People suffering from depression, will have persistent sadness or pessimism. They have times of feeling helpless, hopeless, worthless, or guilty. Have difficulty concentrating or remembering things. They will lose interest in activities, have insomnia or oversleep. They can also have weight gain or loss and feelings of fatigue. They may also be irritable, anxious or suicidal.
The brain is the master controller of all of the body and its parts. The brain communicates through the brain stem, spinal cord, and nerves. When the first bone in the neck (called the atlas) shifts or twists out of position, it can irritate the spinal cord keeping the proper signals from going through. A C1/atlas misalignment may cause a decrease in blood and oxygen flow to the brain. This affects how your brain communicates with the rest of your body. Seemingly unrelated symptoms can show up including headaches, back and neck pain, depression, fibromyalgia, high blood pressure, asthma, digestive problems, and numbness to name a few. An upper Cervical (neck) Chiropractic adjustment is a natural option to treat this.
While Upper Cervical Chiropractic can have a profound effect on a person’s depression, we must remember that there can be many causes and factors contributing to a person’s depression.
Breaking the Cycle of Pain
Some people experience common chronic pain like headaches, lower back pain or arthritis. Depression is the most common emotion associated with chronic pain. In fact, depression occurs three to four times more in people with chronic pain than in the general population. People with chronic pain and depression can suffer changes in their physical, mental and social capacities and their quality of life. Chronic pain can cause difficulty in sleep, agitation, and people cannot perform their normal activities in their daily routine or concentrate. This can lead to a vicious cycle because it leads to depression, which leads to more chronic pain. Sometimes depression can occur before the chronic pain but nonetheless create a cycle. A study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry concluded that people suffering from self-defined severe depression are seeking out complementary and alternative treatments, like chiropractic, more than conventional therapies. Through “spinal adjustment,” also known as “chiropractic adjustment,” patients can have mobility restored into their joints and alleviate their physical pain, which can also lead to mental alleviation and milder depression symptoms.
Iodine deficiency. Symptoms include being upset or crying for no “real” reason. People can become overly emotional at television commercials or movies. They can have cold hands and/or feet and a lowered body temperature (lower than 98.6o F). Also, a loss of hair either on the head or the outer third of the eyebrow. B-6, Folate, other B vitamins deficiency can lead to a decrease in the production of serotonin also known as ‘happy hormone’. This can lead to a persistent sadness, moodiness etc. Sometimes deficiencies are caused by toxicity especially from heavy metals. Finally, some people cannot produce energy properly in their bodies, they will tend to eat lots of sugar or sweet foods. This will give them a quick burst of energy, with a feeling of euphoria that then leads to a crash. If your blood tests show the above or more nutritional deficiencies then you may talk to your doctor about nutritional supplementation as well.
Using techniques like meditation may help one to change their thinking processes and improve mood. Other techniques like writing a gratitude list, outlining everything that they are grateful for will also help to appreciate the good things in life and not only dwell on the bad. It is important for all to acknowledge that life is about balancing good and bad situations constantly.
Exercise for Depression
Physical activity releases endorphins that can help boost mood. Regular exercise is also linked to higher self-esteem, better sleep, less stress, and more energy. Any type of moderate activity, from swimming to skipping, jogging, walking etc. can help. Choose something you enjoy and aim for 20 to 30 minutes, four or five times a week. A recent study in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience found evidence suggesting exercise is as effective in treating the symptoms of depression as antidepressant drugs.
The end of the year is for most people the most stressful time of the year. For us here in Ghana, our election day is approaching and you may be stressing about what will happen if your party does not win. Or you may be wondering how to get those toys and clothing for your family members considering that your finances are not the best. Since we cannot avoid all these stressors entirely, I will strongly recommend that you use Chiropractic to keep your nervous system in check, eat a well balanced diet, learn to be grateful for what you have and keep active with some form of exercise. This will go a long way to help you manage your stress and prevent depression.