Depression has risen to epidemic proportions in this country. More than 1.5 million people are being treated for it, and 30 million more can expect to suffer from it sometime in their lives. 51 Our emotions play a key role in this devastating condition, which leads to physical depletion. Women seem to be more susceptible to depression than men, perhaps because women are more overtly emotional or because there is perhaps a female reproductive hormone connection.

The underlying origins for depression are usually bottled-up anger or aggression turned inward, great emotional loss, or the inability to express grief. Depression can also be the result of negative emotional behavior,often learned in childhood, in an attempt to control relationships. Some cases of depression are also drug-induced because prescription drugs create nutrient deficiencies.

Depression is a disorder characterized by a pervasive depressed mood,pessimistic thoughts, and feelings of despair and hopelessness accompanied by a loss of interest in otherwise pleasurable activities and changes in eating and sleeping habits.

Symptoms of depression include fatigue, headaches, loss of interest in pleasurable things, weight loss or weight gain, lethargy, heart palpitations,and inability to concentrate.

Besides the emotional difficulties mentioned above, depression can be a result of prolonged stress, which causes a deficiency of amino acids,resulting in a biochemical imbalance. Other nutritional deficiencies,nervous tension, poor diet, mononucleosis, thyroid disorders, allergies, and serious physical disorders can also cause depression.
Depression can definitely be connected to brain depletion. When certain nutrients are not supplied to the brain, a negative set of emotions can occur that affect our ability to cope with stressful situations that we confront each day. Scientific studies are showing that by taking specific amino acids to restore the brain, depression can be alleviated.

Dietary considerations
Nutrition is crucial in the treatment of depression and is the key to your brain’s behavior. Eat foods that are rich in calcium, magnesium, and B vitamins. Eat foods that contain tryptophan, like turkey, potatoes, and bananas. Cut out sugary foods and caffeine, and drink pure water only.

Feed your brain a mixture of lecithin, wheat germ, and brewer’s yeast; take 2–3 tablespoons daily, and sprinkle it on cereal or oatmeal.

Supplement support for depression
The following natural supplements have been used with great success:
• 5-HTP: This natural Prozac naturally increases serotonin levels. It is important in the formation of neurotransmitters in the brain. (Note: 5-HTP should not be taken in conjunction with SSRI medication.)
• St. John’s wort: This natural antidepressant is good for mild to moderate depression. Take 300 mg three times daily. (Note:St. John’s wort should not be taken in conjunction with SSRI medication.)
• SAM-e: A dose of 400 mg daily has been a blessing to depression sufferers,relieving both depression and pain in many instances.
• Liquid serotonin: Serotonin is one of the neurotransmitters in the brain that helps us to feel calm and relaxed. This liquid form can be used when the serotonin level in the brain is depleted from depression and is safe to be taken at any time of the day or night and by all ages. For optimal effectiveness, it should be used in conjunction with other amino acids.
• Brain Link Complex: This complete amino acid complex powder creates neurotransmitter links for enhanced brain function. Formulated by Billie J. Sahley, I feel that it is the most complete neurotransmitter formula available today.
• Coenzyme Q 10 : This antioxidant stimulates immunity and helps decrease immunodeficiency in times of chronic anxiety,depression, and grief.
• Carlson’s ACES: Antioxidants are crucial when you are battling emotional illness, and this formula will provide you with the antioxidants you need.
• Tyrosine: This amino acid is needed for brain function and is excellent for people facing prolonged and intense stress.Uncontrollable stress may be prevented or reversed if tyrosine is taken either in capsule form or obtained in the diet.