Treating Depression and Improving Your State of Mind
This blog post will quickly bring you up to speed on the latest treatment methods that show promising results for depression sufferers.
A Vitamin for Depression
For those seeking the natural route, there are vitamin supplements that can enhance one's mood without the need for pharmaceuticals. As author Sunny Sea Gold explains:
"...what I learned blew my mind. The brain needs folate - a B vitamin in spinach, kidney beans and avocado - to produce mood-regulating chemicals like serotonin and dopamine. But (it is) hard for some people to break down folate into methylfolate, a metabolized form capable of crossing from the bloodstream into the brain..."
She goes on to point out that "...not having enough methylfolate can increase a person's risk for depression. The uplifting news: Scientists have created supplement forms of the vitamin that can cross the blood-brain barrier." There is a lab test to find out if you're low in this nutrient and it is now available by prescription. Speak to your insurance broker in San Diego to see if it will be covered by your insurance.
An article in the Wall Street Journal explored online tools for treatment of depression and found that they "...do just as well - if not better - than traditional therapy for some patients." These online therapies have "...evolved to include mobile apps such as Joyable, Lantern and Ginger.io, which are more personalized and responsive. They typically ask users to enter information about their moods and behaviors, then offer problem-solving suggestions, prompts to help patients retrain responses to negative situations, and daily health tips."
See our related blog post on tele-medicine.
Can ‘Special K’ treat depression?
Ketamine (aka "Special K") which is commonly used as an anesthetic in hospitals, has helped to improve symptoms of depression and suicidal thoughts. Sharp Mesa Vista Hospital is currently conducting research as part of an FDA-sponsored clinical trial to determine the safety and efficacy of a new inhaled version of ketamine as a therapy for treatment-resistant depression.
Yes, it's guaranteed that somebody has already mentioned meditation to you. Many feel it will be boring or hard to bring a state of silence to a chattering mind. But any attempt to quiet the mind and become aware of the thinking will be of benefit. Statistics show that it is worth the effort.
One technique available, Transcendental Meditation (popularized by the Beatles in the 70's), offers this encouraging statistic:
"Many patients suffering from post-traumatic stress problems who learned the TM technique showed significant reduction in depression after four months, in contrast to others who were randomly assigned to receive psychotherapy."
- Journal of Counseling and Development
In this study, the participants meditated twice a day, for 20 minutes each session, using a mantra. But there are many forms of meditation techniques and they almost all offer a benefit in reducing depression. If you prefer a guided meditation that helps to release the mind chatter, author Sam Harris created his own version here. Popular apps including Headspace, can also provide a bit of quiet relief in your busy day. Meditation is a wonderful complement to any treatment approach.
Dr. Joe Dispenza (mentioned in a previous blog) has provided a lot of research on the positive effects of both yoga and meditation at the molecular level. He offers up some encouraging insight, "The next time you sit down to meditate, practice yoga, or any other alternative activity, just remember—you might actually be changing your life."
It's not easy to alter the way our brain is firing, but it's encouraging to know it's possible.
Speak to your health insurance agent in San Diego to learn more.