This week a mainstream media article was release titled “Depression: low serotonin may not be the cause”.

This is great news as it acknowledges the limitations of common antidepressant medications such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI’s) such as sertraline, citalopram, and fluoxetine (Prozac). These drugs work on blocking the reabsorption (reuptake) of serotonin into neurons (brain cells), thus making more serotonin available to the body. This article prompts the need for the general public to ask further questions for the population who experience depression but do not respond to these drugs. If a deficiency of serotonin is not causing the problem, then what is?

Many physicians have been asking this question for a long while, and there is actually plenty of research that answers this question. The problem is that, until now, this research had not made it to mainstream media, and so remained largely unacknowledged by the public.

The true causes of depression lie in the following:

  • Hormone imbalances
  • Thyroid dysfunction
  • Poor gut health
  • Nutrient deficiencies e.g. vitamin B12, B6, folate, zinc, iron and vitamin D
  • Inflammation – neural (brain) inflammation
  • Food intolerances (causes inflammation)
  • Immune dysfunction (causes inflammation)
  • Heavy metal toxicity
  • Unresolved stress/trauma

Functional medicine and naturopathic doctors know this, see it in clinical practice, and treat accordingly. However, the conventional and pharmaceutical treatment of mental health has not progressed since the 1980’s when fluoxetine (Prozac) was first developed. This is quite staggering when you look at how far other branches of medicine such as fertility and cardiology have developed in that time.

If we want to overcome the mental health pandemic we currently find ourselves in, we must move away from reductionist science. If you have 50 people in a room with depression (or any other disease for that matter, mental health or otherwise), you will need 50 different treatment protocols. A one size fits all approach clearly does not cut it anymore and is quite frankly, lazy medicine.

We need to stop mopping up the water on the floor, and instead we need to turn the tap off. A root-cause approach is the only way out of the chronic disease pandemic.

You can read the original article here.

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