A recent study done to assess the quality of care received by patients with depression and anxiety seen by naturopathic physicians in a community health center found overall improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety was highly significant.

Naturopathy by the very virtue of the basic fact that it takes a holistic view of the person, including looking at their mental and emotional states in addition to physical ones, is aptly suited to support treatment of conditions like depression and anxiety.

Also, the fact that simple nutrient deficiencies and poor dietary choices, lack of exercise, can lead to and exacerbate these conditions, and that these are the cornerstones of any naturopathic evaluation and treatments, again make naturopathy aptly suited to help people going through these conditions.

Not everyone who’s sad is depressed! Depression is said to occur when it is inappropriate and out of proportion to a precipitating factor or occurs without one. It can range from mild to moderate to severe, can be seasonal or not, can be due to various contributing factors like environmental, work and stressful situations, genetic, nutrient deficiencies, vitamin deficiencies like Vitamin D and B12, lack of emotional support, lack of exercise, and lack of sleep.

Naturopathy takes a look at all these factors, rules out and treats deficiencies, and then along with therapy and counseling, provides various nutritional supplement and herbal options, which generally have much less side effects and even comparable efficacy as in the case of St John’s Wort, to name one, with much less side effects to conventionally prescribed antidepressants like SSRIs.

Amino acid supplements like 5 HTP, L threonine, glycine are the  building blocks of neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA, which can help. Omega 3 supplements have a large role as well.

Botanicals like passionflower, valerian, saffron , and of course SJW can help. These should however be taken under naturopathic supervision to avoid side effects like photosensitivity and numerous drug reactions in case of SJW.

Depression has a large worldwide incidence, and progression in severity can lead to the risk of suicide and catatonic behaviour. So don’t delay treatment, and contact a naturopathic doctor for a comprehensive holistic evaluation and safer and supportive treatment options.