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Depression Self-management Program
Sources:    Research References/Bibliography
Knowledge to Help Yourself Knowledge gives a person many options for managing depression and they can then personally take charge of the effect this problem is having on their life.
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Product Suggestion

Vitamin B
The B-complex vitamins are necessary for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system.
Vitamin B6
Needed for normal brain function. May help lift depression.
Vitamin B12
Linked to the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine.
Vitamin B5
The most potent anti-stress vitamin.
Vitamin B6
Improves celebral circulation. Caution: Do not take niacin if you have a liver disorder, gout, or high blood pressure.
Folic Acid
Found to be deficient in people with depression.
Vitamin C
Needed for immune function. Aids in preventing depression.
Important in brain function and neurotransmission.

Depression Kit
—$10 Savings—
(complete nutritional coverage of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, cofactor nutrients, etc.)

Found to be deficient in people with depression.
Has a calming effect. Needed for the nervous system.
Works with calcium.
Aids in mobilizing fats for energy.

Amino Acids:
Alleviates stress by boosting production of adrenaline. It also raises dopamine levels, which influence moods.
Essential Fatty Acids
Aids in the transmission of nerve impulses; needed for normal brain function.

Nutrient Cofactors:
St John's Wort
Acts in the same way that MAO inhibitors do, but less harshly.

  • AVOID SUGAR: The boost of energy you get from sugar is quickly followed by fatigue and depression.

  • AVOID CAFFEINE: Like sugar, caffeine's energy boost is short-lived and once it ends the depressed person is worse off than before. Studies have shown that the more caffeine a depressed person takes, the worse their depression becomes.

  • AVOID ALCOHOL:Alcohol interferes with the workings of the brain, disrupts sleep, and leads to hypoglycemica, all of which increase the risk and the severity of depression. Alcohol interferes with the workings of the brain, disrupts sleep, and leads to hypoglycemia, all of which increase the risk and the severity of depression.
  • EAT A LOW-FAT DIET: Improving your diet will improve your health and may help stabilize your mood. Fatty foods interfere with blood flow by blocking the arteries and blood vessels which results in poor circulation of blood to the brain and throughout the body. This causes sluggishness, slow thinking, and feelings of fatigue even after having rested.
  • GOOD DIET AND SUPPLEMENT PROGRAM: Nutritional deficiencies can cause depression, so watch what you eat and maintain a complete supplement program to assure that all nutrients are available each day.
  • EAT YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES: Most fruits and vegetables are high in complex carbohydrates and bioflavonoids, which are essential for maintaining serotonin and other chemical balances. This balance is important in warding off depression. Complex carbohydrates also help the body relax, reducing body stress.
  • GET PLENTY OF PROTEINS IN YOUR DIET: Protein meals that are high in essential fatty acids such as salmon and white fish are good for increasing your alertness. Foods such as turkey and salmon, which contain both protein and tryptophan are good for lifting the spirits.

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Lifestyle Changes

  • GET HELP: If you suspect that you are suffering from depression, get help from a physician or a psychiatrist. Professional counseling can be very helpful in treating depression.

  • LEARN TO CHANGE YOUR ATTITUDE: Teach yourself to be more optimistic. Learning to recognize and change negative thinking can help alleviate depression.

  • EXERCISE: Keep your mind and body active. Regular exercise is important in treating depression. Avoid stressful situations.

  • USE LIGHT TO TREAT SEASONAL DEPRESSION: Keep rooms brightly lit, keep blinds and curtains open to allow the maximum amount of light into the house, spend time outside on sunny days.

  • Stress can aggravate depression so learn to relax.DO RELAXATION/STRESS REDUCTION EXERCISES: Stress can lead to or aggravate depression so learning to relax is important for overall mental and physical health. Include a restful activity in your written weekly/monthly schedule. Also, learn stress reduction breathing and meditation techniques and apply them periodically during your busy day.

  • IDENTIFY AND ELIMINATE ORGANIC AND PHYSIOLOGICAL CAUSES OF DEPRESSION: Food allergies, heavy metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, nickel, and aluminum), hypoglycemia, hypothyroidism, nutritional deficiencies, preexisting physical conditions, cancer, chronic inflammation, chronic pain, diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, lung disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, premenstrual syndrome, prescription drugs, antihistamines, antihypertensives, anti-inflammatory agents, birth-control pills, corticosteroids, tranquilizers and sedatives, sleep disturbances and stress/low adrenal function. Eliminating or minimizing the downside effect of as many of these conditions as possible will result in improvement of depression.

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Medical Options and Precautions

  • PSYCHOTHERAPY - The patient talks about his or her depression with a therapist. This form of treatment is useful for those whose depression is caused primarily by personality and life experiences.

  • ANTIDEPRESSANT DRUGS - Common antidepressant drugs include tricyclics, MAOIs, and serotonin reuptake inhibitors. Common side effects of these drugs include dry mouth, blurred vision, dizziness, drowsiness, constipation, and difficulty urinating. These drugs are most effective if they are taken in a sufficient dosage over a long enough period of time.

  • ELECTROCONVULSIVE THERAPY - This treatment uses an electric shock to induce a seizure. This therapy is most commonly used to treat the severely depressed. One side effect of electroconvulsive therapy is temporary amnesia.

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