When a person suffers from biochemically-induced depression, counseling and psychotherapy treatments from even the greatest doctors are doomed to fail. That's because words have no power to cure the biochemical disruption in the brain, which causes the affliction. For many, depression is known as a direct result of tragic external events. However, research studies have also proven a relationship between biochemistry and depression. For instance, depression may stem from the damaging effects of alcohol on the brain's chemistry.
To be sure of the best possible cure for this illness, one has to first determine the cause for depression. Biochemical depression has specific symptoms that separate it from the kind that stems from negative life events. You might be biochemically depressed if any of the following describes your depression:
* Despite changes and improvements in your life, you have been depressed for a long time
* Good news do not elicit any reaction from you
* Talk therapy produces little or no effect at all. When asked questions like "Why do you hate your parents?" you get confused and clueless for an answer
* You wake up very early in the morning and can't get back to sleep
* You do not remember when you started being depressed and cannot associate the onset of your depression to any event in your life
* Your experience severe mood swings, ranging from elation to depression over a period of months (this suggests bipolar, or manic-depressive, disorder)
* Heavy drinking makes your depression worse
One cause for biochemical depression is the depletion of two major neurotransmitters that prevent depression from kicking in: serotonin (converted from the amino acid L-tryptophan) and norepinephrine (converted from the amino acids L-phenylalanine and L-tyrosine). These chemical substances control our memory, sleep, behavior, moods, emotions and learning abilities. When these neurotransmitters are depleted because of damaging substances such as alcohol, depression set in. This can be cured by taking daily amino acid supplements.
The kind of supplement a patient needs to take depends on the symptoms that he feels. For people who experience insomnia, depression and anxiety, taking tryptophan is the closest you could get to a wonder pill. Fortunately, trytophan doesn't have to come in the form of a capsule. It is an amino acid found in large quantities in turkey and milk. Trytohpan is the nutrient required to form serotonin, which in turn controls mood, sex drive, appetite, sleep, and pain threshold.
Here are the guidelines for taking trytophan:
* Taking tryptophan alone does not automatically convert into to serotonin. It must be taken with vitamin C and vitamin B6
* Tryptophan first turns into niacin before it gets converted into serotonin. If your body lacks niacin, tryptophan will supply the deficiency, and not turn into serotonin. Hence, it is best to also take a B-complex vitamin daily. This will give you both vitamin B6 and niacin and allow the tryptophan to be converted to serotonin.
* Inositol changes into a substance that regulates serotonin's effectiveness within nerve cells.Studies confirm its effectiveness with depression. Inositol should be included in this formula.
Of all the amino acids, tryptophan is the least capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier. It has to surpass this biological hindrance before it could turn into serotonin. You can give it an extra push by taking it with fruit juice. This increases insulin release, which will assist the tryptophan across the blood-brain barrier. Lastly, always take your tryptophan on an empty stomach.