Depression During Crisis

By TJ Williams, DC, PhD

With the current state of affairs in the world, more and more people are suffering through their daily lives. Parents have more responsibility to help educate their children, and teens and young adults are more isolated from their friends. Not to mention the impact this has had on college-aged individuals looking to have internships or other opportunities that have been at best postponed or more likely cancelled completely. Social isolation is making everything harder. 

In fact, a survey by the American College Health Association of almost 19,000 college students showed that nearly 41% of them reported symptoms of depression. This early stage of adulthood is significant because so many decisions regarding career, living, and romantic aspects of life are made. However, regardless of what stage of life you are in, depression can be life-changing and debilitating.

It has been said before and it can be said again, depression and/or other mental health issues must be addressed by rebuilding the entire body. In reality, this goes for many chronic conditions including cardiovascular issues, diabetes, hormone imbalances, and obesity to name a few. Many times chronic health issues are not problems that are isolated from the rest of the body. Take mental health for example. Conventional medicine treats these types of issues like they are brain problems only, completely unrelated to the rest of the individual. In reality, many times these problems have their root causes in physiological and biochemical imbalances elsewhere in the body, namely the gut. Did you know that we make and store many of the neurotransmitters that our brain uses in our gut? Therefore, a dysfunctional gut will cause a dysfunctional brain. Furthermore, if the problem began in the gut, focusing on fixing the brain will never fix the problem—it will at best cover up the symptom. To actually fix the problem you have to address the root cause.

On the bright side, not all is lost. This is a perfect opportunity to come out of the other side of this crisis a healthier person regardless of current health status. This is the time when everyone needs to begin to do things like meal prep, eat healthier, exercise, meditate, begin a nutritional supplement regimen and completely take control of their health. 

If you do not know where to begin, that is okay. My advice is to find a certified functional medicine practitioner in your area to help you. Functional medicine will get to the root cause of your issues and help you address them to allow your body to heal and repair itself to become the most healthy and vibrant you possible. Your future, healthier self will thank you.

If you would like more information regarding any of the treatments, therapies, or services offered at The Institute of Natural Health, please contact us at (314) 293-8123 or visit us at inhstl.com. Dr. TJ Williams is the Clinic Director for the Institute of Natural Health and the host of the radio program Wellness 101, which provides common-sense, science-based strategies for a healthy life. Wellness 101 airs Sundays at 2:00pm on FM NewsTalk 97.1.