Depression is a very common and potentially serious condition. Doctors often define it vaguely as having four or five or the following symptoms most of the day for at least two weeks. These symptoms are:


Emotional symptoms:

  • Constant sadness or an empty feeling
  • Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Hopelessness
  • Feeling worthless or guilty for no reason
  • Loss of interest in favorite activities
  • Having difficulties in your home and family life
  • Having suicidal thoughts or thoughts of harming yourself
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide

Physical symptoms:

  • Trouble sleeping(Insomnia or excessive sleeping)
  • Lack of energy or lack of interest in sex
  • Significant weight change or appetite change

For some people, depression symptoms are so severe that it's obvious something isn't right. Other people feel generally miserable or unhappy without really knowing why. Depression affects each person in different ways, so symptoms caused by depression vary from person to person. Inherited traits, age, gender and cultural background all play a role in how depression may affect you. But as a general rule, if you are depressed, you feel sad, hopeless and lose interest in things you used to enjoy and the symptoms persist for weeks or months and are bad enough to interfere with your work, social life and family life, you should seek help.


In our experience with literally thousands of people with feelings of depression, by far the most important causes are nutritional imbalances.


Our body needs vitamins and minerals to have a balanced metabolism, normal enzyme and hormone production and flawless functioning of its parts such as the digestive system, nervous system, memory, etc. The problem arises when human body faces the overload or deficiency of certain minerals. Either of these two situations can affect metabolism, disturb enzyme and hormone secretion and imbalance different body functions, hence leading to various sorts of diseases ranging from obesity and thinness to depression, anemia, hair loss, and many other undesirable situations.


A properly performed and correctly interpreted hair tissue mineral analysis or HTMA can identify at least a dozen causes for depression, and guide their correction, as well. Often correction is quite simple, in fact. Removing these causes makes the depression feelings lift often within weeks or months, without any need for drugs, hormones, or other interventions such as counseling. Someday, we hope, doctors will realize that most depression is often biochemically-based and is amenable to correction in many cases using nutritional balancing science.


This article discusses some of the more common biochemical, emotional, mental and other causes for depression.



Here are the main biochemical and nutritional imbalances associated with feelings of depression.


Low Energy: Many people feel depressed because they are tired or burned out. Many have what we call adrenal burnout. Depression is just the body's way of saying it is too tired to want to do much or anything. The body is toxic, nutritionally depleted, and generally the body chemistry is also out of balance in terms of the oxidation rate and the major mineral ratios in the tissues. The adrenal glands and/or thyroid glands are often very underactive.

Such people must drag themselves through life, often using stimulants like caffeine, sugar, worry or even use anger as a stimulant just to function. Life is not much fun. This gives rise to negative thoughts and negative emotions. The main one is depression.


The body cells may literally send one messages all day long that the body is not well, it does not feel like doing things, and there is little hope. Everything is more difficult when one is exhausted, and the entire world looks bleak. In contrast, when one has so much energy one feels like conquering the world, depression is unlikely.


A Simple Need For Rest And Sleep. During the day, one primarily uses the sympathetic nervous system, associated with spending energy and tearing down the body. This is balanced by the parasympathetic system, associated with rest, nurturing and regeneration of body tissues. This is equally important and takes place when one is resting. One may call it maintenance or repair time. If you skimp on regenerative activity by not sleeping enough, physical and mental performance suffers, as well as one's work and relationships. Illness develops because there is not enough time to repair damaged tissues in the body.


This can be a simple cause for depression if it is due to simple lack of rest and sleep. This cannot be emphasized strongly enough. The most important factor is often going to bed very early, by 9 PM or even earlier. For more on this important subject, read Rest And Sleep.


Sleep is absolutely critical for all aspects of health, including your thoughts and emotions.  So do not overlook this important and simple cause for depression.


Low levels of adrenal hormones. The adrenal glands secrete cortisol, a hormone that provides a natural "high". For example, professional athletes and others who take cortisone shots for pain often feel a slight euphoria from this drug. This is one reason why cortisone is used for pain control. When the adrenals are exhausted, cortisol production diminishes and the natural high is gone, replaced by achiness, fatigue and often a lowered mood and depression.

A simple test for this is whether you are achy in the morning. If you are a little stiff and it gets better as the day goes on, your adrenal glands may be tired out and usually nutritionally depleted. This is extremely common. The reason the aches and perhaps depression feelings improve as the day goes on is that the adrenals may begin to work better as the day progresses, usually due to stimulating them in some way with caffeine, sugar, worry, fear, etc. For more on this topic, read Adrenal Burnout Syndrome.


Low thyroid activity. This is another cause for depression that is extremely common. It is related to nutritionally depleted and exhausted adrenal glands.  However, do not take thyroid hormones, in our view, even if your blood T3 and T4 are low. Nutritional balancing programs, with kelp, vitamins, minerals, digestive aids and several other products, can almost always rebuild and detoxify your thyroid so it works properly. It is usually much better than hormone replacement therapy, in our experience. For example, most people need more iodine, and must avoid iodine antagonists like fluorides, chlorides and bromides. For more on this topic, read Thyroid Dysfunction.



High tissue calcium and magnesium. Mineral analyses of the hair of those with depression usually reveal elevated levels of calcium and magnesium. Calcium stabilizes cell membranes and increases the voltage at which nerve cells fire. This effectively has a depressive effect on the central nervous system. This means that you may feel depressed because you have too much calcium in your body tissues.

This is an extremely common cause of depression. It is a type of depression in which one often feels a sort of heaviness and numbness in the body. The awareness level may also be lowered, causing one to have odd thoughts and feelings.


Copper toxicity. A very common mineral imbalance associated with feelings of depression is elevated copper. This is very common today, due to zinc deficiency, copper in the environment, vegetarian diets, the use of steroid drugs and birth control pills, and due to exhausted adrenal glands. This type of depression is often accompanied by excessive emotions of many types such as anger, rage, frustration and others.


Copper is called the "emotional mineral". The reason for this is that copper and imbalances related to it have such a profound impact on the central nervous system. The psychiatric implications of copper imbalance are tremendous, even if copper did not affect other body systems. We regularly work with every known psychological and psychiatric condition and most of these individuals improve when copper is balanced in the body.


The overall effect of copper appears to be to enhance all emotional states in a human being. copper stimulates the diencephalons or old brain. Zinc is needed for the new brain or cortex. This brain is associated with the "higher emotions" such as reasoning, compassion and love. When an imbalance between these exists, the person tends to revert to the use of the old brain, also called the animal brain or emotional brain. This can lead to a tendency for every possible emotional condition affecting human beings.


We have seen improvement in 30 different mental and emotional conditions ranging from moderate to suicidal depression and anxiety to violence, obsessive-compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder, phobias, Tourette's syndrome and schizophrenia. Others that respond amazingly well to balancing copper include epilepsy, ADD, ADHD, autism, delayed mental or emotional development and many others.

Women are somewhat more prone to this cause of depression, and it may be worse around the time of the menstrual period in younger women. Beware that the copper level in the blood, the urine and in the hair can all be normal. To identify copper toxicity, we find the best method is to use what are called the hidden copper indicators on a properly performed hair tissue mineral analysis. To read more about this cause of depression, read Copper Toxicity Syndrome.


Deficiency of many minerals and vitamins can play a role in feelings of depression. Essential minerals and vitamins including manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium, chromium and vitamins such as B complex and others affect carbohydrate tolerance and the body's ability to regulate glucose metabolism. When these are deficient or unbalanced, this can cause severe fatigue and perhaps feelings of depression. Only through a tissue mineral test can we know all the possible imbalances that are present in these and other common trace minerals in the body.


Cadmium and other toxic metals. Depression can also result when toxic metals are present in excess in the body. These include cadmium, nickel, lead, arsenic, aluminum and a dozen others. They contribute to fatigue, aches and pains, and mental sluggishness. Many children are born today with too much of these common metals. They are also found in organ meats, some tap water, junk food, medical drugs, cigarette smoke and in drugs like marijuana especially if smoked.


Toxic metals may interfere with energy production, alter neurotransmitter levels and can affect all body systems. Excess copper, mercury, cadmium, lead and aluminum are often found in the tissue mineral tests of those with depression.




Problems From Birth. Some biochemical imbalances and deficiencies may be present at birth. These are called congenital imbalances, as they are not inherited in the genetic sense of the word.

Congenital imbalances are those one is born with due to imbalances in one's mother at the time she was pregnant with you.  These imbalances, such as low zinc or high copper, are transmitted through the placenta to the developing child.

Few people realize that any deficiency or excess of nutrients can be passed through the placenta during the growth of the developing child.  These will show up on a hair tissue mineral analysis of a young child and is an important reason why depression may occur often today in children.


Consuming anti-nutrients. Most people today, eat some sugar, toxic food additives and other substances that provide basically no nutrition at all, and just contribute to stuffing the body with poisons that cause many problems, including often depression.

Among the worst chemicals for everyone are Aspartame or Equal, along with some colors and flavors if one is sensitive to them. One can have a 'brain allergy' which just means that the part of the body affected by the chemical or even a food is the brain.


Consuming anti-nutrients like refined sugar, stimulants such as caffeine, MSG and others, and foods that have been stripped of nutrients like bleached, white flour aggravate deficiencies and open the way for the development of depression in many people.


Stress. Stress always depletes one's nutrients, impairs digestion and elimination, and damages one's health in other ways, as well. all types of stress can do this, from too much exercise, or none at all, to chiropractic misalignments, to social, financial, family, school or work stress. For more on this topic, read How Does Stress Affect Health.




Hypoglycemia and diabetes. The brain is highly dependent on a constant level of blood sugar. When blood sugar levels vary, it causes lowered energy, mood fluctuations, confusion and at these times one can easily feel depressed. Sometimes one feels as though one is on a blood sugar rollercoaster all day long as one's energy level and mood fluctuate during the day.

Correcting hypoglycemia is often easy with nutritional balancing science. Diet is an important factor. Stopping all sweets and eating some protein and perhaps some fats or oils every three or four hours will take care of some cases of hypoglycemia. Trace minerals including zinc, manganese, chromium and others are also required for blood sugar regulation. Most people are low in these trace minerals.


When hypoglycemia persists for years, it turns into diabetes, another cause of depression.  With diabetes, you often, but not always, will feel tired and need to eat sweets or you will get shaky and even weaker, and you may need to urinate a lot, even during the night.

This is still another physical cause for depression that often is overlooked by psychiatrists and psychologists.


Slow Metabolism. A common finding on the trace mineral tests of people with depression is a pattern indicating a slow oxidation rate and very low cellular energy production. Tissue sodium and potassium levels are usually low and the sodium/potassium ratio may be low as well.  When the metabolism slows down, it is usually due to sluggish adrenal gland activity, as explained above.


Deficiency of essential fatty acids.This cause of depression is a little less common. Today, most people eat a predominance of the omega-6 fatty acids found in vegetable oils primarily. However, they are also found in our meats, poultry, butter, milk and other foods because the animals are not allowed to graze freely on grasses. Instead, they are fed indoors on corn and other vegetable cereals.

As a result, the fatty acid content of their meat, dairy and other products are quite different today than they were 100 years ago. The correct fatty acids are important for proper functioning of the brain and central nervous system.


Pharmaceutical drugs. A number of drugs have depression as a side effect. Among the most important are cortisone therapy, especially as one reduces the dose, birth control pills, patches and the birth control IUD, hormone replacement therapies, depressants such as valium, ADHD drugs, blood pressure medications such as beta blockers and others, and at times many other drugs if they do not react well in the body.


Always be sure to check the side effects of any medication you are using on a regular basis if depression begins to occur. It can be life threatening, so do not ignore this cause of depression. Even if depression is not a recognized side effect of a medication, it can still cause the problem and a trial without the drug or using another drug instead can be worthwhile. If one follows a nutritional balancing program, most drug therapy can be discontinued after a period of time.


Seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Also known as 'winter depression', SAD is a type of depression that has a seasonal pattern usually related to winter.




This occurs when one wants something one cannot or does not have. It is a disappointment of the ego when it cannot have or control the world as it would like. This kind of depression is often rooted in immaturity, fantasies and delusions about oneself or about the world.

This depression is basically caused by beliefs or other types of thinking that are not healthy or are not true, or are not grounded in this reality. For example, one may believe that one deserves to win the lottery. Therefore, one may become depressed when this does not occur.


Conflict-related depression. Some people are depressed because they are living in a way that is not compatible with their deepest nature.  For example, one may be in a job that is incompatible one's nature and abilities. This may apply to the work itself or simply the office associates.

It can also occur in personal relationships that are simply not working well.  One person may be more aware than the other, but the more aware person is deferring to the less aware one. As a result, the more aware person is not living the fullness of his or her life, and depression is a common result.


Spiritual depression. A type of confusion that occurs in some people and can cause feelings of depression. Dr. Carolyn Myss coined the term "spiritual madness" to describe this phenomenon.  It is a condition in which a person becomes aware that the world is not the way one thought.  One is becoming aware of new approaches to living, and new ways of thinking and viewing reality.  An imbalance occurs as one tries to fit new ideas into old ways of living.

This can be extremely confusing and one must feel one's way forward gently and slowly. The sense of confusion, uncertainty and temptation to return to old ways can create a type of depressed attitude in some people that is important to be aware of.  Please do not to fall prey to the use of drugs or other crutches to pass through this important stage in one's development, if at all possible. Instead, keep working on one's health, rest a lot more, ask for help from counselors or others, read more of this website, and in almost all cases you will pass safely on your way.


Early childhood trauma. Traumatic events during childhood, such as abuse or loss of a parent, may cause permanent changes in the brain that make you more susceptible to depression.


Depression in children. Children often become depressed due to conflicts over which they have little control. Many are not compatible with their school environment, for example. At other times, they are not appreciated or possibly misunderstood by their parents or even their friends. This can be a difficult situation that can lead to teen pregnancies, drug and alcohol abuse, runaways, failing grades, violence and even suicide.


To start a healing program with us please contact us.


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