My Light Bulb on Depression

I had a thought today. Good advice means nothing if a person's serotonin is too low.

Have you ever had the flu or some other illness and somebody says the equivalent, "Oh WOW! There was a shooting in our neighborhood tonight just a few doors down!" and your response is, "I don’t care." ? It’s because most likely, you are too sick to care about anything when your head is pounding and you have a high temperature.

Much like being sick, low serotonin will make a person feel this way. Serotonin (to simplify it) is your happy chemical and when it is low, you have the physical incapability of feeling like you care about anything. It’s at the center of most people’s depression. How do I know this? (hahaha like I am assuming you care…ha!) because I used to run a Women’s Health Facility and… I have been suicidal in my own depression. If you dig back deep enough into my blogs, I have covered this topic before. (I wish I could tell ya the links, but dang if I know where they are) :)

In my last blog, I touched briefly on how something like philosophy or advice can be absolutely true, but the person you are dispensing it to won’t hear it depending on where they are at. For most of my depression, I agreed with everyone who was giving me advice but I simply didn’t care. My doctor informed me it wasn’t my fault that I didn’t care, it was my body’s inability to care.

This was by far the largest light bulb to have ever gone off in the years of depression I was in. It was a turning point for me. It meant I could quit beating myself up and move ahead. Please understand, knowing this didn’t fix the issues which caused my serotonin to be depleted. What happens in the simplest terms is you basically have stress and anxiety which causes stomach acid. This acid kills everything else including serotonin (I won’t go into the scientific breakdown. It’s just a simple blip)

I basically reverse engineered my depression like this;

Depressed; low serotonin; stomach acid; stress/anxiety; root.

Otherwise known as getting to the root of a problem. Uh, Psychiatry…lol
The problem was, even after knowing all of this, I didn’t care about fixing it or knowing what my root problem was. Why? Low serotonin. This is why I believe psychiatry doesn’t work for some people when they are really, really down.

Here is something I did that I believe was my catalyst for digging my way back out.

There are a few things which boost your serotonin. (that is if you are well enough to care) Omega 3s are a big one; research online to find which foods have them and look into taking them as a supplement. Exercise boosts serotonin. This is why going for a walk when we are upset "clears the head" It’s quite literal! I starting running again every single morning without fail. Truthfully, I ran because I was angry at someone but I ended up enjoying it. ;)

And of course, meds (SSRIs) also boost this. I am no doctor so I’ll leave that between you and him. My opinion (strictly opinion!!!!!) is that meds can assist you in climbing up but once you are off them, if your issues are still there, you need to still get to the root of the problem. There are even cases where people remain on meds and the depression worsens. There are people who need to be on them, but again…I am not a Doctor-each case is or can be unique.

Once I started feeling like I could care about my problems again is when I could begin to tackle them. Boosting the serotonin again was just a step in that. But I felt really good knowing my low serotonin wasn’t my fault, just one more thing I had the ability to get a handle on. It’s good to know you can practically control at least something during depression especially if your body feels so out of control.

Oh and any opportunity I can get to preach the gospel of WATER…lol Our body is made up of 70% water. We need it. When I was severely depressed, I cried a lot and had massive headaches from dehydration which made me not care either. So, if you must sit and cry, may I humbly suggest doing it with a glass of water. :)

Take care of YOU!!!!
Karen :)

"Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live." ~Jim Rohn

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