Ruling Out Physical Causes (eg food/nutrition, lack of vitamins)

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Lots of people are promoting themselves or their businesses by saying that depression can be cured or relieved by changing diet/nutrition, taking vitamins or taking medication for conditions such as thyroid problems. They throw in lots of examples of patients whose depression was supposedly caused by physical issues and then cured by attacking that rather than mental issues.  They also offer cures and tests that vary from £10 for some vitamins up to £4,000 for a battery of tests and consultations with a psychiatrist and a nutritionist.

I can, though, find neither non-biassed assessments nor independent reviews to tell me whether I'd be wasting my time and money trying to find out if they can cure the tiredness that my depression leaves me with. Although £4,000 is a lot of money there are times I'd gladly pay it for even a short period of relief, but it's a lot of money to pay out blind. I also don't want to badger my GP for tests that would be a waste of time and effort (I pass the standard set of blood tests that go with cholesterol checks).

Has anyone cured themselves by a special diet or identified a physical cause of their depression? Can anyone recommend any tests, organization or reference (I have a copy of 'Depression Free Naturally" by Joan Larson that i struggle with as it is too orientated to the USA)?

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  • Posted

    Well, they do say that left untreated, depression would right itself in between six months/a year, and I'm certain that people did suffer depression before antidepressants came to be.  And without the range of healthy foods we have today.  My GP did bloods for me to test for Vit B12 and D levels.  I know two people who have B12 deficiency because the digestive system doesn't absorb it.......they get it by injection.  A lack of these two vits causes low mood.  Some people take multi B vits, some take magnesium, but Google to see which form of magnesium is best to take.  

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    • Posted

      Hi Iris I have to disagree with you as proper severe depression rarely 'rights itself' without treatment.   I think people learned to live with it before modern treatments which doesn't mean they were better.  x

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    • Posted

      Yes until more recent years there were a lot of people living their whole lives in those awful mental institutions.  

      I have had depression since childhood but it was never picked up on and I didn't seek help until my 20's.  It was usually mild/moderate with the odd severe flare ups where I become suicidal.  I learnt ways to carry on with my life and some coping mechanisms but depression is such a part of my nature now I don't know who I would be without it.  My life has been immeasurably damaged though as I have only managed to suvive by avoiding most things that people do in life ie have intimate relationships and/or have children.   Life has been hard enough just trying to survive without taking on responsibility for anyone except myself.   Very lonely and very barren but hey ho at the age of 62 I am still here and I never thought I would make it past 40 (if that)  smile  x

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    • Posted

      I'm sorry to hear all that, truly.  I'm 69, and all the men in my life (my support) have died, my dad, husband and brother.  My son now lives in NZ.  Had depression for 16 months, and just switched to citalopram.  I hope this works.......depression is a lonely place

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    • Posted

      HI Iris thanks but don't be,  I am used to it and don't know any differently.  Do you have any female support?  Friends?  Family?  A counsellor?  x

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  • Posted

    Iris, thanks.  It helps to know those examples.  I'll have a look for tests for those (I prefer to have a test rather than just try something as the placebo affect has taken me up a blind alley before). Ian

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    • Posted

      Many illnesses can cause us depression, the commonest is the cold virus.  However, doctors also need to consider diabetes, certain vitamin/mineral deficiencies, under active thyroid, and so on.  If you are in the UK, ask your GP to have them done for you free of charge.
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  • Posted

    Never had relief from any vitamins or supplements (not even St. John's wort).

    I do however get symptomatic relief from anxiety and depression through cycling. It's a chore forcing myself out sometimes but usually my mood improves over the course of the two hours I'm outside. The mood boost lasts the day and to a lesser extent, the next.

    Sometimes I find a good meal helps (that's due to the sedating serotonin slog you're put in whilst the body processes it). Otherwise my poor well-being usually only improves with the prescription drugs (even then it's hit and miss) or circumstancially.

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    • Posted

      They do say that exercise promotes endorphins in the brain (feel-good hormone).  It's so true that although the exercise will be good for us, yet we can't be bothered!  I used to swim a mile 3 times a week, but couldn't think about it now

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