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Treatment for Depression without Medication

It is estimated that 13.1 to 14.2 million American adults suffer from clinical and that 32 million will face the disease at some point in their life.  Only roughly 57% ever receive treatment, but those that do seem to find relief in antidepressant medications, such as SSRIs, , and MAO inhibitors.  However, whether or not it is actually the medication which is supplying that relief is up for debate.  And this is exactly the debate that is bravely addressed by psychology researcher Irving Kirsch, in his book The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth, and which is addressed in Newsweek’s article “Why Antidepressants Are No Better Than Placebos”, by Sharon Begley.
Backed by Kirsch’s research, Begley writes that “Yes, the drugs are effective, in that they lift depression in most patients. But that benefit is hardly more than what patients get when they, unknowingly and as part of a study, take a dummy pill—a . As more and more scientists who study depression and the drugs that treat it are concluding, that suggests that antidepressants are basically expensive Tic Tacs.”

The placebo effect, “a medical benefit you get from an inert pill or other sham treatment” continues Begley, “rests on the holy trinity of belief, expectation, and hope.”

Begley goes on to point out that some researchers even wonder if “antidepressants are ‘a triumph of marketing over science’” and points out that “even defenders of antidepressants agreed that the drugs have ‘relatively small’ effects.”  Kirsch’s study indicated that “patients on a placebo improved about 75 percent as much as those on drugs. Put another way, three quarters of the benefit from antidepressants seems to be a placebo effect.”
Further, it appears to that those small effects are really only evident in patients which exhibit severe levels of depression, not for the mild to moderate cases.  Although any amount of depression is incredibly difficult, vastly overwhelming, and often simply unbearable, it seems that those suffering from the more mild to moderate levels could very well benefit greatly from treatment for depression without medication.  Which begs the question… why then, since this study, has “the number of Americans taking antidepressants doubled in a decade, from 13.3 million in 1996 to 27 million in 2005”?

Psychology researcher Steven Hollon of Vanderbilt University reaffirms the pervasiveness of this placebo effect when he states that “many have long been unimpressed by the magnitude of the differences observed between treatments and controls… […] what some of our colleagues refer to as ‘the dirty little secret.’”

This is undoubtedly difficult for patients and doctors to hear.  A doctor who has witnessed improvement in a patient wants to believe that the treatment they are prescribing is the basis for that improvement… otherwise, how does one really quantify or measure the efficacy of one treatment over another?  But should this desire for standardization get in the way of a patient knowing the truth about his or her treatment options or prescriptions?

Psychotherapists could be excited at the prospect of an upsurge in talk therapy as opposed to medication.  It has been shown that is actually more effective than both pills and placebos, and carries a lower rate of relapse for sufferers of depression.  Unfortunately, most people that currently seek treatment for depression are receiving such from their primary-care doctors, not from psychiatrists (as many do not accept insurance).  Psychotherapy is just not a viable option for many patients.

Depression is devastating for the individual ensnared in its net, as well as often debilitating to the healthy functioning of entire families.  If a pill provides some semblance of relief, even if only by way of a placebo effect, is that really such a bad thing?  Perhaps not.  But one must take into consideration the side-effects which often accompany antidepressant medications, the high cost for prescriptions, the high potentiality for relapse, as well as the difficult and painful symptoms which may arise with withdrawal from that particular medication.  Could there be a better way?  Are there other viable treatment for depression without medication?

Second Opinion Physician believes so. 

 

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See full article from Newsweek

Link to The Emperor’s New Drugs: Exploding the Antidepressant Myth, by Irving Kirsch

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The Role of Pyrroles in Depression

#, also known as pyroluria or mauve factor, is a condition in which elevated levels of urinary due to oxidative stress. It is often brought on or exacerbated by physical and emotional distress. This may be the trigger that causes one to suddenly develop an imbalance in the breakdown of hemaglobin. This leads to chronic and vitamin B6 deficiencies due to the fact that pyrroles are aldehyde chelators and they attract and subsequently deplete zinc and B6.  This is a chronic disorder that affects roughly 10% of the population, and is especially prominent in those suffering from behavioral and mood disorders such as , , , bipolar, and .  Unfortunately, while doctors learned about this condition in medical school it is rarely acknowledged or investigated by general practitioners and psychiatrists, much less diagnose. Yet the treatment with supplements is simple and in many cases highly effective.

Some of the common symptoms are: , mood swings, depression, auditory processing disorder, memory loss, joint pain, poor dream recall, Irritable bowel syndrome, as well as being associated with internal stress and low serotonin production. Folks with zinc deficiency can often screen themselves by looking at their nail beds. If there are white clouds under the nail, this is a pretty good sign to get yourself checked out.

Following is an article excerpt from the story of one child’s Kryptopyrrole diagnosis, and she and her family’s journey from daily struggle into thriving and well-being…

Here’s an good example of what to expect with urinary pyrroles from Body and Soul:
Read full article here: Body & Soul, 10% Have This Illness But Most Don’t Know It

“We saw various experts trying to find out what was wrong and received various diagnoses, before taking Sophie to a physiotherapist who did cranial and visceral manipulation. She told me there was a problem with Sophie’s gut and recommended we see a GP who specialised in that area. She diagnosed pyrroles disorder.

Unusually, I had heard of pyrrole, as a friend’s son had it. It’s a genetic blood disorder that results in a dramatic deficiency of zinc, vitamin B6 and arachidonic acid – a long-chain##### fat.

Common symptoms include inability to cope with stress, emotional mood swings and sensitivity to light and sound. It also causes learning difficulties and auditory processing disorder, which means that in a noisy environment, it’s hard to single out the sound you should be listening to. In a classroom environment, that would mean that if other kids were talking, Sophie would struggle to hear the teacher.

It all made perfect sense and, sure enough, the urine test came back positive. The doctor told Sophie: “You poor thing, you really have been having a hard time of it, haven’t you?”, which was probably the best thing she could?have said. It was really nice for Sophie to have someone acknowledge her condition like that.

Sophie, now seven, was prescribed supplements in a dosage accordant with her weight and it made an immediate difference. We saw changes overnight and, although I know our journey is ongoing, it’s been getting better ever since. She was instantly happier, slept better and concentrated better. Before she couldn’t retain information or do spelling but now it was as if that blockage had been unblocked.”

Five Biotypes of Depression

The Five Biotypes of & Advanced Nutrient Therapies with William Walsh, PhD

Second Opinion Physician, David Epstein, D.O., is trained in the Walsh Protocol, developed by Dr. William J. Walsh, PhD, and committed to the natural treatment of depression, as well as other mood and behavioral disorders, thru the use of Nutrient Therapy.  It is estimated that 13.1 to 14.2 million American adults suffer from depression currently and that at least 32 million will similarly face this disease at some point in their lives.  However, the disease can be tricky to tackle for a number of reasons, not least of which are the grave misconceptions regarding depression which are upheld by mainstream psychiatry.  

Mainstream psychiatry typically regards depression as a “single entity with variations along a central theme”, according to Dr. Walsh.  It is also mostly assumed that those suffering from depression have low activity in the receptors in their brains responsible for the handling of serotonin, a monoamine neurotransmitter associated with feelings of “happiness and well-being”.  It is this central belief which informs most decisions as far as the majority of medications being used to treat depressive patients.  Most are prescribed SSRI medications which inhibit the reabsorption of serotonin into its originating receptor, thereby leaving more of the serotonin free to bind to postsynaptic receptors and to have positive effects, allegedly, on the entire organism.  However, after having evaluated 2,800 patients diagnosed with clinical depression, thru the lens of nutrient therapy, Dr. William Walsh is turning both of these centrally held misconceptions about depression and its treatment on their heads.  

By way of his evaluation and ongoing database studies, Dr. Walsh and his colleagues have identified five high-incidence depression biotypes.  These biotypes reference distinct and unique neurotransmitter & nutrient imbalances and symptoms, and therefore, according to Walsh, should be approached as 5 different disorders.  Additionally, he has made links between certain biotypes and the ineffectiveness of SSRI medications, even identifying some subgroups for whom SSRIs are actually dangerous.  

The biotype studies have given us great insight into these different depressive disorders, as well as a more workable look into what causes depression. Using this new revolutionary approach, Second Opinion Physician is able to direct patients towards lab tests which can identify the very nutrient & neurotransmitter imbalances triggering their particular depression, and can then provide recommendations for natural, highly effective, and individualized treatments.  This treatment will most often fall within the spectrum of about 6-8 different natural , along with dosage recommendations specific to the individual’s other biochemical status. 

A brief breakdown of each of the 5 Biotypes of Depression can be found below.

A note from our physician: Any one person will have variable combinations so the treatment must be individualized. I don’t recommend anyone trying to treat themselves based on this information unless a lab test is performed and a trained practitioner is coaching the individual. Follow link to learn more:

BIOTYPE 1 – Undermethylators – 38% of depression population

BIOTYPE 2 – Overmethylators  – or “Low-Folate Depressives” – 20% of depression population

BIOTYPE 3 – Pyrroluria or Pyrrole Depression – 15% of depression population

BIOTYPE 4 – Copper Overload or “High-Copper Depression” – 17% of depression population

95% of the patients in this subgroup are female.  Overly high copper levels can result in elevated norepinephrine and reduced dopamine in patients, high-anxiety and a tendency for panic, a high incidence of postpartum depression, estrogen intolerance, tinnitus, and extremely sensitive skin.  These persons are typically experiencing oxidative stress throughout their body as they have a limited ability to manage free radicals, such as heavy metals. Working to lower copper levels would be the nutrient therapy approach, but caution must be taken to not lower levels too quickly as it will temporarily worsen effects (due to copper leaving tissue and dumping into the blood or digestive tract).  Recommended supplements may include zinc, molybdenum, manganese and chromium (trace elements) and metalothionine producing amino acids. SSRIs are generally reported as ineffective for those suffering from High-Copper Depression.

BIOTYPE 5 – Toxic Metal Depression (5%)

These individuals have an excessive metal burden, such as lead toxicity.  They often exhibit severe oxidative stress, unrelenting depression, abdominal stress, a metallic taste in the mouth and bad breath, high levels of irritability or anger, and food sensitivities.  A gradual detox regimen might include supplements such as ALA, trace elements, metalothionine amino acids and antioxidants.  SSRIs are generally reported as ineffective for the Toxic Metal subgroup of patients struggling with depression.

Thanks to the dedicated work of Dr. William J. Walsh and other pioneers in the fields of nutrient therapy and , we now have more insight into some of the actual causes of depression, and can apply more targeted, individualized, effective, and safe treatments for patients.  Thru the recommendation of lab tests and subsequently the application of the various possibilities for nutrient and supplement based therapy, Second Opinion Physician can help patients finally break free from the painful and often debilitating struggle with depression, and other mood or behavioral disorders, to find relief and reclaim balance and health.d

Watch Video for more details:  Dr. William J. Walsh speaking to the American Nutrition Association about the 5 Biotypes of Depression and Advanced Nutrient Therapies

This is a simple summary followed by video of Dr Walsh explaining this in detail at the American Nutrition Association in 2014.

Any one person will have variable combinations so the treatment must be individualized. I don’t recommend anyone trying to treat themselves based on this information unless a lab test is performed and a trained practitioner is coaching the individual. There is usually about 6-8 different supplements and dosages recommended for the five  biotypes of depression, but it works something like this.