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Depression: Coffee, Deplin and Acupuncture

Updated on April 1, 2012

Have you ever wondered why so many people today take medication? Do you question if it is truly better diagnosing or is it overmedicating? Could it be natural remedies work just as well? These are all great questions. While working in the industry has given me some insight on all of these. I am going to the data to suggest that many disorders can be helped by using natural treatments. This isn’t to say this will eliminate medication but it should reduce the need in some people.

Coffee

To some people coffee is the 8th wonder of the world. When you wake up you drink it, when you tired you drink it and when you need to pull all nighters you probably take in some form of caffeine. Have you ever thought drinking coffee could reduce depressive symptoms well it can. Studies have come out to show drinking 3-4 cups of coffee a day can reduce depressive symptom burden by 20%. The study took place over a 10 year period. With dose response outcomes meaning the more coffee individuals drink the higher decrease in depressive symptom burden they had. So drinking a few cups of coffee a day may be worth a try. It is cheap, you can make it at home and worst case it doesn’t help and you discontinue.

Deplin

Another new drug on the market, with the claims of reducing depressive symptom burden, with industry backing. The premise behind the drug is that there are people who are lacking folate in there system. Deplin provides L-methylfolate that at the proper dosing can decrease symptom burden. Here is the catch folate is found in many things individuals eat; green leafy vegetables, nuts, orange juice and even some vegetables. Leaving one to wonder why didn’t my doctor just say eat more spinach or have a glass of orange juice. Makers of Deplin claim they produce better outcomes then folate does. Many studies suggest otherwise saying Deplin provides no better outcome then just increases the amount of nuts or vegetables you eat in a day.

Medication

Recently 60 minutes did a segment on antidepressant medications and had Doctors on from University like Brown. What they were trying to determine was due anti depressant medications work? What the studies suggested were that the medications work not better then a placebo (sugar pill). Yet again individuals are spending billions on these medication each year without research backing its benefits. Really it is the anticipation of amedication working more so then any chemicals within it. This means seeing a doctor, providing a prescription and the individual taking said medication is the producer of positive outcomes. This would m ake some sense medication is taken orally meaning that the medications is sent throughout the entire body. Only a specific area in the brain actually needs the medication. So by the time the medication actually get to its intended point very minimal amount of the chemical is dispensed to the brain.

Acupuncture, Yoga, Meditation

All three activities provide positive outcomes in mood disorders. Just the repetition and activity of yoga produces the release of chemicals into the system that create a positive mood. Meditation allows ones mind to center and balance. Acupuncture when used with medication produces better outcomes roughly 15-20 improvement

What Does This All Mean

The industry has created a dependency on medication to cure all issues. The problem is medication is not a cure all and in some cases doesn’t even technically work. Yet most of the industry is afraid to admit to these faults and instead keeps trying to create the next great thing. Why not use what we understand works natural remedies with medication why needed. The industry need new young blood with an understanding of the research who have yet to be “sold” to the pharmaceutical industry. Sometimes honesty is the best answer. People expect to be treated quickly today then problem is health is an exact science. Healthy living is. Live healthy, enjoy life and use the treatments that are free and cheap. When that fails come and try medication. Therapists in areas like CBT might be a great first step. The epidemic needs to end now.

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