Depression is a national and global epidemic. In the United States alone there are over 12 million people who suffer from depression, and that number is rising at an alarming rate. The causes of this mental disease can range from thyroid, Adrenal dysfunction, and dysbiosis, to nutrient deficiencies/chemical toxicity exposure.

What are the warning signs of depression?

Generally speaking, significant changes in behavior or functioning are sometimes a cause for concern, Dr. Borland says. Watch for these signs:

• Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
• Withdrawing from others
• Losing interest in activities or hobbies
• Changes in sleep patterns or appetite
• Periods of uncontrollable crying or emotional
• Problems with hygiene, housekeeping or work
• Racing thoughts
• Panic attacks
• Feeling easily overwhelmed or overstimulated
• Feelings of dread or impending doom
• Increased irritability or anger
• Preoccupation with thoughts of death or dying
• Thoughts of suicide

Functional medicine approach:

To tackle one’s depression and anxiety, one has the option of going to his or her primary doctor. The doctor may prescribe an antidepressant such as Zoloft, Prozac, Wellbutrin to help ease the patient’s depression and anxiety. The doctor may also suggest seeing a therapist for a couple months until the patient begins to feel better.

Following this traditional method of treating depression and anxiety may work for some patients for a while. But for some, it might not work at all. The sad and unfortunate truth is that conventional medicine doesn’t properly address the root causes of the illnesses, but deals only with the symptoms. Functional medicine is a practice that focuses on the root cause of a disease. In this systems-based approach to a cure, Functional medicine acknowledges the depression and anxiety that the patient is experiencing are the symptoms of something else,
something deeper.

Instead of only alleviating the symptoms of depression and anxiety periodically, the underlying cause should be properly addressed. For instance, depressed individuals often exhibit trouble in the normal functions between the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands.s

A hyperactive Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis may likely result in a hyper secretion of cortisol, which in turn will also result in depressive symptoms. It is important to know how ones hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis is functioning. With that information in hand, a doctor will be in a better position to outline a patient-specific treatment.

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