Posted by: WillowSource on 08/17/2017

Depression: Finding a Natural Path to Recovery

Depression: Finding a Natural Path to Recovery

by Kyle Post  

Struggling with depression or any other mental health issue is very difficult in the modern world.  Not only is there still a stigma surrounding mental health challenges, but the demands of modern life, coupled with the quick fix promise of modern medicine, often has us overlooking the underlying cause of our struggles and possible natural remedies.  

Like many people these days, I’ve struggled with various aspects of mental health challenges.  In fact, I was once told by a psychologist that I exhibited signs of bipolar disorder,  ADHD and manic depression all at once!  I eventually found my way through, although like an alcoholic, I’m always “recovering” which requires constant diligence.

Here’s what I learned through my struggles. My wish is that this brings you hope if you or a loved one is struggling with any form of depression or mental imbalance.

Holistic to Big Pharma and Back

I’ve always had a distrust of western medicine and pharmaceutical companies. I do believe they have their place and have done wonderful things for humanity, but I also think that the motive for profit has superseded the original intent of helping humanity.  We as a society have also grown too dependent on quick fixes rather than finding the root of our dis-ease and curing it at the source.  As I grew to adulthood, I started a quest to gain better control of my moods through natural methods.

Through this journey, I tried many holistic modalities.  While I gained immense self-knowledge along this path, nothing gave me permanent relief.  After decades of struggling, I finally decided to try modern medicine to provide a window of stability while I continued to seek a natural cure.  

I consider this foray into western medicine’s solution as educational but also very disappointing and depressing in it’s own right.  It was like going to a drug dealer, telling them your struggles, and without any real diagnosis whatsoever, receiving a drug to try to see if you like it.  What’s worse, is that I was told the insurance companies wouldn’t cover the best, most modern drugs until I failed on a few of the old generation drugs that were less effective.  Another one of the many things wrong with our health-care system.  

As for the side-effects, they were horrible.  I couldn’t sleep (this is one area I’ve never had problems with before), my sexual performance was completely nil (this is another area I’ve never had problems with before, thankfully), and the first drug did nothing to help me.  

The second drug I tried was a little better and I thought maybe I had found something that would work for me.  However, after a few weeks of increasing the dosage to keep the positive results, I was at the maximum dosage; any more and I would be at risk for seizures!  

After several months of practically no sleep and lack of sustained results, I decided to give up on the western medicine approach and redouble my efforts on the holistic front.

A Word About Spirituality

Like many major life struggles, there was certainly a spiritual aspect to my successful navigation through this difficult time.  If you’re interested in reading what I believe to be the essential steps to get yourself unstuck from negative life patterns, please check out this article I wrote : 7 Steps to Stop Struggling and Finally Create the Life of Your Dreams

For this article I want to focus on what ultimately worked to “cure” my depression, mood swings, and general negativity: A Chinese root named He Shou Wu and a controversial hypnosis practice called past life regression.  

A Tuber to the Rescue

I didn’t buy He Shou Wu root for my depression.  I’m a little chagrined to admit that it was to try to reverse my gray hair.  You see, I was feeling ready to possibly enter the dating game again after being divorced for a year, and the one thing I didn’t like about my appearance was the recent gray overtaking the usual dark brown of my goatee.  Of course I wanted to try something natural so after failing with colloidal minerals, I stumbled upon He Shou Wu root, otherwise known in North America as Fo-Ti.

Legend has it that a Chinese man named Mr. He could not father children and was sickly and frail.  One day he got drunk, fell asleep in the woods, and woke up next to a peculiar vine that drew his attention.  So of course, he dug it up and brought it to a local healer, who instructed him to make a tonic out of the root and ingest it.  He did so and supposedly went on to father several children, gain incredible vitality and health, and live to an unnaturally old age (some say 130 years or more!).  One of the benefits to Mr. He, was that his gray hair turned jet black.  And so this root was given the name He Shou Wu or “He’s Black Hair”.  

“Sounds good to me” I said as I ordered from Amazon.  One thing I noticed in the reviews that I didn’t think about until much later, was that many were reporting a general feeling of wellbeing and positive attitude.  Bonus!

It wasn’t until a year later after inadvertently experimenting with its inclusion in and out of my diet that I realized without a doubt the huge, positive impact that He Shou Wu was having on my mood.  After about two weeks of not taking it, I fell back into my dark, negative, angry mood.  But within three days of taking it again, my mood completely rebounded!  I decided to investigate.

It turns out that polygonum multiflorum (Fo-Ti’s scientific name) has been found to be a powerful MAO inhibitor.  What does that mean?  In short, it means that it increases the amount of dopamine floating around in your brain, which is the exact chemical I’ve come to believe I’m low in!

First of all, I was amazed that I just happened to stumble on this simple, inexpensive cure.  I believe this is a clear example of divine synchronicity and not just blind chance.  But I was also curious about other natural cures for mental instabilities that may be right under our noses.

Other Natural Depression Cures

The book The Mood Cure by Julia Ross, M.A. is full of information of not only how to diagnose your particular brain chemical issue, but how to cure it naturally.  The supplements suggested in this book are powerful but without the side effects of psychiatric drugs.  In fact, years before I found He Shou Wu, I had tried another supplement based on this book: Tyrosine.

Tyrosine is an amino acid that is the precursor to dopamine and like He Shou Wu, works to increase the levels of dopamine in the brain.  I had success with this but you have to be careful to monitor and decrease your dosage as you feel better, otherwise I found the negativity and anger to come back much more powerfully than before.  This is why I personally stopped taking it and why I was eventually led to the seemingly more gentle He Shou Wu.

I highly recommend you get The Mood Cure if you’re interested in what I’m writing here and if you or a loved one is suffering from depression or issues controlling moods.  I’m obviously not going to be able to cover everything in this article, but this book shows how diet changes and supplements really can cure just about any mood disorder naturally and with no side-effects.

Tyrosine and He Shou Wu root work mostly on increasing dopamine.  What about other brain chemicals?  

There are several other brain chemicals that can affect our outlook on life and our moods, such as norepinephrine, adrenaline, serotonin, GABA, oxytocin, endorphins, etc.  And non-optimal levels of any combination of these can cause problems.  I've covered dopamine, but I’ll cover one more that is common to many: serotonin.

Sad Depression vs. Blah Depression

As I’ve said, I felt my problem was not with serotonin, but dopamine.  This is because I had the blah type of depression rather than the sad type of depression.  Let me explain.

If you’re feeling apathetic and lethargic and nothing brings you pleasure or excitement, you might be low on dopamine. Dopamine problems are not categorized by intense feelings of pain or sadness, but rather a lack emotion and motivation to do anything. People with low dopamine also have trouble concentrating and may crave stimulants such as coffee, sugar or chocolate for a temporary boost.  

Serotonin on the other hand, makes us feel happy, relaxed and self-confident.  If you’re painfully sad most of the time even though you can see that there’s much of your life to feel thankful for, you might be low in serotonin.  People with low serotonin may also have trouble sleeping, suffer from anxiety, and crave starchy foods, milk, cheese or bananas for a temporary serotonin boost.

Natural SSRI’s

Selective Serotonin Re-Uptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) are the most common type of drugs prescribed for depression.  These drugs basically increase the amount of serotonin in the brain and for some people, they can be a solution that works.  But there are always side effects and other dangers.  For example, it’s estimated that over 90% of school shootings have been linked to SSRI’s and many suicides and other acts of violence are linked to these powerful psychotropic drugs.  Coincidence?  If you’re interested, read here the long list of acts committed by people on SSRI’s.  Unbelievably, some of these people had no history of mental illness but were prescribed SSRI’s for other reasons such as gallstones or insomnia.   

But I digress...there’s a much safer, natural alternative to SSRI’s and it’s name is a nondescript sounding 5-HTP or 5-hydroxy-tryptophan.  5-HTP is an inexpensive and widely available supplement made from an African bean.  It’s been found to match or even outperform many antidepressant psychotropic drugs like Prozac.  And it works in about 15 minutes.  How?

Your brain needs 5-HTP to make serotonin, and it needs tryptophan to make 5-HTP.  Yes, tryptophan is the stuff that makes you sleepy after eating that turkey on Thanksgiving.  If you don’t get enough tryptophan in your diet, you can become low in serotonin.  5-HTP can give you the boost needed without the side effects of SSRI’s.  If this doesn’t work, there are other options too. 

For example, St. John’s wort is used extensively in Germany in place of Prozac since it’s been found to be just as effective as Prozac on depression without the side effects.

Why are these natural remedies not widely known in the USA?  According to this story on NASDAQ Global News Wire, the global depression drug market was $14.51 billion in 2014 and is expected to generate revenue of $16.8 billion by the end of 2020.  I’m sure that has nothing to do with it (sarcasm in case you didn’t catch it).  Your doctor may be a good person, but remember, he or she is largely educated by Big Pharma now that they’re out of medical school.  Therefore, I’ve found that it’s necessary to do my own research and come to my own conclusions through trial and error before blindly trusting the current medical establishment.

But again, I digress.

Supplements Are Not the Whole Answer!

So far, I’ve been focusing on the physical side of things with supplements that help your brain bring itself into balance to stabilize your mood.  This is an important part of treatment but not the whole solution for those who’ve struggled with depression all their life.  I believe many of us have been born with bodies that just aren't good at creating and maintaining the right balance of brain chemicals due to genetics or other environmental factors.  But I also believe that while genetics can put us at a disadvantage, it does not manifest in physical and mental instability without underlying false beliefs that hinder our bodies from being the beautiful, self-regulating machines that they’re designed to be.

For me, the decade or more of seeing psychologists really wasn’t in vain.  They gave me insight into my false beliefs and led me to do many healing exercises to forgive both myself and others that hurt me emotionally at a young age.  These early traumas were the seeds of false beliefs negatively affecting my life. I’m convinced that without this inner work, the He Shou Wu root would not have been as effective.  In fact, I took this root before the final bit of inner work focusing on the cause of my depression, and only after this was complete did this natural supplement work in full.

This last bit of work I did was called past life regression.  It involved working with a certified hypnotherapist to heal causes of trauma that reached back to lives before the current one.  While this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I implore anyone with depression to seek out their own methods of rooting out false beliefs about themselves and their place in the world.  Otherwise, treatment with supplements alone can be an uphill battle and incomplete solution.

The how and why’s of how past life regression worked for me is worthy of a whole article in and of itself, so suffice it to say that after an intense series of sessions amounting to about six hours, I found for the first time the ability to consciously identify and dismiss negative thoughts instead of dwelling on them.  Before this, I could identify negative thoughts that arose but I did not experience choice on whether to keep them or dismiss them.  I would invariably dwell on them and not be able to see alternative views, creating a dark, downward spiral.  

Find Your Own Final 1-2 Punch!

Once I experienced the choice and power to dismiss negative thoughts, the little chemical aid brought on by the He Shou Wu root to boost my dopamine, proved to be the one-two punch that finally knocked out my depression.  It’s been over two years since, and so far (knock on wood) I’ve had what anyone would call a fairly normal and stable outlook on life.  Sure, I still get sad once in awhile, and I even get lethargic or angry but I don’t dwell on these feelings or the thoughts that cause them and I don’t expect I ever will.

If you or someone you care about is struggling with depression or some form of mood instability, I hope this article gives you some food for thought on the natural, healthy, long lasting relief that is available for all and can be discovered with the right amount of determination, faith and experimentation.

Kyle Post is the co-founder of WillowSource and founder/owner of Origins Healing in East Aurora, NY.  In addition to working as a BioGenesis energy healer, Kyle combines his experiences with energy work and natural health supplements to help those who are feeling stuck in any area of their life gain back their power, joy and self-confidence to manifest the life they desire.

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