Depression. Yikes, so common.
According to the WHO it will become the 2nd most costly “illness” after Heart Disease by the year 2020. Wow. This is no small thing. Ahem….this means the trend is growing.
Less than 30% of People report being deeply happy.
25% of Americans and 27% of Europeans report being depressed (And you Europeans thought you were so much more sophisticated than us Americans).
1 in 5 Women in the USA are on Anti-depressant medication.
So, if that was not depressing enough (pun intended) here are some more shockers: You think on average about 45,000 – 60,000 thoughts per day. 95% of these thoughts are the same ones you had yesterday. And, get this – 80% of them are negative. Dr. Daniel Amen, an integrative psychiatrist, calls them Automated Negative Thoughts. Yup, you got ANTS in your brain.
In the USA, we take anti-depressant medications like they are going out of style. As my friend Brian Johnson likes to say, we take them like Tic-Tacs. And for most people, and most doctors, this is the easiest (not the most effective) and cheapest way to deal with the inner experience of pain, suffering, fear, and discontent. And all the while, despite compelling evidence to the contrary, this goes along as pseudo-evidence-based medicine and the standard of care for the human condition.
And yet it is so easy to sit here on my Charlotte, NC Network Chiropractic armchair and scoff at these stats, but the REAL issue is that human beings suffer tremendously, feeling tremendously disconnected and tremendously alone. And we as a culture keep getting fed this sick idea that our happiness comes from the outside and we are driven to avoid feeling and paying attention to what is happening inside of ourselves. So, when it does start to hurt, it makes sense that we want to hit the “please numb that uncomfortable thing” button as quick as possible. Yet, it is not alleviating the roots of the suffering (Note – In my opinion, psychiatric medication can, in some cases, save lives and bring balance to an organically damaged brain and therefore can be helpful in some cases. I do not deal with the prescription of drugs nor do I deal with the act of getting off of them. That is between you and your medical doctor. I have seen these medications in some rare cases be extraordinary helpers).
And most health care approaches to treating depression fortify this idea that avoidance and turning off the pain is the answer. But, what is the pain was the answer you had been looking for? What if that pain – phsyical, emotional, or mental was there to beg you to pay attention and make a change? Here is a novel idea – we hurt, we feel alone, we feel isolated, we feel down – because there is an aspect (or many aspects of our life) that need to be addressed deeply. There is something inside of us that needs to change. Big time. Of course, feeling depressed sucks. Everyone knows that. Yet the pain we are avoiding is actually the real pain. And, whatever we avoid gets stronger and stronger and stronger and its roots go deeper and deeper.
If 90% of your 60,000 thoughts per day are the same as the ones you had yesterday, and 80% are negative, then you will not be happy. You might even get labeled depressed. And then, we so often in this culture go straight into “treating” the side effects of a distorted thoughts and emotions. Or, maybe we don’t take the meds, we just eat it away, drink it away, smoke it away, shop it away, sex it away….anything to turn down the noise. The problem is your house us burning down and you want to try to fix the plumbing.
Lets go back to that statistic that only only 3 out of 10 people report being deeply happy. So even if they are not depressed, the vast majority of people are living in limbo – they might be OK, but they are not good, and far from great and don’t have any experience with living an extraordinary life. That inner sense of feeling vibrant, vital, aligned, connected, whole, and healthy are missing. So even if we are not depressed, 70% of people are not fully alive. Oh, and by the way, it is totally possible (and very healthy) to go through great challenges and failures and still be deeply happy. We can feel completely connected. The developer of Family Internal Systems therapy, Richard Schwartz, Phd, states that there are 8 Cs when we feel this connection: Calmness, Curiosity, Clarity, Compassion, Confidence, Courage, Creativity, and Connectedness.
So, there are the 8Cs of feeling the sense of inner vibrancy and connection and then there is the other side of 80% of 65,000 thoughts being negative. Where do we go? How do we cross the bridge.
At the Network Wellness Center of Charlotte, we have worked with a LOT of people who have experienced “depression” somewhere on the continuum of depression. And, I am a lucky man as my wife is probably one of the top psychotherapists in Charlotte, NC. So there is a tremendous amount that can be done.
Research done at the University of California Irvine Medical College showed that 76% of 2,818 people experienced significant improvements in their mental health with lower depression scores and lower anxiety scores. Network, in conjunction with exercise, change in the way we eat, stress transformation practices, and, when appropriate, psychotherapy can dramatically improve peoples’ lives. It does this because it gets at the root of the problem. A stress response gone mad through the various traumas we experience in life.
We posit that the spine is really modulating 5 aspects of human life: 1) Function to every last cell, 2) Emotion, 3) A sense of self, 4) our habits and behaviors, and 5) our ability to have greater and greater awareness of ourselves and others. So, if our work can fine tune and optimize each of these it logically follows that the system that creates our emotions and thoughts gets clearer – and so do we!
We are on stress overload. And stress maxes the system dumping loads of stress hormones into our system like Cortisol. Cortisol down-regulates (slows down) Serotonin production and Thyroid function. Yup, you guessed it, this leads to the subjective experience of depression. Network Care and Somaro Respiratory Integration are probably some of the fastest ways to not just “get rid of stress” but to actually help you to learn to use stress as one of your greatest allies and to help you transform your entire relationship. One the pitfalls of 90% of approaches is that they teach you to “reduce stress.” It takes that stress in your life, pulls it back like a sling shot and launches it into amazing powerful transformative energy for you. When done correctly, this literally changes the architecture of your brain.
You have to move your body every day. A landmark study showed that exercise just a few times a week was a more powerful catalyst in shifting depression than Anti-depressant medication. Basically there were three groups – one that took meds (Zoloft), one that exercised, and one that did both. Exercise was just at effective as treating depression as Zoloft AND when they did a follow up the exercise only group had longer lasting and more permanent changes than the Zoloft group and the Zoloft + Exercise group. Awesome. So, move. Exercise. And if you are in pain and not exercising because of that, you have to deal with that too. And that is second nature to us at NWCC 🙂
How our brain and spine works is completely tied to the food we put in our bodies. Garbage in, garbage out. Everything your amazing nervous system makes in terms of hormones + neurotransmitters has to come from raw materials, and those come from your food. Understand that our primary food is relationships, support, spirituality, meaningful work, and a sense of community. Our secondary food is what we put in our mouths.
Superfoods like Blue Green Algae can boost serotonin production. Especially. Essential Fatty Acids of the Omega 3 variety (especially high in DHA) have been shown to be helpful, too. Even Vitamin D is promising in help with depression.
An attitude of gratitude is powerful and is scientifically validated to lift mood. Listing 5 things you are grateful for everyday is an immense (yet fast and simple) practice to begin to “incline your mind towards joy.” Seems simple but it actually turns on a part of your brain that filters all information and literally gets you to effortlessly start focusing on the positive and empowered aspects of life.
All of these aspects I have mentioned we can help you with at the Network Wellness Center of Charlotte here in Charlotte NC. And, if we are not the right place to help you, we help you find the right resources. You don’t have to be alone. And, there is hope. There is always hope.
Here is some positive hope for you of people who have done amazingly well in our practice:
When I first came to Network Wellness of Charlotte, I was in a deep depression and started an addiction recovery program in NA. My emotions and feelings in my body were like a roller coaster. After a month with Dr. Lyon, I was seeing so many positive changes in my life: 1) Recovered from deep clinical depression, 2) dramatically reduced anxiety symptoms, 3) Overall sense of well-being and self esteem occurred practically overnight, 4) Started grad school and made straight As, 5) Left an unhealthy emotionally unstable relationship. the only way I can describe it is that before NSA was my “old life” and after NSA was a “new, awesome life.” My mother and I are no longer co-dependent with each other. I no longer rely on others’ opinions for my sense of well-being – BIG BURDEN LIFTED! Just go with the process. You may start to wonder how Dr. Lyon’s work can make a difference and even if it is financially worth it. After a few weeks you will see it is 110%! Keep up the great work. You rock 🙂 MD – Charlotte NC
Don’t come to the Network Wellness Center of Charlotte if you are looking for traditional chiropractic care. You will receive so much more than that, which has been my experience. I am happy to say that I am happy. Period. Let me explain. I’ve been chronically depressed all my life. To cope, I’ve been on medications, had light therapy, changed my diet, took St. John’s Wort, even changed who I associated with and what I did for a living. Some measures where more drastic than others, but essentially, nothing and I mean NOTHING staved off the return of that dark geographical place called depression…until now. I came to Dr. Lyon for chiropractic initially because I enjoyed the overall healthful benefits of what traditional chiropractic offered. However, what I received was literally my life back. The entrainments he provided allowed me to pull back the curtain and discover a lighter, much brighter me. Sounds a little hokey, I know. But to be honest, don’t really care how it sounds – I just know how I am now, and for that, Dr. Lyon, I thank you. JW Charlotte NC
With love and health,
Dr. Matt Lyon
Charlotte, NC Chiropractor