Depression, Suicidal Tendencies
Also Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), apathy, introversion, etc.
-by Phillip Day
In her opening address, the World Health Organisation’s Director General, Dr Gro Harlem stated:
“…initial estimates suggest that about 450 million people alive today suffer from mental or neurological disorders…. Major depression is now the leading cause of disability globally.” 1
There is, of course, no question that depression blights the lives of millions around the globe. A million people commit suicide every year, with between 10 to 20 million suicides attempted annually.2 Suicide in the US for males between the ages of 35–49 is the number three cause of death, outstripping even diabetes, iatrogenic death (physician-induced) and motor vehicle accidents.
Canada has a particularly bad problem with depression and suicides, with a person killing themselves every two hours. Hospital records for 1998/1999 show that females were hospitalised for attempted suicide at one and a half times the rate of males. Around 9% of those hospitalised for a suicide attempt had previously been discharged more than once following an attempt on their own life in that same year.3 Physicians wrote out 3 million prescriptions for Paxil (paroxetine) alone, one of the most common anti-depressant medications. Sales for Paxil in 2000 exceeded those in 1999 by 19%.4
Feelings of doom, the inability to take action, listlessness, and that thick lead blanket of despair wreck the lives, not only of the sufferer, but their family, friends and co-workers too.
Identifying the cause
It’s tempting to leap right in and assign drugs and all sorts of cognitive therapy to the depressive, but first let’s ask the simple question. Why is this person depressed?
For social reasons, such as a beast of a husband/wife, children running amok, etc? This is not a medical problem and needs to be sorted out non-medically
Are they depressed for financial reasons, high levels of debt, fiscal worries, job insecurities, etc? This too is not a medical problem, yet in the era of the credit crunch, how many people are treating their financial problems pharmaceutically?
Is the person depressed because of their beliefs or worldview – i.e. what they believe life is all about in the first place? Remember the four big questions? Who am I? Where did I come from? What am I doing here? And where am I going when this life is over? Loss of motivation and a ‘who cares’ attitude is a very common cause of depression for those who don’t have satisfactory answers to these questions. This too is not a medical issue, it’s a spiritual problem. My bookOrigins deals with the science behind our true origins and the conclusions that may be drawn from the startling evidence
Is the person depressed because they are already on drugs which make them depressed? Many ‘recreational’ (illicit) drugs have this effect, as do a whole slew of pharmaceuticals, most notably anti-depressants such as the select serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and benzodiazepines, which often cause the very problems they were designed to treat in the first place
Is the person depressed and they have no idea why?
In the last case, nutrient deficiencies, dehydration, glucose intolerance, vitamin D deficiency and allergy are extremely common in those suffering from ‘atypical’ depression. One major cause is an excess of the neurotransmitter hormone histamine – a condition known as histadelia. This can also manifest as the histamine inflammatory system with a number of obvious symptoms. Dr Carl Pfeiffer asks:
“Do you sneeze in bright sunlight? Cry, salivate and feel nauseous easily? Hear your pulse in your head on the pillow at night? Have frequent backaches, stomach and muscle cramps? Do you have regular headaches and seasonal allergies? Have abnormal fears, compulsions and rituals? Do you burn up food rapidly and sometimes entertain suicidal thoughts? …If a majority of these apply to you, you may benefit from a low-protein, high complex carbohydrate diet (fruits and vegetables), 500 mg of calcium, am and pm, 500 mg methionine am and pm and a basic supplement program. Avoid supplements containing folic acid as these can raise histamine levels.”5
Some of our most loved stars, such as Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland, were likely histadelics, a condition that has been linked to chronic dehydration, resulting in the histamine inflammatory system.6 Drawing from over 30 years’ experience, Pfeiffer estimates that at least 20% of schizophrenics are histadelics and these are often the problem patients in psychiatric hospitals, since they do not respond to the usual drug treatments, electroshock or insulin coma ‘therapy’.
Blood histamine levels can be analysed. Often, the compulsive obsessions, blank mind, easy crying and confusion may highlight an underlying chemical addiction to cane sugar, alcohol or drugs. Histadelics experience heavy saliva discharge and rarely have cavities. Often they are seen wiping saliva from the corners of their mouth. Excess histamine presents rapid oxidation in their body, and their high metabolic rate and subsequent attractive body shape are sometimes potential indicators for the underlying condition. Marilyn Monroe was often heard to remark to photographers:
“You always take pictures of my body, but my most perfect feature is my teeth – I have no cavities!”
A high sex drive characterises the histadelic, who achieves orgasm and sustains it easily. Drug addicts and alcoholics also tend to be histadelic. Heroin and methadone, for instance, are both powerful histamine-releasing agents. A severe insomnia also characterises the condition, and sufferers often use heavy doses of sedatives in order to get to sleep. The sedatives themselves sometimes become an addiction problem, further compounding the plight suffered by those with depression.
Depression – the nutritional link
Traditional psychiatric treatments are mostly useless for the histadelic depressive. Electroshock, examined in detail in my book The Mind Game, is plain, old-fashioned torture which traumatises the patient further. Lithium in lower doses of 600–900 mg is partially effective, but does not have greater efficacy at higher dosages, and at best is a ‘Band-Aid’, not solving the reason why the condition occurred in the first place. Anti-depressant drugs are simply mood ameliorators and can be addictive. Nor do histadelics respond to B3 mega-doses usually recommended for schizophrenics who have the underlying B3 deficiency condition, pellagra, whose symptoms can include dizziness, diarrhoea, hallucinations and skin disorders. B9 (folic acid) definitely worsens the condition.
What has been shown to work are treatments which modify how the body releases and detoxifies histamine. Proper, consistent hydration and salting (unrefined salts) will deactivate the histamine inflammatory system over time.7 Other indicators of dehydration include allergies, hay fever, asthma, constipation, high blood pressure, reflux and stomach ulcers, fungal/yeast problems and lower back pain.8 Calcium supplementation releases the body’s stores of histamine and the amino acid methionine detoxifies histamine through methylation, the body’s usual method of breaking down the neurotransmitter. Laboratories can test for histamine levels in the blood and this is often one of the first best steps a practitioner can take to determine if histamine is a player in their patient’s depression.
Maes et al also found that serum levels of zinc in 48 unipolar depressed subjects (16 minor, 14 simple major and 18 melancholic subjects) were significantly lower than those in the 32 control volunteers.9 Professor Malcolm Mcleod of the University of North Carolina has determined that 25–42% of those suffering depression are ‘atypical’ depressives with low chromium levels, an outrider to chronic dehydration.10
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Another major link in depression is lack of sunlight and vitamin D. Where you live can have a profound affect on morale and I don’t just mean Maidstone or Helmand province. Northern latitudes are notorious for inadequate solar wavelengths between the equinoxes, preventing the body from manufacturing sufficient vitamin D. As a rule, if your shadow is longer than you are, you’re not making vitamin D, says Dr John Cannell:
“Depression severity has been shown to be significantly associated with decreased serum 25(OH)D levels. In one study, in those who had both major and minor depression, vitamin D levels were 14% lower than in people who did not suffer from depression.”11
Seasonal affective disorder depression (SAD) is one such consequence.12 Consider that the body requires 4,000 IU/day just to maintain vitamin D levels. Government RDA for D is usually set between 200–400 IU/day, so the problem is clear. Dark-skinned folk have problems with health in northern climes over the long-haul if they do not take precautions to optimise their vitamin D level to around 60 ng/ml. The 52nd Parallel appears to be the breakpoint – that’s the line running through Buckingham, Cork and the southern latitudes of Canada. Suicides are common in Scandinavia, the Baltic states, Canada and Russia, doubtless in part due to SAD.
Helping those with suicidal tendencies
Today, family members often do not like to get involved with helping loved ones with depression, so the patient is usually referred to a doctor or psychiatrist, after which the inevitable anti-depressants are prescribed as a matter of first resort. These chemicals are powerful, extremely addictive and have damaging physical and emotional side-effects. Usually no nutritional checks are done on the patient to reveal any underlying metabolic causes. Social, financial, worldview or emotional issues are treated pharmaceutically to get the brain to ‘forget about’ what was bothering it to begin with. Other distressing measures, such as section and incarceration under mental health legislation, lead to further trouble. Attempts at suicide often follow, making matters worse. Research group Truehope states:
“One of the particularly tragic outcomes of a mood disorder is suicide. Over 90% of suicide victims have a significant psychiatric illness at the time of their death. These are often undiagnosed, untreated, or both. Mood disorders and substance abuse are the two most common. Around 15–20% of depressed patients end their lives by committing suicide.” 13
In times gone by, caring family members gathered around and gave the depressed relative the assurance and attention to talk things through. Often drug addiction or substance abuse were key factors. Today, with the fracturing of the family unit, the denigration of religion and the separation of families from each other with the hectic pace of 21st century life, welfare services have taken over the task of counselling, which used to be carried out by caring relatives or the neighbourhood minister. In my view this has had a profoundly deleterious effect on our society. While the medications prescribed appear to have a quieting effect, underneath there is a roiling of emotions. Drugs never solve the underlying causes of depression.
I further believe that a neighbourhood pastor/minister has a pivotal role to play in maintaining the mental stability of their parishioners and offer them comfort, familiar boundaries and normality. It simply has not worked the psychiatric way, with psychiatrists themselves, as I cover in The Mind Game, often committing suicide more often than the public they are supposed to be treating.
Combining nutritional good sense with counselling
In these times, more than ever, it is essential for the depressed to have an understanding friend or relative with them constantly. Ideally this should be someone the depressed person looks up to, and from whom they can take guidance. Measures should be taken to remove influences that can have a depressing effect on the patient. These include newspapers, TV news, video and computer games, heavy metal, rap, pop and other ‘culture’ music preaching negative conditioning messages. Instead, positive loving influences, serene surroundings such as countryside outings, and an active, outdoors lifestyle with plenty of exercise, far removed especially from those settings which have surrounded the patient during their bouts of depression, are ideal for setting the scene for recovery
And then we have the constant onslaught of bad news. During my lectures, I sometimes invite the audience to go home afterwards and comb through a daily national newspaper with marker pens and put a big red ‘X’ next to every article that is bad news. Then do the same for the TV listings. Then go back through the newspaper and put a big blue ‘X’ next to every single article that is absolutelyNONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. This gives a stark indication of how much nocebic junk we take into our brains for absolutely no achievable gain.
What we focus on becomes our reality. Ecuador does not feature in most people’s lives in the West because we don’t generally go there so we don’t focus on it. Yet our street, workplace, family, friends, our cars – these are our focus and so describe our physical context. When we realise that we become what we focus on, we have a pressing reason to change the focus! It isn’t hard to see how someone fixated on porn, splatter films, zombies, werewolves, ISIS and vampires (intentional juxtaposition) is going to have a negative focus, with all the concomitant effects this stirs up.
On the physical side, the following may be of benefit to the depressive:
DO NOT COME OFF ANY PSYCHIATRIC MEDICATION UNLESSSUPERVISED
DIET: Follow the FOOD FOR THOUGHT LIFESTYLE REGIMEN. Commence changing your food intake to include 80% organic plant-based material consumed raw. This will include fruits, vegetables, pulses, legumes, haricots, seeds, nuts and grasses.
DIET: Avoid all grains, especially modern, semi-dwarf wheat in all its forms and manifestations
HYDRATION: Commence drinking half your own bodyweight in ounces of water per day (i.e. a 160 lb male can drink 80 oz of water a day, which is approximately 10 glasses). A good guide for adults is 2 – 2.5 litres a day. Do NOTdrink distilled or fluoridated/chlorinated water. Do not drink water out of warm plastic bottles due to leaching of estrogenic chemicals. Do not drink excessive amounts of water (four litres plus) unless you are salting — hyponatremia (sodium washout) can be fatal
RESTORE NUTRIENT BALANCE: COMMENCE THE BASIC SUPPLEMENTPROGRAM, ensuring:
Optimise vitamin D serum level to 150 nmol/L (See A Guide to Nutritional Supplements before taking)
High Potency vitamin B Complex
Zinc (gluconate), 25 mg, am and pm
Raw virgin coconut oil, 2–4 tablespoons a day
Vitamin B-3 (niacin) (taken separately from B Complex): Commence 200 mg/day, increasing under advice from a physician. Niacin produces a skin flush, usually between 200 – 500 mg, so the patient needs to work through this and get to the higher intakes (see A Guide to Nutritional Supplements: Vitamin B-3before taking)
Chromium picolinate, 200 mcg per day
A good probiotic, as directed
Magnesium citrate, 400 – 800 mg daily, depending on bodyweight
Methionine, 500 mg, am and pm
TIP: Histadelics should avoid supplements containing folic acid as these can raise histamine levels
TIP: Avoid negative conditioning, including newspapers, TV (especially soap operas) and acquaintances with a negative attitude
EXERCISE: A regular program should be set up with a personal trainer to keep you in the traces. Exercising, for the purposes of depression, is something more than walking. It’s cycling, hill-climbing, stair-climbing, etc. with intensity to get the heart rate raised and lowered repeatedly for 20–30 mins a day plus. Studies show that regular exercise is at least as effective as anti-depressant medication,1and far more so if done according to the Peak Performance profile I describe inExercise
REST: The patient should get plenty of sleep and keep their body clock on time. Potent immune factors are released during deep rest in pitch dark. Maximise melatonin production and boost immunity by reviewing sleeping and lighting arrangements (see A Guide to Nutritional Supplements: Melatonin)
EARTHING: The patient should spend fifteen minutes a day barefoot on grass or a beach to allow a flow of antioxidant-acting free electrons into the body (see A Guide to Nutritional Supplements: Earthing). A grounding bed-sheet or bed-mat is ideal for earthing purposes during sleep
WARNING: In view of the volatility and toxicity of many psychiatric medications, a patient should seek professional advice prior to discontinuing, and then only under supervision. Under no circumstances should a person discontinue psychiatric medication on their own
TIP: Stress management. Family should organise regular contact and outings with the depressed person to include them in all they do. A different geographical environment is beneficial if the patient will be having fun
Copyright © Phillip Day
Further resources from www.credence.or
The ABC’s of Disease by Phillip Day
The Little Book of Attitude by Phillip Day
The Essential Guide to Exercise by Phillip Day
The Mind Game by Phillip Day
Simple Changes by Phillip Day
Making a Killing DVD
1 WHO World Health Report 2001:
3 Canada Health Reviews: www.statcan.ca/Daily/English/020124/d020124b.htm
4 National Post, 29th March 2001, Vol.9, No.129
5 Pfeiffer, Carl & Patrick Holford, op. cit. p.103
6 Batmanghelidj, F and Phillip Day, The Essential Guide to Water and Salt, Credence 2008
9 Maes, M et al, “Hypozincemia in Depression”, J. Affect. Disord., 31, 1994, pp.135–140
12 Nanri A, Mizoue T, Matsushita Y et al “Association between serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and depressive symptoms in Japanese: analysis by survey season”, Eur J Clin Nutr. 2009 Dec;63(12):1444–7. Epub 2009 Aug 19
13 Truehope Ltd., Defining a New Model for the Care of the Mentally Ill, www.truehope.com; Robins, E, The Final Months: A Study of the Lives of 134 Persons, Oxford University Press, NY: 1981; Conwell, Y, et al, “Relationships of Age and Axis 1 Diagnoses in Victims of Completed Suicide: A Psychological Autopsy Study”, American Journal of Psychiatry, 153, pp.1001–1008
14 www.mentalhealth.about.com; www.healthcentral.com, etc.