June 25, 2018
477 Depression Biotypes [25 June 2018]
In his book Nutrient Power – Heal Your Biochemistry and Heal Your Brain, William J. Walsh describes the five major depression biotypes that he discovered over 20 years collecting data on nearly 3,000 depressive patients. Like the schizophrenia biotypes discussed last week, each depression biotype has its own unique biochemistry, neurotransmitter imbalances, symptoms and characteristics. Walsh also outlines the nutrient therapy protocols he developed to correct the imbalances.
Undermethylated depression (38%) is characterized by reduced serotonin and dopamine activity. Patients tend to be high achievers and perfectionists, with a high tendency to suicide. SSRI meds offer some improvement. Beneficial nutrients include SAMe and methionine. Avoid folate, choline, and certain other nutrients.
Folate deficiency depression (20%) is characterized with elevated serotonin and dopamine. Patients tend to also have anxiety and ADD, and frequently have food and chemical sensitivities. They are intolerant to SSRI antidepressants (sometimes suicidally), antihistamines, SAMe and methionine. They improve with folic acid and certain other nutrients, and need to avoid tryptophan, 5HTP and some others.
Copper overload depression (hypercupremia) (17%) is characterized by elevated norepinephrine and reduced dopamine activity. These are usually women, often with a history of post-partum depression. They may also have anxiety, sleep disorder, childhood hyperactivity, tinnitus and estrogen intolerance (birth control pills, chocolate worsens depression). Nutrient therapy includes zinc, manganese, and several antioxidant nutrients.
Pyrrole disorder depression (15%) is characterized by reduced serotonin, dopamine and GABA. Depression is often severe with anxiety, low stress tolerance and extreme mood swings. Improvements are rapid with nutrient therapy including B6 or P5P, zinc, selenium, and manganese.
Toxic metal overload depression (5%) weakens the blood-brain barrier, disables brain antioxidants, and damages the myelin sheath. Nutrient treatment may include EDTA chelation and supplementation of vitamins and minerals which will depend on the metals involved, usually lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic.
The takeaway lesson here is that there are several conditions usually lumped together as “depression”, each with a different cause. It is critical to know the biotype because the commonly prescribed serotonin enhancing drugs work well on a few types, don’t work on a few others, and can be fatal for another. A good case history and a few blood tests can determine which group a depressive patient is in and therefore which therapy protocol is most likely to benefit.
The second lesson is that there are nutrient therapies that effectively correct the imbalances without the usual side effects of the psychiatric drugs.
Again, like with the schizophrenias, diagnosis and nutrient therapy should be undertaken only under the supervision of an experienced professional.
Next week: autism.
For more information on this or other natural health topics, stop in and talk to Stan; for medical advice consult your licensed health practitioner.