WHY WE ALL NEED TO UNDERSTAND THAT DEPRESSION IS AN ILLNESS THAT CAN BE MANAGED AND TREATED THROUGH CHANGES TO NUTRITION AND LIFESTYLE

The recent passing away of Robin Williams has highlighted that it doesn’t matter how rich or famous you are. Depression can affect anybody and has no socio-economic barriers. There is a terrible stigma around depression and mental illness and though I was deeply saddened by Robin William’s passing, I am grateful to him for showcasing that depression can affect anybody. It has no barriers.

It is a grossly underfunded area of health. It is rare that I say something negative as it is not my outlook on life and not what My Kitchen Heals stands for. But I get so frustrated that so much money is allocated to treating illnesses caused by poor lifestyle choices such as choosing to smoke and overeating (and always on the wrong food) and yet little funding is allocated to helping both the people who grapple with depression and mental illness as well as the family and friends of the person.

Friday 10th October is Hat Day and I encourage you all to participate in this great initiative by the Rotary Club. This is a   fund-raising day where you wear a hat and make a donation to help shine a light on mental illness in Australia.

Simply register your Hat Day at www.hatday.com.au.  It could be for your company, club, sport team, friends, family – whatever!

Your very own Hat Day event page will be set up where people can make a donation to this wonderful cause. You’ll be able to set a ‘Hat’s Off’ target to reach and watch the progress.

My Kitchen Heal’s philosophy has always been to heal the body through food and lifestyle but the reality is that many people with depression and mental health issues will benefit from medication coupled with counseling and lifestyle changes. However, I do urge everyone who knows someone who is depressed or themselves struggles with depression, to see a good health coach as often depression can occur because of underlying physical health issues where the liver is unable to process the nutrients and minerals found in food. If there is an underlying metabolic reason for the depression, changes to diet will not be enough to correct this imbalance. Pyroluria is a liver and a blood disease. In essence Pyroluria or Pyrroles Disorder is a deficiency in Niacin and Zinc which is caused by the body’s overproduction of pyrroles. The pyrroles bind to these nutrients and block the body’s absorption. At the same time, Vitamin B6 and Zinc are necessary for the enzymes which create the neurotransmitters Serotonin, Dopamine, Melatonin, and GABA, and so the constant leaching of B6 and Zinc into the urine will result in mood swings, anxiety, panic disorders, and insomnia. Pyroluria is a severe metabolic disorder where your body does not make an essential protein called “haem”. Instead your body makes porphrins which accumulate in your organs and they also severely interrupt the flow of haemoglobins in your body. My Kitchen Heals specialises in the treatment of Pyroluria and though this condition can not be cured, it can be dramatically improved by changes to diet, lifestyle and some supplementation. There are many studies that indicate that people are often misdiagnosed with mental health issues and given very powerful medication to treat chemical imbalances in the brain, who in fact have Pyroluria.

Depression can be reactive whereby a life event such as the loss of someone close to you or the break-up of a relationship can trigger a period of mourning. This is completely natural and not out of the ordinary. Also note too, that people with low thyroid functions can also present with symptoms of depression and those symptoms will not be improved unless the thyroid issue is corrected. However, depression that is more long-term can dramatically interrupt a person’s quality of life and this is where there needs to be more support given. Certainly, there are things that can be done at a food and lifestyle level such as:

  • Daily meditation
  • Yoga
  • Eliminating processed foods, grains, legumes and sugar
  • Supplements such as Krill Oil, Niacin, SAMe, B12, Magnesium, Zinc
  • Omega-3 rich foods such as flaxseeds, walnuts and chia seeds
  • Getting exposure to the early morning sun is a proven way to help beat depression. Don’t wear sunglasses as the body will absorb Vitamin D best through the eyes.
  • Regular exercise outside is a fabulous way to stave off depression.
  • Bach flowers and remedies
  • St John’s Wort
  • Probiotics – it is absolutely essential to have a healthy gut in treating depression.
  • Keeping a Gratitude Journal
  • Kinesiology
  • Acupuncture
  • Counselling
  • Cognitive Behaviour Therapy
  • IPT (Interpersonal Therapy)
  • MBCT (Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy)
  • Tai Chi
  • Reiki

I encourage you to read further on the role of medication in treating depression: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/01/16/dr-brogan-on-depression.aspx

Schedule a complimentary 30 minute health consultation with me today!