Depression continues to be shrouded by multiple clinical viewpoints and social stigma. Studies show that 17% of adults will be diagnosed with depression in their lifetime. Every thought we have is actually a chemical reaction. Each brain cell, as it sends a “thought” message to another cell, releases a neurotransmitter chemical. The neurotransmitter is then “received” by one of our other brain cells. That is the biology of thought. Altered thoughts occur when there are too little or too many neurotransmitters, or if the receiving brain cell cannot properly recognise the neurotransmitter.
We do have thought patterns and habits, but the root of “depressive” thought habits is often the pressure created by neurotransmitter imbalances that alter our capacity to think appropriately. Stress is best defined as our resistance to life events. When our life wishes are unrealistic, or when we argue with the facts of life, we feel stress. In time this conflict creates oxidative stress in the brain, fueled by the “stress response” from our adrenal glands and immune system. Genetic susceptibilities play a role as well.
In a recent study, in the journal Current Neuropharmacology 2014 March; 12(2): 140- 147, the author describes a link between brain oxidative stress and psychiatric diseases. The REDOX imbalances at the root of oxidative stress normally do not exist in the brain due to the rich circulation and the prevalence of antioxidants. Another recent study in 2014 Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity Vol.2014, Article ID 430216 , showed as we age, or are under extreme psychological stress, our REDOX potential changes (along with neurotransmitter balance) and our circulating antioxidants likewise drop. Without the presence of these intra-cellular antioxidant molecules, our brain cells cannot detoxify themselves, we loose our redox potential and fall victim to oxidative stress. Traditional treatment for depression includes pharmaceutical prescriptions. These medications force the brain to increase or decrease certain neurotransmitters, but do not correct the underlying oxidative stress. Thus, patients become permanent consumers of medications and treatment, controlling but not correcting their issues. Medications should never be changed without medical supervision, and can be life saving in certain situations. There can, however, be healthier options to balance our neurotransmitters and aid our treatment options for depression. Replenishing the brain with certain amino acid supplements can provide help.
An innovative approach, which gets at the root of our brain physiology, is supplementing our bodies with balanced REDOX molecules. There are no “side effects” like with prescription medicines. REDOX molecules restore the cellular redox potential, and thus minimise brain oxidative stress. This balances NT levels giving the opportunity for appropriate thought pathways to return.