Depression and Anxiety

How Happy Are You?
Tick the symptoms that are familiar and persistent for you.
If you ticked five or more symptoms then you may be depressed.

  • Low mood
  • Lack of enthusiasm for and pleasure from usual activities of interest
  • Poor concentration
  • Difficulty making decisions
  • Disturbed appetite – either increased or decreased
  • Disturbed sleep – either insomnia or oversleeping; feeling unrefreshed by sleep
  • Tiredness
  • Decreased sexual energy (libido)
  • Feeling worthless or hopeless
  • Anxiety
  • Physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment, such as headaches, digestive disorders and chronic pain

It is normal to feel “low” after bereavement, end of a relationship or other disappointment. However, in some people this sense of sadness goes on for months and affects all aspects of life. They are unable to truly enjoy doing anything, and will often suffer from fatigue and sleep disturbances.

There are several different possible underlying imbalances that can affect the depression, and too often these are not taken into account during treatment programs. Blood sugar balance is one of the most crucial factors in balancing mood. Studies have shown that people with depression have difficulty maintaining stable blood sugar levels. See the section on fatigue for more information on blood sugar regulation.

Depression is associated with deficiencies in essential omega-3 fats. These fats are found in fish, nuts and seeds. They are needed for optimal brain function. If you suffer from depression you may benefit from increasing your intake of these essential fats and reducing processed and animal fats.

Many nutrients are needed to make the brain chemicals needed for keeping your mood up and maintaining healthy brain and nerve cells. Low levels of B-vitamins are associated with depression, anxiety, irritability and insomnia. The amino acids tryptophan is needed to produce the neurotransmitter serotonin. Prozac works by increasing this same neurotransmitter.

There are several laboratory tests that can determine the appropriate course of therapy. These tests include Brain Neurotransmitter levels, Amino Acid levels or Fatty Acid Profiles.

Once the cause of the depression has been identified we can design the appropriate nutritional program.