Hey! – Rob here
Your Daily Health Fix today is about …
What they told us:
In the 1960’s the Serotonin theory of depression was hypothesised, suggesting that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and especially an imbalance of Serotonin (known as the happy hormone). By the mid 90’s, pharmaceutical companies were using this theory to support their marketing efforts for a new class of anti depressant drugs – SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors). However, recently (and unsurprisingly), it has been noted that the chemical imbalance theory is not supported by the original evidence or years of additional research.
What the research actually shows:
1. People with or without depression showed no difference in levels of serotonin (and serotonin activity) in the brain.
2. Instead of curing depression, popular antidepressants may induce a biological vulnerability making people more likely to become depressed in the future.
3. Other treatments (e.g., psychotherapy and physical exercise) produce the same benefits as antidepressants and do so without the side effects and health risks of the active drugs.
4. placebo treatments also show a lower relapse rate than that reported for antidepressant medication.
5. SSRI medications do seem to have a depression lowering effect, but as this is not as a result of the serotonin response, the mechanism is unknown.
Who Benefitted? – Who Lost?
Unsurprisingly the drug companies made bank – be it through peer pressure, direct advertising, or genuine clinical depression, rates of prescription and consumption of SSRI’s is at an all time high, a trend showing no sign of slowing.
The losers? The patient. Although some people do see short term ease of their condition, more often than not the depressive symptoms continue to grow as the cause (be it psychological, situational or metabolic triggers) are rarely addressed. The side effects of anti depressant drugs (of all types) are severe and can be lasting (worsened depression, reduced cognition, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, insomnia, digestive disruption, haemorrhaging, and addiction). Withdrawal from these drugs can be challenging and painful.
5 easy steps to boosting your mood and beating depression:
You know it, exercise, diet, sun exposure, sleep discipline, routine (living with purpose).
Let’s make it even simpler with these ground rules
1. Exercise is medicine. Do it every day, and intensely.
2. Cut out the processed food. If you didn’t make it, don’t eat it. Don’t consume vegetable (seed) oils. Increase protein and fat consumption, limit sugar and other carbohydrates.
3. Get in the day light first thing in the morning. Exposure yourself to direct sun as often as possible – From the UV receptors in your eyes, and the response to it from your skin, sun exposure is imperative for boosting mood and energy, lowering blood pressure, decreasing stress and bolstering immune defences.
4. Sleep enough, and at the right time. Reduce artificial light after dusk, avoid screens, and be in bed at the same time every night (and with enough time before sunrise to get at least 7-8 hours sleep).
5. With the help of the above rules, set yourself a framework for each day that is mostly consistent. Live with purpose. Try to work in a field you love and with people you admire. At least have a hobby or interest that fulfils you if you don’t get that from work.
As always the modern world attempts to railroad our well-being, but being disciplined with more primal behaviours will go a long way towards providing you calm and content.
. . . That’s it for this dose,
Until the next time – Stay Motivated!💪🏼
P.S. If you’re enjoying these updates and they are helping you, please support me and The Health Fix by buying me a coffee ☕️
The ‘Your Daily Health Fix’ post or email does not constitute individual medical or health advice or guidance. Always do your own research and consult directly with a professional.
These post are intended to be informative, educational and entertaining. Often bold claims may be made or strong opinions offered. These statements may be contrary to popular convention or commonly disseminated narratives. It is our intention to keep these publications brief, so sometimes references or links may be excluded. We will not make any claim or give generalised conclusions or guidance that cannot be substantiated with scientific research or other forms of evidence.
Read our terms of service here