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Treating depression using natural hormones
It won’t be long before depression has replaced cardiovascular disease as the most common major health complaint. Many experts are currently trying to figure out why this is the case.
People are more susceptible to depression at different stages in life. Puberty, pregnancy and menopause are chief among these.
However, traumatic life events or chronic illness can also lead to depression. In the medical world, depression is described as a disease caused by many factors. This means that this clinical picture can have many different causes.
It may start off with a minor depressive state where the person feels somewhat down. “I’ve felt this before, it’ll pass,” you will hear many people say. If it does not pass, a general listlessness often follows; things that a person once enjoyed no longer make them happy and they find it difficult to perform the most mundane daily tasks. There are many different forms from this point onwards, depending on the severity of the depression. It is often the case, however, that this is accompanied by many physical symptoms at this stage, too:
- Sleeping problems
• Lack of appetite
• Constipation or diarrhoea
In cases of severe depression, the person affected may not even be able to get out of bed or practise their profession.
Sometimes the onset of depression can be traced back to a specific event, e.g. birth of a child. Here you find a clear and unambiguous hormonal connection. During pregnancy hormone levels shoot up before falling again dramatically shortly before the baby is delivered. The mother may experience the “pregnancy blues”, which in the rarest of cases can lead to the child being rejected; this is caused by a rapid decrease in sex hormones. Mood is stable only if the sex hormones are in balance.
However, sometimes depression can slowly creep up on an individual. It is hard to pinpoint exactly when it started; it has simply developed and got worse over the years. It often occurs without any obvious reason, rather it is more linked to a specific stage of life, for instance, between the ages of 45 and 60 give or take five years. Here, too, there is a clear relation between the hormones and the change in mood. Because it is precisely at this time, earlier for women, later for men, that hormone levels drop so much that depressive symptoms or full-blown depression can occur.
If chronic stress situations are experienced, e.g. caring for a relative, a highly stressful job possibly involving shift work, then the hormones will also play a role here. The metabolic system of the person affected is particularly influenced. They struggle to fall asleep or sleep through the night, and therefore do not give the body the chance to produce sufficient amounts of cortisol or melatonin. The level of cortisol increases dramatically due to the constant stress and also remains unphysiologically high over an extended period of time. This affects the sex hormonal axis which may be thrown off balance as a result.
The list of examples is endless. Important to know: Depression has many causes; however it only ever affects one system, namely our metabolism. Whether this leads to reduced appetite, reduced movement or sleeping problems – everything has an impact on the metabolism. The sequence of such disorders is not crucial when it comes to the treatment. What is important is that the entire metabolism must be in harmony.
Holistic treatment of depression
If important semiochemicals are lacking or are in short supply, depression can result. On the one hand, this includes a lack of different hormones and, on the other, the impaired production of substances that make us happy, e.g. serotonin.
Natural progesterone and pregnenolone have a particular influence on the mind and are totally natural antidepressants. DHEA, also a hormone, is necessary to make us resilient. Serotonin is our “happy hormone” and has a pain-relieving effect. Testosterone gives us stability. All natural hormones in our body perform very important tasks and also play a significant role in the area of the mind. If some natural hormones are lacking or are in short supply, severe symptoms may be the result. Balancing this hormonal deficiency is an important component in the holistic treatment of mental illnesses or complaints.
The holistic treatment of depression may also include adequate psychotherapy. Depending on the cause, by changing one’s behaviour or by working through the traumatic events, the person affected may find that their stability is much improved.
Please get in touch. We would be happy to advise.