What depression is REALLY doing to your body
We all like to think we’re pretty tough. Maybe we’re not taking down bad guys like Chuck Norris, but we can certainly handle ourselves.
We can handle some pain without crying to a doc for some meds, and that goes for mental anguish, too.
But no matter how tough you are, don’t be afraid to seek help when you need it – especially when it comes to depression – because the latest research shows how this common “mental” condition packs a very real physical punch.
You might not feel it on the outside, but it’s doing real damage on the inside – wrecking you on a cellular level by causing the oxidative stress that can increase your risk of chronic disease.
The new review of 29 studies finds that when you become depressed, your levels of malondialdehyde – a biomarker that gets cranked out as cells fall apart – start to rise, while your levels of the essential mineral zinc drop.
These are both typical responses to damaging oxidative stress.
Treating depression, however, causes levels of both malondialdehyde and zinc to return to normal.
So far so good, but I’m guessing the main “treatment” in these 29 studies was prescription medication, which shouldn’t be your first (or even second or third) option for dealing with depression.
Even when they work and help chase away the dark clouds, antidepressant drugs can cause personality changes, appetite problems, sexual dysfunction, and more.
They also come with more serious long-term risks…with older tricyclic antidepressants linked to heart problems…and newer SSRI drugs linked to stroke and sudden cardiac death in women.
SSRIs are even worse for folks who’ve already had heart problems, increasing the risk of death by 55 percent, according to a Duke University study.
That’s not to say you should ignore depression. Of course you shouldn’t – because along with increasing oxidative damage, it can also boost your levels of chronic inflammation, which sets the stage for heart problems and other diseases.
One new study even finds serious depression could almost double your risk of dementia!
Instead of dangerous medication, turn to science-backed natural therapies such as the amino acid 5-HTP, which your body converts to serotonin.
It’s so effective that many mainstream doctors in Europe consider it their mainstream treatment of choice.
In some cases, depression can be a sign of a hormonal imbalance; so if you find you’re not getting better no matter what you do, get tested by a holistic medical doctor.
In other cases, depression is caused by a tragic life event – and in those cases, you don’t need a drug or even a supplement so much as time, the support of loved ones, and some prayer.