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Work Your Body, Work Your Mind

It took me a long time to admit that I wasn’t successfully coping with my depression and anxiety on my own. It took even longer to come up with a plan to fight back against my own...

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Fawn Fitter

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Dr. Andrew Jones

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Dr. Andrew Jones on Dealing with Depression

Dr. Andrew Jones on Dealing with Depression

Andrew Jones, M.D., is the medical director of the Women’s Health Institute of Texas. He is board certified with the American Board of Internal Medicine and the American Academy of Biologically Identical Hormone Therapy. Jones has treated patients with depression for more than 17 years and is the author of many books, including The All-Natural Cure for Your Depression. Here, Jones explains how alternative remedies have worked for patients dealing with depression.

What are the typical questions you hear from individuals dealing with depression?

Patients ask: “Will I ever get over this?” “How can I climb out of this hole?” Many have already done some research and read articles on depression. They come away feeling very pessimistic, as they try to apply other people’s experiences to their own.

What are some of the feelings and emotions associated with the first 30 days of dealing with depression?

The patients I see often fall into the “why me?” category. There’s inevitably some denial, anger and a little grief at the label of “depression.”

Many of my newly diagnosed patients are initially diagnosed elsewhere and come to me seeking second opinions and/or alternative treatments, instead of the usual litany of antidepressant drugs. They tend to have less “fear” per se, but are upset at the diagnosis and the life conditions that they find themselves in.

How can people work to combat these feelings?

Probably the most comforting thing people can do is to realize they aren’t alone. Depression, whether it’s postpartum or “regular” depression, is extremely common. There’s a feeling of safety in numbers. When you realize you’re not the only one with this condition, you feel better.

What are some alternative treatments that you use with your patients to deal with depression?

I believe that many of my female patients who suffer from depression actually suffer from a sex hormone deficiency. I’ve recommended using Neptune Krill Oil, magnesium, vitamin C and calcium to treat them, and found that many of my male patients who are depressed are actually suffering from a testosterone deficiency. Nutrition and diet play a very important role in mental health. Research has shown that some amino acids can affect neurotransmitters just like antidepressants. If you’d like to try more natural remedies, consult with your doctor about dietary intervention and the use of herbs.

What are the most important things people can do after they’ve been diagnosed with depression?

Find help. Realize you aren’t alone and that many people share this same condition. This is where a person’s social safety net comes into play, whether in the form of family and friends or a formal support group. People with depression often have a difficult time making decisions or using their best judgment. It can be very helpful to have a safety net of others to call upon for help. You may feel like everything is hopeless, but others can point out the progress you’re making and offer you support and encouragement.

Taking prescription drugs isn’t enough to help with life-altering issues, such as divorce, strained relationships, economic hardship, job loss, chronic pain, disability and grief. A better approach for people suffering from depression is to get help in dealing with their life stressors. Psychotherapy can help you to explore your beliefs and ways of thinking and learn new ways of thinking and behaving, with the guidance of a professional.

Why are the first 30 days of dealing with depression such a vital time?

The first 30 days are critical because they determine how long the depression will be fought and on whose terms. Poor advice and ineffective drugs can start a long, winding process down a path of never-ending problems. Once started in the wrong direction, patients lose precious time following sincere, but ill-advised treatments.

In my experience, patients often end up as heavily medicated zombies on antidepressant medications. A better alternative to sedatives and nerve pills are available to patients in the form of natural and alternative remedies and these vitamins and supplements can help them feel better faster.

SIGNATURE QUESTIONS

What is the belief you personally go to during times of change?

Life is full of change. It’s been said that “change is constant,” so I’ve learned to become accustomed to change and to seek help in the comfort of my family and friends. One of the best sayings that I’ve heard is, “Lord, help me change the things that I can change, accept the things that I cannot change and give me the wisdom to distinguish between the two.”

“The best thing about change is...”

...it makes life interesting and worth living.

What’s the best change you have ever made?

Realizing my passion and gaining the strength to turn my life upside down to pursue something I felt strongly about.

For more information on Dr. Andrew Jones, visit www.depressiongoneforever.com.

Posted: 12/16/07
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