A little like Charlie Brown, I think of depression as poor posture inviting a "depressed chest" and shallow breathing; a chest that has been temporarily or permanently compressed inward or held back from expanding. When someone feels "down" or is experiencing a "downer" this is a metaphor for the downward compression of the chest inability for the rib cage to raise quickly and easily.
I believe it is largely the breathing mechanics and nervous system enervation (not just oxygen alone) that lightens up the entire body and opens up the mind body spirit interaction to address these negative states of being (depressions). Breath is life and when your breathing is restricted your options in life become severely limited. There has never been a depression I cannot improve or eliminate using enough deeper but still balanced breathing, over time. One must also consider diet including conditions such as hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, diabetes. How quickly we oxidize our food may be important.
A good rule of thumb about depression is that any negative emotion you can breathe through in an optimal balanced way for a long enough time will greatly lessen or completely lose its grip on you. Stay with it and meanwhile attend to anything else that might be causing it or making it worse. One approach is throwing your shoulders back and taking few long deep breaths can have the amazing effect of overcoming what I would consider being extremely severe depression.
“Depression is a chronic, disabling lifelong illness that requires a well-tolerated treatment that provides both acute symptom relief and continued benefits,” stated Harold Sackeim, Ph.D., professor, Department of Psychiatry and Radiology, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons and New York State Psychiatric Institute.
From Mike: Absolute baloney. It does not have to be lifelong. It can be transformed into vitality and strength of purpose in an instant or more. Intention, persistence, balanced breathing and optimal nutrition.
"Depression" is not a diagnosis! It is a description of a symptom cluster having dozens if not hundreds of complexly interactive proximal and distal etiological factors ranging from gut dysbiosis to dry cleaning fluids to a spiritual "dark night of the soul". Ron Feintech, PhD
If you think at all in holistic terms you MUST include breathing as a huge component of depression.
Depression is an energetic/mental/emotional challenge of global proportions, affecting at least 340 million people worldwide and more than 18 million American adults. Furthermore, major depression is a leading cause of disability. This condition is characterized by sad moods seasonal or otherwise, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-esteem, disturbed sleep and appetite, low energy level and the decreased ability to concentrate. These problems often become chronic or recurrent and prevent those affected from performing everyday tasks and family and occupational responsibilities. See also hypochondria.
From Mike: The heart often goes into spasm due to lack of oxygen. Depression and shallow breathing are interdependent. In the June 2001 Health magazine, Brenda Penninx, a gerontologist at Wake Forest University, reported that she "followed 2,900 patients, both with and without heart disease- for four years to trace the effects of depression. Patients with depression were almost 4 times as likely to die of heart disease as were non-depressed patients." In 2015 and thanks to the world wide web overwhelm and what I call reconfiguration hell it is worse. Read more about that in Steve Sisgold's Whole Body Intelligence
Pregnant women who exhibit depression in their last trimester (high cortisol, high norepinephrine, low dopamine levels) gave birth to infants who also exhibit atypical norepinephrine and dopamine levels. The infants born to depressed mothers also showed inferior performance on infant tests for orientation, reflex, and excitability. Lundy, et. al. Infant Behavior & Development, 1999, vol 22(1), 119-129.
From Mike: I have observed abnormally excessively high carbon dioxide levels in third-trimester pregnancies due to the size of fetus inhibiting mother's breathing depth and ease. This may give way to fetal health complications including compromised nutrients to the placenta.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
Research shows that people who are depressed tend to skip important checkups and health services. Encourage your depressed friends or family members to get their healthcare back on track.
Estrogen can block the activity of B6, forcing it out of the body.
Depression and Death after Bypass.
Depression significantly increases a person’s risk of dying in the years after undergoing coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG), report researchers publishing in The Lancet.
According to the Duke University investigators, moderate to severe depression before surgery more than doubles the risk of dying within the first years after surgery. Mild depression before surgery also increases the risk, if the depression persists for at least six months following the operation.
Many studies have linked bypass surgery to depression. But little research exists on how depression may impact death rates in people who undergo the operation. These researchers followed 817 patients who had bypass surgery at Duke between 1989 and 2001. All the patients underwent standard tests to measure depression before having their operations and then again six months after the surgery. Follow up continued for up to 12 years.
After five years of follow up, researchers noted 122 deaths in the group. Among these, about 40 percent had been diagnosed with depression. One-third of the patients had moderate to severe depression, while the rest had mild depression.
The authors conclude, “Many patients who undergo CABG are at increased risk of death because they are clinically depressed; this risk could be reduced by treatment of depression after surgery.” They call for additional studies to assess the effectiveness of depression treatments in reducing the death rate in patients who undergo bypass surgery. SOURCE: The Lancet, 2003;362:604-609
To me, depression is mostly about a "depressed chest". Most breathers, regardless of heart health, are already under-breathers or Unbalanced Deep Breathers. A significant answer to this type of depression is to develop their breathing.
The heart goes into spasm largely due to lack of oxygen. The chest tightens or gets tighter due to poor posture, trauma including heart surgery, and or stress. That restricts breathing and compromises heart oxygenation. In order to alleviate depressed chests it is necessary to release the tension in and around the entire front, back and sides of the chest cavity and simultaneously rebalance breathing's influence on the nervous system by restoring optimal accessory breathing muscle balance, integration and full-bodied posture.
"Subject: Dr. Candace B. Pert-October 20, 1997
"I am alarmed at the monster that Johns Hopkins neuroscientist Solomon Snyder and I created when we discovered the simple binding assay for drug receptors 25 years ago. Prozac and other antidepressant serotonin-receptor-active compounds may also cause cardiovascular problems in some susceptible people after long-term use, which has become common practice despite the lack of safety studies.
The public is being misinformed about the precision of these selective serotonin-uptake inhibitors when the medical profession oversimplifies their action in the brain and ignores the body as if it exists merely to carry the head around! In short, these molecules of emotion regulate every aspect of our physiology. A new paradigm has evolved, with implications that lifestyle changes such as diet and exercise can offer profound, safe and natural mood elevation."
Dr. Candace B. Pert. Letter to the Editor of TIME Magazine, October 20, 1997, page 8.
Regarding Prozac, Zoloft (Lustral), Paxil (Seroxat/Aropax) "On the face of it, the investigation of possible hazards posed by SSRIs does not seem to have followed the conventional dynamics of science, where anomalies in the data are supposed to spur further investigation. In this case, the debate has been closed down rather than opened up. Journals that might have been thought to be independent of pharmaceutical company influence have “managed” not to publish articles and the appropriate scientific forums have “managed” not to debate the issues. Is this evidence of undue pharmaceutical company influence? http://www.healyprozac.com
From Dr. Joe Mercola.
Almost 19 million Americans are thought to suffer from depressive disorders. Not to mention only 23 percent of individuals with clinical depression seek treatment, only 10 percent of which receive adequate care. However, researchers may have discovered a new "drug" for depression most anyone can take advantage of and utilize: Exercise.
In a study, which involved 80 adults aged 20 to 45 years who were diagnosed with mild to moderate depression, researchers looked at exercise alone to treat the condition and found:
- Depressive symptoms were cut almost in half in those individuals who participated in 30-minute aerobic exercise sessions, three to five times a week after 12 weeks
- Those who exercised with low-intensity for three and five days a week showed a 30 percent reduction in symptoms
- Participants who did stretching flexibility exercises 15 to 20 minutes three days a week averaged a 29 percent decline
The results of this study are similar to that of other studies, which involved patients with mild or moderate depression being treated with antidepressants or cognitive therapy -- proving patients need not rely on drugs to treat depression. American Journal of Preventive Medicine January 2005;28(1):1-8
It has long been established that gut bacteria are largely connected to immune function and metabolic health. However, researchers have only scratched the surface when it comes to their role in thinking, boosting overall mood, and addressing depression and other mental health conditions.
The gut microbiome and its critical role in human health has been receiving increasing attention among researchers, and with it, the newly acknowledged role of probiotics for treatment of depression and anxiety. This is rooted in the growing consensus of the strong connection between your gut --also known as your gastrointestinal tract -- and gut brain.
According to experts, the microorganisms in your gut produce and express neurotransmitters that can affect mood, sleep and appetite. They are also believed to reduce inflammation, a known contributor to depression, as well as calibrate stress response and cognitive function.