Are you Depressed?

In my opinion,  psychiatrists should first test their patients for nutritional deficiencies before writing prescriptions for Zoloftor for  antipsychotics, like Zyprexa.  Conscientious doctors send patients to get lab work done prior to prescribing drugs or increasing dosages.  There are times when people do need antidepressants.   However,  other times  spinach would go far to eliminate the symptoms of depression.   Think Popeye.

If you haven’t ever tested your nutrition levels, you might inquire with either your psychiatrist or primary-care physician. Supplements can be expensive, but you can make it back  by not having to see your psychiatrist as often. You should talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, especially if you’re on prescription drugs.

 

Vitamin D

According to my doctor, Vitamin D deficiency is a major epidemic that doctors and public health officials are just beginning to realize. This deficiency has been linked to depression, dementia, and autism. Most of our levels drop off during the fall and winter months, since sunlight is the richest source.   My doctor believes that we should be getting from 5,000 to 10,000 IU  a day.  However, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends most healthy adults get only about 600 IUs daily.  Hence, the widespread deficiency and increases in depression.

Magnesium

I am forever extolling the virtues of Magnesium, because this, like Vitamin D, is deficient in most American adults, according to my doctor, and the symptoms are not pretty.  They can, in fact, set off a chain reaction of unpleasant symptoms. Our lifestyles decrease our levels of Magnesium.  Some of the things that contribute are excess alcohol, salt, coffee, sugar, phosphoric acid (in soda), chronic stress, antibiotics, and diuretics (water pills). Magnesium is sometimes referred to as the stress antidote, the “most powerful relaxation mineral that exists,” according to Hyman. It is found in seaweed, greens, and beans. The NIH recommends a daily intake of about 400 to 420 milligrams (mg) of magnesium for adult men and 310 to 320 mg for adult women.  Magnesium Citrate can also act as a laxative, so buy your Magnesium accordingly….and time it well.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

I was surprised when my results showed an omega-3 fatty acid deficiency because I eat plenty of salmon and take fish oil supplements every day. That shows you just how much fish — salmon, tuna, halibut — or flaxseeds and walnuts we need to consume to be at an optimal level. These essential minerals reduce inflammation and play a critical role in brain function, especially memory and mood. The body can’t make them, so you need to either eat them or take supplements. Omega-3 fatty acids are just one of the supplements I take every day for depression

Vitamin B Complex

B vitamins like vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12 can provide some incredible health benefits, including reduced stroke risk and healthy skin and nails. On the other hand, a vitamin B deficiency may impact your mental health. More than a quarter of severely depressed older women were deficient in B-12, according to one 2009 study.

The best sources of vitamin B-6 are poultry, seafood, bananas, and leafy green vegetables. For vitamin B-6, the NIH recommends a daily intake of 1.7 mg for adult men, and 1.5 mg for adult women. Vitamin B-12 is found in animal foods (meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and milk) and shellfish, such as clams, mussels, and crab. Most adults should need to consume 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B-12 daily, according to the NIH.

Folate

People with a low folate level have only a 7 percent response to treatment with antidepressants. Those with high folate levels have a response of 44 percent, according to Hyman. That is why many psychiatrists are now prescribing a folate called Deplin to treat depression and improve the effectiveness of an antidepressant. I tried it and it didn’t seem to make that much of a difference; however, I have several friends who have had very positive responses to Deplin. You need not try the prescription form of Deplin. You could just start taking a folate supplement and see if you get any results. Your daily recommended folate intake depends on your gender, whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, and age. However, most adults need at least 400 mcg daily. You can also get your daily folate requirements by consuming foods high in folate, including dark leafy greens, beans and legumes, and citrus fruits and juices.

 Amino Acids

Amino acids — the building blocks of protein — help your brain properly function. A deficiency in amino acids may cause you to feel sluggish, foggy, unfocused, and depressed. Good sources of amino acids include beef, eggs, fish, beans, seeds, and nuts.

 Iron

Iron deficiency is pretty common in women. About 20 percent of women, and 50 percent of pregnant women, are in the club. Only three percent of men are iron deficient. The most common form of anemia — an insufficient number of red blood cells — is caused by iron deficiency. Its symptoms are similar to depression: fatigue, irritability, brain fog. Most adults should consume 8 to 18 mg of iron daily, depending on age, gender, and diet, according to the NIH. Good sources of iron include red meat, fish, and poultry. If you really want to get more red blood cells, eat liver. Yuck.

 Zinc

This one is SO important!  Zinc is used by more enzymes (and we have over 300) than any other mineral. It is crucial to many of our systems. It activates our digestive enzymes so that we can break down our food, and works to prevent food allergies (which, in turn, averts depression in some people, since some of our mood disruptions are triggered by food allergies). It also helps our DNA to repair and produce proteins. Finally, zinc helps control inflammation and boosts our immune system. The NIH recommends a daily intake of 11 mg of zinc for adult men and 8 mg for adult women.

 Selenium

Like iodine, selenium is important for good thyroid function. It assists the conversion of inactive thyroid hormone T4 to the active thyroid hormone, T3. It also helps one of our important antioxidants (glutathione peroxidase) keep polyunsaturated acids in our cell membranes from getting oxidized (rancid). Most adults need about 55 mcg of selenium daily. The best food source of selenium is Brazil nuts, which contains about 544 mcg of selenium per ounce.

Iodine

Iodine deficiency can be a big problem because iodine is critical for the thyroid to work as it should, and the thyroid affects more than you think: your energy, metabolism, body temperature, growth, immune function, and brain performance (concentration, memory, and more). When it’s not functioning properly, you can feel very depressed, among other things. You can get iodine by using an iodine-enriched salt, or by eating dried seaweed, shrimp, or cod. I take a kelp supplement every morning because I have hypothyroidism. The daily recommend amount of iodine for most adults is about 150 mcg.

Feeling Great ….Really

You know, I stay so busy that I can sometimes lose touch of how I feel on a given day, simply because I’m on auto-pilot so often, rushing from one job to another, working on opening my business, still writing and writing and making art, providing childcare for Ingrid, taking care of our home, making music, making life happen…..so when I stop, as I did today while the beautiful scent of lavender (my favorite) wafted up from the floors that I’d just mopped, and I thought about how I really feel, all I could think was how great I have it right now….how happy I am….how all the pieces have simply fallen into place.

There is illness in my family….my cousin….my parents….but even still, my heart is peaceful, albeit very concerned.

There is no dysfunction in my immediate life.  There is stress, but it is the normal kind that comes with an overwhelming, crushing amount of work….yet, each time I complete one task and go on to the next, I feel a little happier, like I am one step closer to opening this business and realizing my goals.  Things are so good!  I am one lucky woman.

I would like to thank those family members who have been so incredibly supportive of me….my husband, my daughter and on and on.  What would I have done without them?   My dear friends who make sure I know I am valuable to them.  I have some incredible friends, and I have not lost a single one of them in years.  They stand by me in the face of controversy and make sure that I know I am loved, every day of the week.   I am one lucky woman.

I still love living in this beautiful city in this beautiful state and I count my blessings every day for everything that I have.  Money can’t buy this folks.  Money can’t buy this kind of happiness.

Life just doesn’t get much better than this.

I have love.  I have life.  I have someone who is very, very special and sweet who makes me feel good to be alive, and for this, I am most thankful of all.

Life is great.

Which Song Was Written for You?

A friend sent this little quiz to me this morning and I thought I’d share.  Answer a few questions to find out which song was written especially for you!   It’s sort of fun.  Click HERE to find out which song is a fit for you.

This is what mine said:

 “You are a positive and passionate person. Your smile is breathtakingly beautiful, no one can resist smiling after meeting you. Go on and spread some joy while listening to “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, it’s YOUR song!”

 

What about you?  What’d YOU get? 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

After midnight….

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When the clock strikes 12 tonight, I will be entering a new decade.  Gifts began arriving two days ago.   Tonight, I am thinking of my mother, in labor, all those years ago.  She is a very sweet woman.  She always said it was a difficult labor, however, and  that the nurses popped popcorn in the lounge, and that she hated the smell of that.  I long to be with Mom tonight, miles and miles away from me, and Dad, too.  I wish I could celebrate this birthday with them.  I almost got to do it, but my school work prevented that.

I have plans for breakfast with a friend in the morning, then dinner with my daughter later and a “big surprise” after that….whatever that means, and my husband promises we will have yet another surprise when he returns on the 22nd, and another is winging its way to me as I write this.   Truth be told, I don’t feel much like celebrating.  I have a lot of work to do, both for grad school and for my job.  Birthdays are just another day of the week for me now.  The celebrations will be more for those people that love me, rather than for just me.  Next year, I am going to book a reservation at a yoga retreat.  I have grown to love my solitude.  The silence.  I like being alone.   I am happy.

Happy birthday to me.