Having been in practice for many years its easy to take for granted what the alternative health industry has to offer to our clients. I was reminded of this fact when I met a new patient yesterday who came seeking support to address his depression. He came thinking that medication was the only way his condition could be assisted, even though he frequently experienced side effects from it. Referred by his Psychologist, we strategically looked at the naturopathic treatment options available to him. With clear explanations about the potential of treatment regimes suggested, I could sense his optimism and relief growing.
Depression is a multi-factorial condition needing a wellness plan that incorporates a team of practitioners. Naturopathic support is vital in this condition and needs to be carefully prescribed given the many drug/herbal/nutrient interactions.
I have never created two wellness plans the same when it comes to depression. The lovely gentleman I saw yesterday was a case in point.
Three years of taking anti-depressants which created an initial side effect of insomnia, he presented completely exhausted. Lethargy being a main symptom of depression, it was hard to see the benefits of the medication – yet periods of stopping his SSRI’s left him mildly suicidal. Blood test results revealed his liver was not functioning well – an important organ that supports healthy brain neurochemistry and deals with metabolising medication (possible reason for the side effects). Just prior to his depression he had his gallbladder removed.
In this case, supporting the patients liver/gallbadder function is vital in treating the underlying cause of depression. Combined with Melatonin – to help reset the sleep cycle this patient is happily on his way out of the depression maze.
With his wellness program in place and a team involving a Psychologist, Doctor and Naturopath- a long-term plan has been put in place to best manage his complex condition of depression – creating an optimism for the first time that there maybe a future without medication and/or depression.