In any given 1-year period, 9.5 percent of the population, or about 18.8 million American adults, suffer from depression. Major depression is the leading cause of disability. The indirect and direct costs of mood disorder illnesses totals over 43 billion dollars a year. Depression and related mood disorders ranks behind high blood pressure as the most common reason people visit their doctors. Anyone who has suffered with a mood disorder knows first hand just how painful these illnesses can be. Anxiety and depression disorders affect every facet of a person’s life.. The pain, disappointment, fatigue, and hopelessness that these individuals experience slowly consumes every fiber of their being. They may lose their job, marriage, friends, and family as they spiral into an ever deeper abyss. At its worst, the illness may cause some individuals to become so sick that death is a welcomed option. Over 30,000 Americans commit suicide each year.
Individuals who visit their family doctor with depression often receive a shake of the head, and are sent on their way with a prescription for an SSRI antidepressant like Prozac, Effexor, Cymbalta, Paxil, Zoloft, Celebrex, or Lexapro. And in fact this can provide a welcome relief from the symptoms.
However, prescription medications are not effective for everyone. They have side effects that can be life- threatening. Prozac alone has been associated with over 1,734 suicide deaths and over 28,000 adverse reactions. (I go through, in great detail, all about SSRI’s and the effect on your brain in Module 2 of my Fibro Free Coaching Program >> Learn more at JoinFibroFreeCoaching.com)
Prescription anti-depressants attempt to increase the brain’s efficiency in using adequate amounts of neurotransmitters. Prozac is classified as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI). Other SSRI’s include Zoloft, Paxil, and Lexapro. These medications inhibit the destruction of serotonin. This allows more time for more serotonin to circulate in the brain. But no one has a Prozac or SSRI deficiency. A serotonin deficiency, yes. But is prescription medication always necessary? Using SSRI’s is similar to using a gasoline additive in an empty gasoline tank. Most individuals with mood disorders have been running on fumes (low serotonin or other neurotransmitters) for years. A gasoline additive isn’t going to help!! Some individuals do notice an improvement for a period of time but then their nutritional deficiencies begin to rob them of what little serotonin they have left. Once their serotonin is used up they are left to try yet another antidepressant. Is it any wonder these individuals are depressed? There is a better way. Why not just correct the nutritional deficiencies? Why not pour gasoline into the tank? Forget the gasoline additive. Let’s just fill the tank back up with serotonin! But how do you do that, you ask? First, let’s learn a little bit about neurotransmitters.
What are Neurotransmitters?
Neurotransmitters are brain chemicals that help relay electrical messages from one nerve cell to another. Neurotransmitters are produced from the amino acids in the foods we eat. Half of the amino acids are essential. This means our bodies can’t manufacture them and we must get them from the foods we eat (protein). Certain amino acids, along with vitamins (B6, B3, C) and minerals (magnesium), produce the neurotransmitters. (For example, the amino acid Tryptophan turns into serotonin; and the amino acid phenylalanine turns into epinephrine.) Amino acids are the raw nutrients needed to manufacture the neurotransmitters which regulate our moods.
What do neurotransmitters do?
Neurotransmitters help regulate pain, reduce anxiety, promote happiness, initiate deep sleep, boost energy, and mental clarity.
Correcting the Cause of Mood Disorders
No one is born with a Prozac deficiency. However, people can develop a serotonin deficiency. Using a SSRI doesn’t correct the cause. If someone is out of gas (serotonin), why would you use a gasoline additive (SSRI)? Why not fill the tank (brain) up with gas (serotonin) instead? I’ve been using amino acid replacement therapy to help patients restore their neurotransmitters naturally for several years and have found this approach to be far superior to using prescription medicines (in most cases) for treating mild to moderate mood disorders.
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