If you suffer from depression, what to do about it? It's easy to give in to the idea of simply popping a pill to fix it, but pills are only a crutch on the way to feeling better, not the entire solution.A Depressing Flame WarSeveral months ago I was reading an article about bipolar disorder on the Huffington Post. It went something like this: Depression is a chemical imbalance in your brain, you are not alone and the good news is you don't need to feel depressed anymore, because now there are plenty of medications to treat your depression and anxiety. And it went on pretty much saying take some drugs and it will go away, or some of it will go away, and if it doesn't, then there are other pills you can take to give your current pills a bit of a boost.Me, being as passionate about depression as I am, because I too used to struggle with it, decided to leave a comment. That turned into a war that made me shut down my Huffington Post account, because I just couldn't anymore take the attacks of people who were completely ignorant to what I was proposing. Not even for a second did any of them stop and think, could what she is saying possibly make sense?Do you want to know the comment that I left? It went like this:
Several years ago I was diagnosed with depression, or bipolar disorder, the fancy name for it. They also told me I have an anxiety disorder and the only way I can ever get my self to feel normal is to seek treatment. They made that diagnosis by asking me some questions, no other tests necessary I guess, just a few questions these days can decide whether you are or you aren't bipolar, and 99% of cases they will tell you that you are indeed. I did seek treatment for a while which made me really sick, no matter what they gave me I was not feeling better I was getting worst.Eventually I just said enough and stopped taking all those pills, got my health into my own hands, started to exercise daily, eat a lot of organic foods etc. It was very hard, I'm not gonna lie I felt like I was losing my mind, but deep down I knew I was doing the right thing and that this was only happening to me because I allowed them to give me treatment. About a year later I slowly started to feel normal again.Then I went on to give advice to people who are currently taking pills for depression. I told them that if they ever want to not be depressed, they need to not only take pills, but also find the root of their problems.After I left that comment, I got attacked. I received a stack of replies where I could tell people were foaming at their mouths with hate. How dare I tell them that healthy eating and taking their life into their own hands is going to help them? I realized that fighting with these people is useless, because they are completely convinced in the belief that they have a chemical imbalance. I know this, because I used to be one of those people.Hormones And Lack Of ExerciseI strongly believe that sometimes eating conventional foods and lack of exercise can be one of the main causes of depression.When we eat meat that has been treated with hormones and antibiotics there is at least the possibility that it can affect our own hormones and cause imbalances in our brains - that simply is common sense to me. Now, on top of that, imagine taking all that medication, that further artificially alters the hormone household. I find that very scary, because once it has happened, it can be hard to get back to your normal self. I think most people realize all this, but they choose an easy way out. Pills will never treat the root of your depression, they will only cover up the symptoms. And if all you do is cover them up and keep taking different medications that keep altering your brain, you are setting your self into a trap: the longer you do it the harder it will be to reverse the damage.I've learned that for the pill industry it often is not profitable for anyone to get better, because that doesn't make them money. Sometimes it makes money if you stay sick and can keep prescribing you different medications. The fact that some doctors tell us that we have to take pills for the rest of our life is disturbing on its own. Think about it: are you comfortable with the idea of always having to depend on pills to stay happy?Take Stock Of Your SituationMe personally, I didn't want to do that. I knew it was never going to really help me. I felt the only thing that could achieve that was taking control of my life, stop plugging the holes and instead fix the boat. Have you ever taken stock of where your depressions may come from? Is it events in your past or something to do with your current situation? I think many people who are depressed are better serviced by identifying the true causes of their depression than depending on doctor's prescription.I am not completely against treatment, because there certainly are different circumstances for different people and temporarily you can benefit from such a treatment, but not for the rest of your life. Depending on pills for the rest of your life will never make you truly feel better, period. But what will make you better is finding the root of your problem. If you can do that, you will be able to help yourself without depending on pills for the next half century. If I did it, so can anyone else, because I am not special in any way, I was just sick of being sick. Next time you are taking a trip for your refill, give it a second thought: are you planning to do this for the rest of your life?Pictures courtesy of "Avenue G" and Melanie Tata.