My article on depression was aflutter on Twitter

Some folks on Twitter had their feathers ruffled by my article about natural ways to help alleviate depression.

Below is some of the feedback I received:

Papercakes couldn’t find my doctor credentials, because I’m not a doctor.

I’m a health coach, and my job is helping people make diet and lifestyle improvements.

This is a valuable skill that doctor’s are not taught in medical school.

We could certainly normalize medications for depression, but I think that is already widespread in society. And, it doesn’t seem to be working too well.

Anti-depressant use has surged and is on the rise again with an increase of 35% in the past 6 years.[8] [9] [10]

According to statistics 45,204,771 people are on antidepressants right now in the United States.[11]

That’s a LOT of depressed people.

With those statistics, normalizing pharmaceutical medication is not my path, nor my intention.

In my practice, I normalize diet and lifestyle improvements to keep people from getting depressed in the first place. And, improving their nutrition to help lift them up out from depression as well.

According to studies, “People with a diet high in processed food had a 58% higher risk of depression than those who ate very few processed foods.[1]

A 58% increased risk is no small potatoes.

And, to make this clear, that increased risk of depression is in the folks choosing to eat potato chips and French fries more often than Rosemary roasted potatoes OR Creamy Potato Leek Soup

Not only that, the National Institute of Health has a list of the top 12 nutrients that not only prevent depression, but are vital in the recovery of depression:

“Twelve Antidepressant Nutrients relate to the prevention and treatment of depressive disorders: Folate, iron, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), magnesium, potassium, selenium, thiamine, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin C, and zinc. The highest scoring foods were bivalves such as oysters and mussels, various seafoods, and organ meats for animal foods. The highest scoring plant foods were leafy greens, lettuces, peppers, and cruciferous vegetables.”[2] 

Those nutrients are found in food, NOT in medication.

I stand by my article encouraging people to alter their diet and lifestyle to help alleviate depression, and I understand that this is hot topic for a lot of folks. Especially for those who have experienced the loss of a loved to suicide because they were deeply depressed and saw no way out.

I’m sorry this person’s partner shot herself. That’s terrible news, and is traumatizing for the people left behind.

Unfortunately, anti-depressant medications do NOT work for everyone and may not be the best answer.

In some cases, those same medications can exacerbate depression, intensify suicidal ideations, and lead to suicide.[3] [4]

“A clinical trial conducted by the FDB showed that the rate of suicidal thinking or behavior doubled for patients taking SSRIs compared to those assigned to receive placebos.”[5]

My family and I experienced this firsthand when my sister became deeply depressed due to her life’s circumstances, and took her own life.

Her doctor prescribed various antidepressants (Zoloft, Cymbalta and Wellbutrin), but each time she took them, her thoughts of ending her life increased exponentially. It was shocking to witness.

In the suicide note she said, “Wellbutrin makes me feel sick.”

That medication and many others have a black box warning from the FDA.

“Wellbutrin has a boxed warning from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) about suicidal thoughts and behaviors. The boxed warning appears on the drug’s label and alerts you to possible serious risks.”[6]

My sister experienced all of those serious risks:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors
  • High blood pressure
  • Mania
  • Insomnia
  • Paranoia

We could have probably sued the pharmaceutical company for monetary compensation, as many others have. But, no amount of money will ever bring my sister, or anyone else, back. And, the truth is, Big Pharma makes enough money to continue damaging people forever and ever no matter how much money they pay out in settlements. [7]

As a health coach, my way to help alleviate and heal depression is by educating people and supporting them on using alternative options.

Especially now, with everything going on in the world, more and more people are getting depressed. And more and more medications are being doled out to the masses.

I’m not saying that life is easy to navigate, it can be really hard for some folks, and they may choose to opt-out.

My job is to offer something other than the prescription medication that oftentimes keeps people stuck in a hole, or in some cases, pushes them over the edge.

In the end, this is your life, and it’s imperative to make the choices that make the best sense to you – whether that is medication, or diet and lifestyle improvements, or both… or none of the above.