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Treating Depression Naturally

…by gaining control over your brain’s biochemistry

Dr. William J. Walsh, PhD is the president of the Walsh Research Institute, an organization “dedicated to unraveling the biochemistry of mental disorders and [the] development of improved clinical treatments through scientific research”.  Dr. Walsh received his PhD in Chemical Engineering, but while working as a prison volunteer he was given the opportunity to study the brain chemistry of convicts and violent offenders and, because of the astounding discoveries made, decided to devote the rest of his career to Nutrient Based Psychiatry & Nutritional Medicine.  Dr. Walsh is very influential and highly regarded in his field, and has become a major proponent of treating depression naturally, as well as using Nutritional Therapy to combat many other mental and behavioral disorders.

Around 1965-1975, there was a revolution in mental health happening around the world.  Psychiatry was shifting its focus from a Freudian-based one, which speculated that children were born as a “blank slate” whose behavior and personality were then formed by their experiences and environment, into a paradigm which acknowledged family history, chemical imbalances, neurotransmitters, and the overall molecular biology of the brain as major factors in “bad behavior”, mental illness, , etc.  Dr. Walsh wondered if this molecular biology could explain much of what was driving the violence and/or mental illness of the convicts that he was working with at the time.  This inquiry led to years upon years of experiments and the accumulation of massive amounts of data, all pointing towards a surprising conclusion… chemical imbalances, and improper levels of trace metals in particular, do indeed account for many of the tendencies of violent criminals and the expression of mental and behavioral disorders.

One example Dr. Walsh gives of a trace metal that has a huge impact on brain function is copper.  Copper is a key factor in the transition of dopamine to norepinephrine, so not having the right amount of copper in your system will lead to unhealthy levels of norepinephrine.  Additionally, it is very important that our bodies have the ability to regulate these levels by flushing excess copper from our system.  Some people do not have these regulatory abilities, and Dr. Walsh was surprised to discover that almost all of the convicts/offenders he was working had copper imbalances… those with who had episodic violent tendencies had very high copper levels, and the sociopathic types had very low copper levels.  This is just one example of the remarkable and pervasive findings of these revolutionary studies.

Additionally surprising was the fact that an entire group of convicts that Dr. Walsh had worked with, when subjected to blood tests in order to assess brain chemistry, returned almost identical results.  All the convicts had Pyrrole Disorder, were dramatically zinc deficient, and all were under methylated (high blood histamine).  Dr. Walsh recalls saying “they’re all the same!” upon receiving results.  This was incredibly surprising news… but also exciting, as these types of imbalances are easily treated with the proper Nutritional Therapy.  These discoveries and more prompted Dr. Walsh to initiate a study of over 500 people, starting with violent offenders and then eventually also taking on children who exhibited violent tendencies.  The treatments were extremely beneficial to the adults, but many would stop compliance after a period of time, thereby negating the positive outcomes.  The children, on the other hand, had extremely high levels of success, with very long-lasting beneficial effects.

One major focus of Dr. Walsh’s is depression.  According to Dr. Walsh, there is a major misconception around depression in the world of Psychiatry.  Depression is usually treated as a “single disorder” whose major foundational factor is low activity in serotonin receptors.  But not all depressions are alike, as Dr. Walsh’s data has shown him.  He points to “five completely different disorders called ‘depression’, only two of which have to do with serotonin”.  It is perfectly logical to conclude that treating depression naturally, thru Nutritional Therapy, could bypass much of the hardship and mishaps which are proliferated by treating each person and each brain as if it were the same… a dangerous approach, as it turns out that undermethylated patients respond very differently to SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, most often prescribed for depression) then overmethylated patients, who respond very poorly.  Dr. Walsh even points to school shooting as one of the devastating offshoots of this type of blanket treatment offered for depression, as 40 out of the 50 school shootings of the past 3 decades have been carried out by young men who had functioned quite normally thru life before being put on SSRI antidepressant medications.  Dr. Walsh speculates that a simple blood test may have helped guide the prescribing physicians towards more appropriate treatment, as it could indicate whether or not a patient was overmethylated and therefore at high risk for adverse effects from the SSRIs.

Dr. Walsh believes that “we’re on the verge of a new era of psychiatry where we’ll be able to fix all these psychiatric problems without foreign molecules.  We’ll be able to normalize the brain, without drugs.  That is the era that is just beginning… and my group is trying to speed that up”.  As a matter of fact, his group at one point studied 700 violent children and adults, treated their specific chemical imbalances thru Nutritional Therapy (thereby “normalizing brain chemistry”) and then published the resulting changes in their violent activity.  91% of the families said that violent episodes had diminished, and 58% reported that violent episodes had completely disappeared.  Astounding results.

Dr. Walsh is very clear in pointing out that he is “not opposed to drugs… psychiatric medications have helped millions of people.  It was the best they had for the last 50 years… but now we’re learning how to do things better and without side effects … normalizing the brain instead of putting powerful foreign molecules into the brain.  As science advances, the need for psychiatric drugs will fade away”.

Second Opinion Physician agrees! And we believe that need for drugs is already fading.  SOP is trained in the Walsh Protocol and can advise patients on ways to use Nutritional Therapy and Supplements to combat mental and behavioral disorders, including highly effective ways of treating depression naturally.

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.