Depression is Not a
If you're depressed and think your doctor's prescription for Prozac, Zoloft, or any other popular antidepressant makes sense, it's unlikely you will ever cure the cause of your depression, says Sherry Rogers, M.D., in her new book Depression--Cured At Last! Dr. Rogers' national reputation is founded on her acute understanding of the complex biochemical reasons underlying such seemingly intractable conditions as environmental illness, allergies, and multiple chemical sensitivities.
Until you resolve the underlying causes, the minute you go off the Prozac, that black cloud of depression will settle over you again, says Dr. Rogers. "A lifetime of medications, by not uncovering the real causes, can not only lead to an escalation of symptoms, but to the creation of new and seemingly unrelated symptoms."
Yet, in the majority of cases, depression's hidden causes are both identifiable and correctable, says Dr. Rogers. While no two people with depression have exactly the same causes, depression can result from multiple problems.
These include environmental triggers, such as hidden food, chemical, and mold sensitivities or allergies; deficiencies of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, and hormones; heavy metal toxicity (aluminum, mercury, cadmium); brain fog; leaky gut syndrome; hypoglycemia; and intestinal microfloral imbalances. Often, it is possible to pinpoint single substances capable of generating depression, such as aspartame, wheat gluten, or caffeine. A magnesium or vitamin B12 deficiency can also produce depression.
It is a terrible irony, says Dr. Rogers, that, according to the Physicians' Desk Reference, one side effect of all antidepressants is depression. Over time, this class of drug depletes the body of certain nutrients; this depletion then generates "a slow, insidious, and escalating depression."
Dr. Rogers addresses depression, and other major chronic diseases, by assessing the total toxic load in a patient. This means the cumulative effect of multiple toxins, allergies, stressors, chemical imbalances, nutrient deficiencies, and others. "It is only when the total body burden of mental and physical stressors has been sufficiently reduced that the body is able to reverse damages from years of overload and heal," Dr. Rogers says.
This approach to reversing chronic illness comes out of a therapeutic view called environmental and orthomolecular medicine -- "where we can find the causes for symptoms rather than merely drugging them," says Dr. Rogers.
Her message is one of medically informed optimism, supplemented in her book by 1,000 clinical references for physicians. Insofar as the multiple correctable causes of depression can be identified, people suffering from depression no longer need to feel despair or a lack of hope. "You can most likely learn to heal the impossible, as many others have," she encourages the reader.
The key to reversing depression is to identify the causes unique to the individual, says Dr. Rogers. She recommends patients have a complete biochemical workup including a urine analysis, thyroid test, magnesium loading test, and other blood chemistry profiles that indicate nutrient status. A liver detoxification panel, urinary Dglucaric acid test, or mercapturic acid test will help indicate if one's liver is overloaded through chemical exposure and is thereby unable to perform its detoxification functions. Dr. Rogers advises a stool analysis to assess digestion, absorption, and intestinal microfloral composition.
Dr. Rogers suggests that depressed people stop consuming sugar, white flour products, alcohol, tea, coffee, soda, chocolate, processed foods, and chlorinated or fluoridated water, and also stop smoking. Any or all of these may be contributing to the depression.
The results of these tests then form the basis for a comprehensive healing program, involving major dietary change and purification, nutrient replenishment, a change in the components of one's living environment, and a shift in attitude, says Dr. Rogers. The goal is to "get on a balanced prescribed program to correct the deficiencies." Reversing chronic depression usually requires the guidance of a competent, holistically-trained practitioner, advises Dr. Rogers -- and a patient who is aware of the medical realities of their reversible condition.
Copyright © 1996. The Light Party.
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