the car starts, and as you are driving it hiccups, lunges forward, and every bump feels like you’re on a rollercoaster ride.  Tim then starts assuring you, “Sorry, I’m such a horrible driver.  I just can’t seem to drive straight at all.”

You look at him a little perplexed, wondering why he’s blaming himself for all this.

Seeing the look on your face, Tim says, “Sorry it’s hot in here,  I suck at working the air conditioner.  If I could just push the buttons right it would probably be cold in here.”

Then suddenly after 10 minutes the car dies in the middle of the road, and its hot outside. As you both get out of the car to check it out, instead of looking under the hood and diagnosing a mechanical issue, he proclaims, “Look, I’ve been trying to think positively about getting to our destination and failed! It’s all my fault.  If I was just stronger we would have made it.  I’m such a shitty and mentally weak person.”

Finally you look at him and slowly say, “Tim… What does this have to do with you? Don’t you just need to get your car fixed?”

There is nothing wrong with you if you're depressed

It Would Be Hard To Get Anywhere In This Car

Depression Isn’t Your Fault

When you read the story about Tim and his car, what was your impression of him?  Did you wonder why he was being so hard on himself, when all he needed to do was get a new battery, put coolant in his radiator, and fix his car’s suspension?

The problem with depression, is a lot of people just don’t understand what it actually is.  Depression is the state you find yourself in when your brain and body aren’t functioning properly.  Simply trying to think positive won’t work.

For most people, they use the word “depressed” when they are in reality just “sad”.  That’s why they can go for a jog and the “depression” just goes away, and why they tell you to just snap out of it.  For them, they actually can snap out of it, because it is just sadness.

This becomes dangerous when you start to believe the same thing and you are actually depressed. When you believe that the depression itself means there is something wrong with you, that you should be able to shake it off, and just keep going, is when you get trapped in a downward spiral of despair.

The key is to realize that depression isn’t “you” and it doesn’t mean you are in anyway a bad human being.  It doesn’t mean that you are mentally weak and you just haven’t had the strength to fix your thoughts.  That’s like telling Tim he’s a bad person and to just think positive and his car should run better.  It won’t run better until he fixes the root causes of what’s wrong with it mechanically in the first place.

There Is Nothing Wrong With You If You’re Depressed

There is absolutely nothing wrong with you if you are experiencing depression.  Something is just off.

The depression isn’t you.  There is a root cause.  Something happened physiologically and it is now affecting your mental state, like your body is sounding off an alarm.

This alarm could be that you’ve been working 18 hours a day for too long and now your cortisol can’t keep pushing you forward.  This alarm could be that you’re deficient in magnesium, need more vitamin d, and are allergic to gluten and you eat bread every morning for breakfast.

When you are bombarded by these negative, maybe even suicidal thoughts, realize that these are not your thoughts, there is something going on chemically that is producing those thoughts.

Once you are able to separate yourself, accept yourself exactly as you are, and see that a fact is a fact, that something is run down and needs fixing, then you can get rid of all the stress of beating yourself up.

This correct perspective allows you to deal with the depression without being overwhelmed.

Depression Isn’t Your Fault, But It Is Your Responsibility

Now that you know that depression isn’t you, it’s time to actually fix it.  It’s time to actually take the car to the shop and replace some parts and change some oil.

There’s a fine line between acknowledging that depression isn’t your fault and being a victim.

You don’t want to sit back, accept that it isn’t your fault, and do nothing about it.

You also don’t want to hope that someday someone will magically fix it for you.

Nobody is coming to save you.

People can give you directions and guide you, but you have to actually do it.  Tim has to get out his tools and go under his car and start troubleshooting what’s wrong with his vehicle.

You have to take an active role in doing whatever it takes to fix your depression.  You have to accept that yes, being depressed means nothing about who I am or what I am capable of, but I do have to do whatever it takes to fix it now.

The reason I was able to fix my depression is I made a commitment that I would do whatever it takes to fix it no matter what.

This meant I could now read any book.  My mind was open to any approach.  I realized that I should place value on investing my money into getting tests done, seeing the right people and paying for their time, buying healthy food and trying out different supplements,  and going at it until the problem was fixed.

I had to look under the hood, try out different things and keep going, until I figured out what was wrong and what could fix it, until the engine started firing on all cylinders.

That same year that I made that decision to do whatever it takes was the same year that I started to finally glimpse what life was like on the other side, of not being depressed and wanting to blow my head off every single day, and what mental clarity was like after living with brain fog for so long.  I was able to get off Celexa and learned how to properly get off of antidepressants.

Every car is different, just like every person is different.  There can’t be any one single supplement that cures everyone, because depression is caused by so many different things.  You have to find out what your own root causes are. There are a thousand different reasons why a car won’t start, you just have to figure out which ones are causing your car not to start.

The depression was never actually “me”.  My body was just out of balance.  I was trying to force a run down car to drive somewhere, and I never stopped to realize maybe the car just had some broken parts.

How To Take Amino Acids While On Antidepressants

One of the most common questions I am asked is if you can take amino acids while on antidepressants or while weaning off of them.

The answer is, yes, but with caution.

Amino acids can be used to either enhance the performance of an antidepressant or to help you get off antidepressants without going through extreme withdrawals.

If you don’t know how to take amino acids while on antidepressants, you could experience some dramatic side effects.

Before we begin, you might be wondering why I’m asked about this so often.

Antidepressants Don’t Always Solve The Problem

How To Take Amino Acids While On AntidepressantsIf you’re reading this, you are probably like most people who went to the doctor, complained about depression, and was given a prescription for a medication to fix your problems at one point.

Most people that find my site search in Google to learn about how to deal with the negative effects they are experiencing taking an antidepressant.  Antidepressants can be hard to withdraw from, and a lot of times people still feel depressed or anxious while on them.

Interestingly enough, while SSRI’s and antidepressants are powerful, they usually never completely fix the problem for people or they only help people for a short duration of time.

Antidepressants Don’t Produce More Neurotransmitters

The most common type of antidepressant, SSRIs, prevent serotonin from going into reuptake mode.  This means that you don’t actually have more serotonin, you are just using the small amount more.

The problem with this is that that small amount of serotonin can no longer be converted into melatonin or 5-HIAA.

According to the book The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, 5-HIAA may be just as important as serotonin for your well-being!  Studies have been done that have shown that reduced levels of 5-HIAA have resulted in destructive moods, violent crime, suicide, insomnia, and addiction.

Most people that struggle with mood problems have both low serotonin and 5-HIAA.  Antidepressants often act as a band-aid, and don’t fix the problem.

Not only that, according to physicians writing for the New England Journal of Medicine, “51% of approved drugs have serious side effects not detected prior to approval.”

I believe that antidepressants should be a last resort, rather than the first option, for these reasons.

However, if you are taking an antidepressant, you can either take amino acids while continuing your antidepressant, or you can use amino acids to wean off of your antidepressant (which is more common).

How To Take Amino Acids While On Antidepressants

How To Take Amino Acids While On Antidepressants

Most people are looking to wean off their antidepressant.  However, many people use amino acids to enhance their current medication’s effects.

In a British study that looked at severely depressed patients on an SSRI called Serzone, when people took tryptophan with Serzone their depressive symptoms dropped more than 50 percent.

5-htp and l-tryptophan are amino acids that aid in the production of serotonin.  If you are taking an SSRI (see table below for common antidepressants and their function) then these two amino acids can help you actually produce more serotonin and have it work better.

L-tyrosine is an amino acid that helps produce more catecholamines.  Some people that take SSRIs complain of side effects such as being tired, low sex drive, low motivation, etc.  This is because SSRIs can deplete the levels of catecholamines.   L-tyrosine can help eliminate some of those side effects.

If you decide to take amino acids while on antidepressants, make sure that you take the smallest dose possible to see if there are any negative effects first before increasing the dosage.  That way you can catch any bad interactions early and not suffer from negative side effects.

When you take amino acids and antidepressants at the same time, aim to take them 6 hours apart so they can work individually.  When you take amino acids, also make sure that you take them on an empty stomach, otherwise they won’t work because they will be competing with all the other amino acids you take into your body when you eat protein.

Taking Amino Acids To Wean Off An Antidepressant

Before you begin the process of weaning off an antidepressant, make sure that now is the right time for you.

In my popular post, How To Get Off Antidepressants Without Going Insane, I talk about how I waited until I didn’t have as much stress and responsibility in my daily life to start weaning off just in case I experienced bad side effects.  This way my life wasn’t negatively impacted and I didn’t have to worry about performing in too many roles.

Take The Smallest Dose Possible FIRST Before Continuing

Always take the smallest dose possible while you are experimenting with amino acids while on antidepressants to make sure you don’t experience any negative effects.

Buy the smallest dosage of the amino acid you can find.  For example, 5-htp has many different dosages, but you can find it in a 50mg dosage.  Then you can take that capsule and only take half.

Once you’ve done that successfully and everything went well, then you can take the full 50mg capsule.  If that is OK, you can increase your dosage until you find that it is working well for you and stop there.

Take the Right Amino Acid(s) That You Need

How To Take Amino Acids While On AntidepressantsSSRIs affect serotonin levels.  If you take an SSRI, you will want to take either 5-HTP or tryptophan.

If you take atypical antidepressants or SNRIs, you will want to take either tyrosine, DLPA, or l-phenylalanine along with 5-HTP or Tryptophan if needed.  SNRIs and some atypical antidepressants (like Wellbutrin) affect the brain’s norepinephrine levels.  Tyrosine or DLPA with 5-HTP or Tryptophan can help restore these neurotransmitters back to healthy levels.

Common SSRIs include:

  • Citalopram (Celexa)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac, Prozac Weekly, Sarafem)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox, Luvox CR)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Paxil CR, Pexeva)
  • Srtraline (Zoloft)

Common SNRIs include:

  • Venlafaxine (Effexor XR)
  • Desvenlafaxine (Pristiq)
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)

Atypical Antidepressants include:

  • Bupropion (Wellbutrin, Wellbutrin SR, Wellbutrin XL)
  • Trazodone (Oleptro) – if you use this for sleep, take Tryptophan or Melatonin at night
  • Mirtazapine (Remeron, Remeron SolTab) – for sleep try Tryptophan or Melatonin
  • Nefazodone

For example, if you were trying to get off Celexa, you could first try a low dose of 5-htp and see how it affects you.  If you get positive results, you can increase your dosage to the desired amount. If you take 5-htp and it doesn’t work very well, you can try l-tryptophan at a low dosage and see how that works.

Ideally take one of those twice per day, such as around 5:00 P.M. and before bed.  If everything is going smoothly, begin to slowly taper off your antidepressant.  While tapering off, you may find you need to take more of the amino acid to reduce the withdrawal symptoms, always being careful about how much you are taking and asking yourself if there are any negative effects.

Then once you’re off the antidepressant, you can keep taking the amino acid for a few months until you no longer need it, and use the foundation of beating depression naturally with food and nutrition to keep your moods stable and happy.

If you are taking an SNRI, you can use an amino acid to boost serotonin and an amino acid to boost catecholamines.  Again, 5-htp and l-tryptophan boost serotonin while amino acids like l-tyrosine, DLPA, and l-phenylalanine boost catecholamines.

What If I Am Taking A Benzodiazepine Or Anxiety Medications?

If you are trying to wean off of benzodiazepine or anxiety drugs like Klonopin, you can use specific nutrients for extra support such as GABA, taurine, inositol, and glycine to help your body naturally produce more of the calming neurotransmitters.

Conclusion

The most important part of the process is to go slow and use the smallest dose possible.  Gauge the effects, and either switch strategies or increase your dosage if everything is going well.

Getting off an antidepressant can be a hard process, and I personally wouldn’t have been able to do it without using amino acids and nutrition to help me.

Comment below if you have any questions or want to share your journey.

 

How To Never Hear “Just Snap Out Of It” Again When You’re Depressed

Just Snap Out Of It for Depression

There is a problem with depression.

Most people don’t understand what it actually is.

Which leads to all sorts of communication problems and frustrations.

It also means when people are low they feel like they can’t reach out for fear of being turned down.

Watch this video and read the article to learn how to never hear phrases like “just snap out of it” again.

The “Just Snap Out Of It” Insanity

Have you ever been told to “just snap out of it” one too many times and almost went insane from it?

Or maybe you weren’t told to “just snap out of it” but instead were slapped in the face with one of its friendly cousins.

The “Instant Relief” Versions:

  • Just shake it off.
  • Get a grip.
  • Grow up and deal with your problems.
Just Snap Out Of It by Shaking It Off

If “shaking it off” actually worked, the Shake Weight would be the top selling depression item.

The “Spiritual” Versions:

  • You need to pray, God is all you need.
  • Just be Happy (with a capital H).
  • Count your blessings.
  • Practice gratitude and enjoy the little things and those you love.
  • Read the Bible and your depression will lift.
Just Snap Out Of It because Others Have It Worse

My favorite response to the “others have it worse” analogy

The “Compare Yourself” Versions:

  • Think of all the people with less than you have
  • There are people who have no food and are happy
  • People in other countries have it so much worse, we have no right to be unhappy.

The “It’s In Your Head” Versions:

  • You think too much and over analyze things.
  • There’s no such thing as depression.
  • Just get over it.
  • Pull yourself up by your bootstraps.

The “Random Acceptance” Versions:

  • Just let yourself go.
  • That’s just the way life is.
  • Depression is just a disease and you’ll be like that the rest of your life.
Let me know what else you have heard so I can add them to the master list.

How To Effectively Respond to “Just Snap Out Of It”

First Things First – Why They Say “Just Snap Out Of It” In The First Place

It’s one of the most annoying things to hear others tell you to just snap out of it and think positive when all you want to do is blow your head off, but we also have to understand why they say that.

The average person, especially someone that has never experienced depression, has no idea what is going on when you tell them things like, “I feel horrible and just want to die.  My life sucks.  I don’t see the point in going on.”

For a person that is simply “down” or “sad” all they actually have to do is go for a run and spend half a day shaking it off and they feel better! To them, a small feeling of sadness is on the same playing field as full blown depression.  They have just never actually crossed into the territory of real depression, so they have no real understanding of what you are experiencing.

Once you understand where they are coming from, you can begin to form the bridge of understanding to your situation.

The Alcohol Analogy

I came up with this analogy years ago and it has yet to fail me once in helping someone else understand what I meant when I was depressed and couldn’t just do a few jumping jacks and feel better.

Depression is a physiological state that you are in and cannot get out of.

The best way to describe it is to tell the person to imagine that they just drank a massive quantify of alcohol.  Choose their favorite drink and choose a quantity that would put them on their butt in a state of drunkenness.  I wouldn’t recommend it, but if you really wanted to ensure they understand, feel free to get them drunk for the analogy (just kidding, but I guarantee you that would work).

Now ask them, if they were in that state of being drunk, and right in the middle of it you looked at them and said, “Okay! Now just ‘think’ sober thoughts and snap out of it! Be sober! Right now!” what would they say to you?

Exactly.

They would say there is nothing they can do in that moment to just stop being drunk.

The bridge of understanding has been formed.

Depression is Physiological and Cannot Always Be Dealt with Cognitively

This was one of the biggest turning points for me when I realized that trying to use positive thinking was actually making me worse.

Let the person know that just like being drunk from alcohol, being in a depressed state simply means something is off and you are stuck there until you get everything working correctly.

No matter how much snapping, mini trampoline jumping, shaking your body off, growing up, or comparing yourself to impoverished nations you do, that won’t correct a vitamin deficiency.  No matter how many blessings your count, that won’t get rid of a hormonal imbalance.

How To Never Hear “Just Snap Out Of It” Again

An even better way to deal with someone telling you to “just snap out of it” is to never hear them say that in the first place.

We also have to realize and accept that a lot people respond the way they do is because we don’t tell them about our problems properly.

Remember, people don’t understand what depression really is.  It is our job to communicate to them properly so that they can actually help us.

Instead of expressing yourself generically, try actually saying what you need in that moment.

Instead of, “I feel like killing myself,” which someone who doesn’t understand depression has no idea how to respond to, tell your friend, “I feel out of control right now and just need someone to just talk to and give me the push to find solutions.  I don’t need advice or any words of wisdom, just someone to talk to and hear me out. Is that okay?”

Do you see the difference?

Instead of, “Life sucks, I don’t think I’ll ever get better, I don’t know what to do, I just hate myself,” tell your friend, “Right now, advice or words of encouragement won’t help me.  I feel like I am trapped and losing hope in ever feeling better.  I just need someone to remind me of who I am and go out and get something to eat or do.  Are you free later today to do something for an hour? If not, no worries.”

The friend that heard the first phrase has no idea what to do.  He or she feels uncomfortable, wants to help, but gets frustrated that they can’t do anything either, and just tells you, “Look, you gotta just shake it off! Go for a run and you’ll feel better.”

The friend that hears the second, clear version will know exactly what they can do to help you.

The Key To Getting Help Is Proper Communication

You’ll be surprised at the responses you start to get when you know how to talk to people about how you feel and what you need, and you’ll also be surprised at how powerful it is to set up the conversation that way.

You might find yourself actually getting what you need, and never having to hear “just snap out of it” again.

Afterwards, get out there and start figuring out what your root causes are so you can actually feel better to the point where you only have “sad” days and can go out and shake the sadness off.

Cryotherapy For Depression

Can standing in a cold chamber full of nitrogen make you feel better?

It’s one of those things that sounds like a new fad at first, but you never know until you experience it for yourself.

Cryotherapy has started to take off.  Major sports teams like the Dallas Mavericks have been using it to improve athletic performance for many years now.

I decided to try it myself to see what it was really about.

Cryotherapy and Inflammation

Inflammation is part of the the body’s immune response when it is protecting itself from harmful conditions.

If you have chronic inflammation, you will likely experience anger, aggressive behavior, inner tension, or constantly feel bad.  Your body is responding to a perceived threat.  If there is no actual threat, the white blood cells can start attacking healthy organs or cells.

The chemical signals released by these attacked cells can cause a wide range of problems and pain.  Cryotherapy’s main objective is to reduce inflammation.

How Does Cryotherapy Reduce Inflammation?

Cryotherapy for Depression Nitrogen TankCryotherapy is where you stand in a tank filled with liquid nitrogen-cooled air that goes to around -130°C (-266°F) for 2-3 minutes.  Cryotherapy helps reverse the effect of inflammation by constricting the blood vessels.  It is similar to using an ice pack on an injury, except this time your whole body is in an ice pack, which causes a whole lot of other cool things to happen (no pun intended).

Short bursts of cold can even help increase the antioxidants glutathione and superoxide dismutase, which can improve overall day-to-day functioning.

Since you are on this site, you’re probably looking at ways to feel better, especially mentally.  Chronic inflammation can be caused by multiple factors, such as pollution or poor diet, and some people have even gone as far as to say that depression is really just a symptom of inflammation.

Cryotherapy for Depression

A large body of research now suggests that depression is often associated with a low-grade, chronic inflammatory response and is accompanied by increased oxidative stress.

Like we talked about earlier, inflammation can cause a whole host of problems, such as reduced appetite, pain, and even making it harder to sleep.

cryotherapy for depressionIn 2015, there was a study conducted that found that people with depression had 30% more inflammation in their brain than those that didn’t have depression.

One study conducted found that depression is often present in inflammatory illnesses, and even 1/4 of people who take interferon, a medication for hepatitis C that can cause inflammation, develop major depression.

It turns out that inflammation produces cytokines which cause neurological symptoms just like depression does.

Antidepressants have been shown to reduce these cytokines and this can explain why some people see a big difference when they take them.

However, make sure to read all the comments in my article about getting off antidepressants and my experience taking Celexa before opting for the band-aid solution that antidepressants often are.

Cryotherapy for Anxiety

Cryotherapy produces a lot of endorphins after you get out due to the body reacting to the stress of being cold.  Anxiety and depression are often two sides of the same coin, and the same beneficial effects we get with reducing inflammation affect anxiety as well.

If you have ever felt anxious and noticed your anxiety went away or was reduced after going for a hard run or after lifting weights in the gym, stepping out of a cryotherapy tank can feel the same way.

My Own Experience Using Cryotherapy

After going through a lot of stress with a new job and dealing with chronic health issues, I got to the point where my cortisol was off and inflammation was high in my body.  I was having a hard time sleeping and would get pain behind my eyes, joint pain, headaches, etc. from eating food and daily stressors.

A doctor told me that if I didn’t slow down and heal myself, my adrenal glands could get really messed up and leave me with long-term problems.

I put on the brakes for a few months with work and at at the same time I heard about cryotherapy from my manager.

Like anything, it’s better to just try it and see what happens instead of thinking about it forever.  So I did.  The first time I went in I left feeling great and I slept better that night.

I then went to around 6-8 different places to do their introductory sessions and see who was the best.

Not All Cryotherapy Locations Are Equal

Different locations left me with different experiences.  One thing I found surprising was that some of the tanks I got in didn’t even feel cold, and only a few of them I left feeling really cold.

I could tell a cryotherapy tank was cold when my stomach area felt different afterwards, like a warming up feeling internally.  That was most likely due to my blood flowing to my organs, which means the cryotherapy accomplished what it was meant to accomplish.

Another factor that people don’t mention is the staff.  Someone always comes in with you to monitor that you don’t look down, breathe in a bunch of nitrogen, and pass out.  Some places were really awkward and I dreaded going in and having to force a conversation with a staff member that clearly didn’t care about anything I said.  Other places were laid back and easy, which made it easier to want to go in and do the session.

I found one with cold tanks and great staff and signed up for a monthly membership which was $175 per month.  I lived in Dallas, and I have learned that cryotherapy is cheaper in Dallas-Fort Worth than most places.  Going every single day was equivalent to paying about $5-$7 per session.  When it comes to health and improving your quality of life, it’s important to invest in your self and not be cheap.  What’s the point of life if you feel like shit all the time?

I went everyday for 3 months and noticed a big improvement in my overall well-being.  They say that you don’t build a tolerance to it, but I did notice that I didn’t get as cold after a while and didn’t feel the effects as strongly.  When I wouldn’t go for a while and return, I would get the warm feeling in my belly again and leave feeling energized and alive.

Cryotherapy for Depression Slippers

Some Locations Have a Wide Range Of Slippers to Choose From

Should You Use Cryotherapy For Depression?

I’m not sure, but you will never know unless you try it.

Most places allow you to pay $10-$20 to try it out one time and see.

You’ll either lose $20 in the journey to healing yourself and learn that it doesn’t work, or you’ll find something that helps you heal and fix your depression.

Cryotherapy is interesting because it looks like it is going to be unbearably cold and painful, but taking a cold shower is  harder than doing cryotherapy.

Like I mentioned earlier, just make sure you are using a good facility. You might have to try a few places before deciding whether or not cryotherapy works for you.

After you hop out, write us a comment below and let us know how it went, as long as your fingers aren’t too cold to type :).

 

Jenny’s Success Story | From Depression to Back in College

The following is a guest post by Jenny.

She is proof that it doesn’t matter how long you’ve struggled, if you’ve had alcohol or drug problems in the past, if you had a rough time growing up, etc.

I love success stories because by definition, depression makes your brain think that you can’t beat it and that nobody ever does.  We see all the bad stories but never see the countless people that overcame depression.

Enter Jenny’s Depression Success Story

From a young age I’ve always felt overwhelmed by my feelings, unable to process them in the same way others seemed to do. Dark thoughts, constant negative self talk, that voice always telling me I’m not good enough. I would question everyone’s motives and intentions believing that people were out to harm me, always feeling as if I’m fighting a battle, every single day.

I had a lack of energy and motivation as well as the hopelessness that things would never change. I would isolate myself, not be able to stand people physically being near me when I was at my worst and it’s something that’s made it very difficult for the people around me, especially those closest and as a result my relationships have suffered over the years.

I’m 41 now and have fought, resisted, battled, questioned my ability to cope with life, how I’ve always reacted negatively to life since my very early teens. Back then it was dismissed as is in a lot of cases as teenage angst etc except it never really left me. I had a difficult relationship with my father and for many years I was the ‘victim’ of a troubled childhood and that was something I used in turn as a reason or excuse for how I behaved. My father was physically abusive towards me and we would clash, often violently and this pattern continued right up to 21 years of age, yet I had two older siblings and their experience wasn’t anywhere like my own.

I became familiar with self-harm in my teens right up to 31/32 years of age when I severed the artery in my right hand. I had multiple suicide attempts which with hindsight were desperate cries for help because I didn’t understand why I was so different to everyone else, or so I thought.

I was and still am to some extent reclusive, I struggle in other people’s company yet I can get on with almost anyone and few people would really know what it takes for me to make the effort to engage with them. it was in my teens I discovered alcohol, drugs never really interested me as they were for really messed up people I thought. Anyway, it took twenty odd years of drinking before I admitted finally I am an alcoholic and that’s okay today, I’m six 1/2 years sober.

In that time I held down jobs, lost them, never had an adult relationship except occasionally with married men as I was too messed up to let anyone close enough, I got pregnant at 23 and my daughter is now 17. Through all this I saw various counsellors, tried numerous therapies in fact we got to the point where the professionals concluded I could probably teach them a thing or two and talking never really proved a practical enough solution to me. Medication didn’t really help, it never did, I was ‘resistant’ to it so what was left?

I clearly had dual diagnosis of depression and alcoholism and my mental health tag has changed a few times over the years but it was 18 months ago when I was left with nowhere else to go I couldn’t tolerate medication at all, less so since becoming sober, I didn’t want to go back to drink because I knew with absolute certainty there would be no coming back again.

Still struggling with the death of my beloved mum nearly 12 months before, whom my daughter and I had always lived with and I had cared for during serious, eventual terminal illness the previous five years, this was the one woman who had never given up on me, had in fact been the only reason my daughter hadn’t been removed from my care.

I was also looking at the end of my relationship with my partner, the only person in my life I’d ever let so close, who’d supported me during my mum’s final month’s/days/hours but my behaviour had become uncontrollable, unmanageable and he couldn’t stand it anymore.

I couldn’t blame him either, plus he lost his own dad a few weeks later. So in what seemed like a very deep hole with no way out one night, like many others I was searching the internet in the hope of answers, breaking my heart at suicide sites for those poor people and their stories, even whilst thinking I couldn’t stand it anymore myself, silently cheering them on to live, surely there had to be something to grab hold of?

I came across Dominate Depression that suggested something called amino acid therapy, I’d never heard of it before, ever and I’d become a bit of a fitness buff (I’d lost six stone and got quite physically fit but neither did that answer the problems in my head). By this point I was ready to try anything there really wasn’t much left for me and as much as I love my daughter I was literally fighting to stay alive for her.

I slowly started buying some of the suggested supplements and I really appreciated the honest and informed account. Something about it resonated with me and I’m so glad it did. Sadly the solution didn’t come in time to save my relationship, too much damage had already been done but I survived.

Finding the website that night I was at my lowest point in years, dark didn’t even come close to the hole I felt I was in and I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to get out anymore. The emotional pain had become physical, everything hurt and I just couldn’t seem to find anyway of making it better. The fact I had yet again gone to my GP to try antidepressants which only made things worse made me question if there was anything that could make a difference. You trust your doctor, when they can no longer help you kind of think that’s it. I have a diagnosis of PTSD and the last antidepressants that tried left me awake all night and hallucinating, what with the struggle I have with night terrors already I was absolutely terrified.

The concept of amino acid therapy in the beginning at least gave me something to hold onto, a hope that there was something else I could try and that wouldn’t have the horrific side effects of antidepressant medication. I won’t say it’s a miracle cure, I’ve been doing it for about 8 or 9 months now but the difference is marked and I would state with certainty I wouldn’t be in as good a shape as I am today without it.

For the first time in my life I’m coping with life without medicating with alcohol, painkillers (prescription AND over the counter) or antidepressants that either wipe me out or make me feel worse. I will not pretend that all in the garden is rosy but that’s life and there is a way of helping yourself when nothing else seems to work, or when professionals don’t know what box to put you in and just leave you to either get better or die, stark but true sometimes.

I try various aminos which I’ve researched and used a number of books and this site to help inform me, if you can afford to seek professional guidance I would say that’s a start.

These days I’m back at college, with a brilliant group of people studying towards a career in support work which I also volunteer in. I was also lucky enough to be asked to do some work for a body that inspects medical and health facilities, providing official reports to the government, so I like to think I’m also helping patients like myself too.

My relationship with my daughter is much improved and she is someone I’m incredibly proud of, my mum is still gone, as is my partner but I’m still here.

Regards,

Jenny

How To Help Your Teenager with Depression with Jennifer C.

I was interviewed by Jennifer who recorded conversations with multiple health experts for her Health and Happiness Movement.

We talked about how a healthy body will produce a healthy mind (most people only focus on the reverse), how to beat depression without medication, and also what depression was like for me as a teenager.

If you have listened to my interviews before, a lot of this will be familiar.  However, I haven’t shared what my experience was like as a teenager too often.

Listen in to learn more about how to beat depression without medication and if you want to get perspective on how to help your child or understand what a younger adult experiences while suffering from depression.

The Healing Process From Depression By Shaving With Chainsaws

I was interviewed by Christopher Browning, a business and career coach for men at Shaving With Chainsaws, about overcoming depression. Chris had been suicidal before and has personal experience with being in the “state” of depression.

He also has an amazing moustache.

cb1

We talk about defeating depression, the natural healing process, unique insights for men suffering from depression, and our own personal stories.

Click play below to listen to the podcast:

Download (22.3MB)

Books Mentioned in the Podcast

Learn more about my experience skydiving while depressed by clicking here.

I always love talking to people that have actually been there and made it out to the other side healthy and alive and hear their perspective as they reflect back on what it was like to be depressed.

Many of us are familiar with suicide stories, failures, and sad stories but we forget that for every sad story out there, there are many people that succeeded in overcoming depression.

Let us know in the comments if you have any questions.

How To Lose Someone Without Spiralling Into Depression

how to lose someone without spiralling into griefThe person you love is gone.

They either passed away suddenly without warning or you knew it was coming.

After they die, it’s easy to do all the wrong things.

It is easy to try to continue on like you are OK and suppress the emotions.

To get on with life because, well, the person that died would want you to!

Yet, the more pain you feel, the more you heal.

The more you allow yourself to feel, the more alive you become.

The more you numb yourself out, the more dead you become inside.

The person you loved died physically. For you to numb out would be to join that death with them internally.

This is a vulnerable moment where life’s greatest pain and lessons come to the surface.  If you try to opt-out from this painful period, you’ll collapse over and over again.

How NOT To Deal With Grief And Loss

I experienced both losing someone suddenly and losing someone where I knew it was coming.  I’ve bottled it up and hid my feelings. I’ve allowed my feelings to express themselves fully.

The first time I experienced someone dying was my older brother.  We didn’t have the best relationship.  One day he only ate half of a hamburger and a little over a month later he died.  He had a rare form of peritoneum cancer (if you search on google all you will find is peritoneal cancer) that once discovered, only took a month to take his life.

During that month, I didn’t step up and talk with him.  He had a lot of friends and people seeing him all the time.  I was in a state of shock and didn’t fully believe it was going to happen.  I didn’t know how to assert myself and my needs.

Finally one day, I had my chance to spend time alone with him when they sent him home under the care of a hospice worker.  I went into his room and sat down.

After only a few minutes, the cancer was slowly tearing away at his stitches holding together a massive incision on his stomach.  He started yelling as loud as he could.  He grabbed me and looked deep into my eyes and screamed, “GO GET A SHOTGUN AND SHOOT ME IN THE FACE!”

How To Lose Someone Without Spiralling Into Depression

Actual picture of around 10% of his cancer that was ripping apart his insides

When the ambulance arrived, I got in the front seat and directed the driver on how to get to the cancer institute (he wasn’t sure).  My one chance to settle things, to talk to him, to express myself, was lost.

One morning later I woke up to a phone call.  I drove down to the hospital and saw bile dripping out of his mouth.  He was gone.  After a while of sitting there in the utmost worst pain a 16 year old could experience, the final zip of the body bag sealed this unreal pain’s mark on my soul.

Bottling In Emotions

Immense numbness followed.  Life didn’t seem real.  I would be floating about as if everything was good in a dissociative way, then I would randomly break down.

I remember laying in my bed at night and my body randomly shaking from the pain.  I would listen to A Momentary Lapse Of Reason album by Pink Floyd and drift away into an array of fantasy worlds to try and numb the pain.

My family was torn up.  I can’t speak for others, but I think we all lost a bit of ourselves.  They say that a loss like this can bring a family together, but in my experience and witnessing other families, I think it can sometimes numb people out to each other.  It’s like losing an integral part of yourself and of the family unit.  Nothing is really ever the same.

Suddenly loving and caring about someone doesn’t seem as safe anymore.  Nobody is born equipped on how to properly express such dark, deep, emotions.

I was lost in school.  How could I relate to anyone my age after experiencing such a loss? When asked in class to talk about my summer, the real answer would have been to say, “I witnessed my brother’s stomach slowly get torn apart by cancer and he screamed in my face to blow his head off, now he’s dead and I feel completely numb and messed up.”

How To Lose Someone Without Spiralling Into Depression

A few months later, I was introduced to marijuana.  What a wonderful, wonderful escape.

Drug Addiction, Suicidal Thoughts, And Despair

Before I tell you about how I used drugs to escape the pain of the loss of my brother, it’s important to note I was already slightly depressed before it happened.  At that point in my life, I actually had an amazing group of friends.  I had a lot of people around me.  My life was finally starting to turn around and I wasn’t nearly as depressed as I was in Junior High.  After the death of my brother was one of the darkest periods of my life.

People always debate about whether or not marijuana is bad or not.  Let me give you the answer: it is if it is bad for you.  Addiction is never about the drug or addictive behavior.  It is about deeper pain and emotions going on that need to be numbed out.  Addiction is your brain telling you, “You don’t have to feel this, smoke instead.”

The drugs are the smoke on the fire.  It is just that with drugs, once you go down the rabbit hole, your brain starts to rewire it’s reward system and down-regulates all its receptors.  Congratulations, you now have to use drugs to feel normal and if you ever want to quit, it will take months to a year to feel like yourself again.

When I would smoke weed, I wouldn’t just take a couple tokes and sit back to watch TV and laugh.  I would smoke until I was a vegetable.  I would smoke until I was staring at all the houses outside the car window as they rushed by in the passenger seat completely gone out of my mind unable to communicate anything.  I would smoke until I fell down on the floor, staring at my friend’s ceiling, mumbling in a messed up slur while watching things on his ceiling literally move.

For me, weed is bad.

I didn’t just smoke marijuana.  I would take mushrooms every weekend, take reds a few times a week (I once combined reds with mushrooms at a rave, not a good idea), smoked salvia every single night for 2 weeks once, took LSD, methamphetamine once on accident, and a wide range of other things.  I was secretly self-destructing and slowly killing myself.

My friend who was in an intense treatment center for his own drug addiction said he saw me spiral down out of control faster than anyone he had seen before.

A year or two went by and I realized I had to quit drugs.  My journey off drugs was one of the hardest things I did, but I beat it.  I also did it not by using my “willpower” but by solving my root issues.

Guess what? All those emotions I numbed out were on the other side of sobriety, patiently waiting for me.

How To Lose Someone Without Spiralling Into Depression

PET scan showing the differences in addicted brains (top row) and non-addicted brains (bottom row)

How To Lose Someone and Properly Deal With Grief And Loss

Fast forward years later.  My best friend suddenly passed away by having a seizure while driving at night.  He knew more about me than anyone.  It was pure unconditional love, two kids that met right around preschool and told each other every detail of their lives for 17 straight years.

I had gotten in an argument with him not long before he passed away.  He was Mormon and confronted me asking me why I wasn’t.  I had been abused by the Mormon church as a youngster so I had more negative views towards religion.  The conversation didn’t end well.

A few days after, while sitting on my couch, I actually heard a strong voice inside me say, “Call Spencer up. You never know when someone can die.”  I called him and told him I loved him and didn’t care about our argument.  He died about 5-8 days later.  That time, I didn’t have someone die with unresolved issues.

After he died, I just felt it.  I vomited emotions out of me as if they were poisoning my body and my body wanted to violently purge them clean. I let out the pain in the most expressive way possible.  I would buckle over from the pain and let the core of my being ripple out with deep despair.

I called people.  I told them I was lost and just needed a friend to hang out with for a few hours.  I told people I could use their support.  I asked for help.  I let people know I was in pain and that if they wanted to, I could use anyone to just hear me out and bounce my insanity off of.

A song randomly incubated itself into my mind a week after his funeral.  I put pen to paper and wrote it down in 5-10 minutes.  It just flowed from my heart as if it wasn’t even from me.

I wrote the song and played it on guitar.  I played it in front of people.  Years later, I played it in front of hundreds of people.  The song holds a sacred part in my heart.  It is what makes the pain real, keeping the effects of the relationship still alive.

I finally had enough with wasting my life away being depressed and wrote my one year suicide letter stating that I would do everything in my power to fix myself and if I was still depressed in a year I would kill myself.

In the face of my brother’s death, I chose to numb out.  In the face of my friend’s death, I chose to wake up.

Feel Your Emotions, Get Support, And Never Hide Your Pain

When my brother died, I did all the wrong things.  I pretended like I was alright.  I numbed out with drugs.  I didn’t let people in.  I didn’t let people help or support me.  I acted as if I had to be “tough” and just deal with it.  If you want to maintain your emotional sanity, don’t do what I did.

When my best friend died, I surrendered to the experience.  I respected whatever emotion came up, as if each one was a beautiful moment to not only feel my friend again, but to heal myself.  Each emotion was a life lesson, a feeling that rippled from my deeper core that can never be understood by logic.

I expressed myself.  I dropped the whole “macho tough guy” game and told people I was struggling.  I got support.

If someone you love passes away, you can either numb it out and act like you are fine or you can allow one of the most beautiful life lessons to erupt from your inner being.  You can either isolate yourself and spiral into a deep depression or you can expose yourself and let people gladly support you.  You can pretend like your emotions and pain are fine and “get along with life” or you can just breathe and let your pain run its course.

If someone dies, now is the time to take care of yourself.  Now is the time to slow down and let yourself process your loss.

Now is the time to let yourself go and feel fully.  To feel anger towards the dead person, sadness about your future, crippling neediness and loneliness, it is all fine.  Let them all run their course and don’t resist.

This is the time to look yourself in the mirror and in a deeper way than you thought possible, learn to love yourself.  Learn to be alive.  Learn to value your life. Learn to wake up and live before it is you that suddenly dies.

To numb out the emotions that come with grief would be to numb out one of the greatest lessons life has to offer.

 

How To Conquer Depression Without Drugs

how to conquer depression without medicationI sat there nervously every single day of my life.

My palms were always slightly damp.  I was always on edge for fear of social interaction.

Every time I gave a presentation, I was filled with fear for a month before the event.

When I gave a presentation, my face would go beet red and a couple times I was so nervous I couldn’t even finish my speech.

Every day was filled with extreme fear and self-hatred.

That’s how my life used to be (keep reading to see a video of me speaking to a large group).

I’m always surprised now when people say, “You look so confident while speaking.”

Truth is, I still get nervous before I speak.  I usually stay nervous while speaking as well.

But it is more excitement than nervousness now.

I don’t lose sleep for weeks before.  And I don’t hate myself for every little mistake.

My depression and anxiety was caused by real physical issues.  Now that I’ve gotten those issues handled, I’m able to push myself, and do things like speak at public libraries.

How To Conquer Depression And Anxiety

In the presentation, you will learn not only how to conquer severe depression, but also:

  • The Surprising #1 Question I’m Asked That You Must Believe In The Right Answer To Beat Depression
  • How This Isn’t Your Fault (And A Word About Antidepressants)
  • What Could Be Your Root Cause?
  • Ways To Start Healing Today

Watch the video to learn how to overcome depression for good by realizing depression isn’t a thing, it is a symptom.

Feel free to download the powerpoint slides I used while presenting to follow along:

I gave a speech at a city library with a mix of people I knew and strangers I’ve never met.  I’d personally rather give a speech to just strangers, so the mix was interesting.  Some people knew me back when I had severe depression, others had known only the “new me.”

In this video, I first go over my individual story.  How I was told I had a disease and would be depressed for the rest of my life, how writing a suicide letter to myself led to my recovery, and the two points where hitting rock bottom brought awareness to my depression problem.

The first 30 minutes is the actual presentation, the last 30 minutes is Q&A.

How To Conquer Depression Without Medication

how to conquer depression without medication

If your brain isn’t working on a physical level,  you’ll feel depressed

If you want to skim the main points of the speech and watch it later, I’ll detail a few key points below.

The thing is, a lot of people are confused as to whether or not you can really conquer depression without drugs.

The truth is, you can.

The reality of depression is that there are a million different reasons for depression.  You cannot just magically snap out of it by being grateful or counting your blessings.  If you have had depression for any length of time, you will know that the correct answer for how to conquer depression for good is not to hope that tomorrow will be a better day or to use positive thoughts to combat it.

Never beat yourself up for not being able to think your way out of it.

I Discovered How To Conquer Depression Out Of Necessity

I learned all that I know about depression not because I wanted to grow up and be a therapist one day as a kid, but because it became my passion after working so hard at it for years and finally beating it myself.

I have a range of experiences and work history:

  • Worked At A Clinical Research Facility
  • Was On The DSAMH Committee For Youth
  • Worked For NAMI As A Mentor
  • Spoke In Front Of Doctors And Professionals About My Experience
  • Degree In Psychology
how to conquer depression without medication

I worked for NAMI, but realized they don’t offer much in terms of a drug free approach

The truth is, none of that led me to the answer.  None of those experiences ultimately led me to the solution, but they gave me a wide grasp of different concepts and what didn’t work.

After skydiving and feeling nothing, losing years and years of my life to isolation and crippling depression to the point of even hearing voices in my head, to finally receiving my wake up call in life, I had written a suicide note to myself to beat depression in one year or die.

My first attempt was taking medications.  My experience with Celexa failed miserably after the increased dosage caused a manic episode.  When I realized I was depressed and dependent on medication, it took a serious effort to get off antidepressants.  Learning how to get off antidepressants ultimately led me to the right answer.

Find Your Root Cause

I healed my depression by discovering what my root causes were.

I had:

  • Vitamin D and magnesium deficiences
  • Food allergies to gluten and dairy
  • Sugar sensitivity
  • Slight adrenal fatigue

I also used supplements like l-tryptophan and l-phenylalanine to heal my brain, get my neurotransmitter levels back, and get off antidepressants.

When I went to the doctor back when I was depressed, I was never once asked about:

  • My sleep
  • My diet
  • My digestion
  • My vitamin and mineral levels
  • Hormonal imbalances

I was simply handed a pill and told to take it.  That is the perfect example of treating the smoke, not the fire.

how to conquer depression without medication

I wish I would have gotten testing done much earlier in my journey rather than just taking antidepressants

What’s funny is how there is this negative stigma towards the word “natural.”  People in our society instantly distrust anything that remotely resembles natural healing.

Taking magnesium, vitamin d, fixing my adrenals, and eating right sounds a lot more sane than taking a random antidepressant, doesn’t it?

We are bombarded with messages that depression is something you need to take medication for.  However, we have to remember that taking antidepressants isn’t as simple as just taking some harmless pill.  They come with side effects, dependency, and severe withdrawals if you aren’t careful.

Here are some common physical causes for depression to look out for:

  • Hypoglycemia
  • Omega-3 to Omega-6 imbalance
  • Thyroid issues
  • Adrenal fatigue
  • Pyroluria
  • Inflammation

Remember, you want to ask what is causing your depression.  Reacting negatively to an unhealthy environment or problems is a natural/normal response.  No wonder I was depressed, I was deficient in nutrients, had food allergies, and suffering from slight burnout!

Believe You Can Beat Depression

One of the top questions I am asked usually happens like this:

“Hey TJ, I know you beat your depression and cite other success stories.  But really.  Can you actually beat depression?”

The answer is yes.  You can beat depression.  If you want more information, make sure to read my article specifically targeting this question, Is It Possible To Beat Depression?

Start Healing Today

how to conquer depression without medication

This brain of yours is nearly 60% fat

Start eating real food.  Start eating more healthy fats.  The brain is nearly 60% fat.  Don’t believe the “low-fat” marketing hype.  If you aren’t including avocados, fish, nuts, extra virgin olive oil, butter from healthy cows, etc. you are diminishing your brain’s ability to make you feel good.

Aim to eat a portion of high quality protein with every meal.  Protein contains amino acids which are the building blocks for neurotransmitters.  Grass fed beef, lentils, eggs, whey protein powder, etc.

Instead of eating frosted Cheerios everyday, start eating healthy carb sources.  If you are sensitive to sugar, aim to eat slower digesting carbs.  Start eating quinoa, sweet potatoes, and lots and lots of vegetables!

Be careful with caffeine, as it depletes B Vitamins and inhibits serotonin and melatonin production.

Quit eating processed meats.  This means bacon with nitrates, cold cuts, deli meats, hot dogs, salami, sausage, etc.  The artificial ingredients and preservatives will bring your mood down.

Start cutting out vegetable oils.  They contain high amounts of omega-6 fats which can tilt your fatty acid balance in the wrong direction.  Vegetable oils typically are unstable and oxidize easily.  Scandinavians can have a genetic inability to manufacture chemicals from gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which is found in vegetable oils, into prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) which is associated with depression.

Nutrition is the foundation for mental health! You must get this handled.  This is what I believe about people who don’t see the light when it comes to eating healthy:

If you are unwilling to change your eating habits, either you don’t know how good you can feel or you don’t feel enough pain from depression to want to change.

How To Conquer Depression Without Drugs And Stay Relapse Free

Start attacking your root causes.  Find out what is making you depressed, and fix it.

Get all the support that you can.  Join support groups.  Reach out to people who you know can help you.  Make it a burning commitment to solve depression no matter what.

Read The Mood Cure by Julia Ross or Depression-Free, Naturally by Joan Mathews Larson.  Read up on nutrition.  Look up Chris Kresser.

Sign up for my free email list and get daily emails for little actions you can take to start moving forwards to a depression free life.

Do whatever it takes, and it is only a matter of time that you find relief from depression.

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