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What causes Anxiety and Depression? Can Supplements Help?

There is no one answer to what causes anxiety and depression. However, many things can contribute to both conditions, including genetics, lifestyle choices, diet, and environmental factors. Some people may also experience anxiety or depression due to stress from personal relationships or work obligations.  Nutritional deficiencies and hormone imbalances can cause or worsen depression and anxiety. Common causes of depression and anxiety include low progesterone levels often seen in menopause, perimenopause, PMS, and PCOS. Low or high cortisol levels can also cause mood changes. In men, low testosterone levels can cause depression and weight gain. A low thyroid hormone (free T3) level is associated with depression.  Nutritional deficiencies like B12, folate, and vitamin D have been linked to depression. Unfortunately, most doctors prescribe medications with testing for these problems.  Prescribing medications for undiagnosed medical problems offers a band-aid fix.   Since the underlying issue is not addressed by anti-depressants and anxiolytics,  no or minimal responses to these medications can occur. 

Supplements and bioidentical hormone replacement can help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety or depression 90 percent of the time. Be sure to ask your holistic doctor about getting tested for hormone problems and nutritional deficiencies at your next visit. 

Feeling low from time to time or feeling anxious is common in individuals, and there is nothing to worry about. But if petty issues draw your attention and you are constantly worried about things for long periods of time,  chances are that you are experiencing depression or anxiety. 

Since anxiety and depression are treated almost the same way, people often get confused and can’t differentiate between them. The fact is that depression and anxiety are different mental disorders that evoke other emotions.

Depressed people experience anger, despair, and hopelessness; their energy levels are usually low, and developing personal relationships is essential for them to survive. People suffering from anxiety go through feelings of fear, panic, or anxiety in situations where most people would not feel threatened or anxious. If such disorders are not treated properly, the sufferer might lose his ability to maintain relationships or even isolate himself from the outside world.

What are Depression and Anxiety

These days we hear that almost every other individual suffers from depression, and you wouldn’t be surprised to know that nearly 350 million people have become victims of these disorders worldwide. Moreover, chances are that women will read this article more because 70% more women than men are likely to experience depression in their lifetime. In addition, men and women experience depression differently;. In contrast, women go through feelings of guilt and sadness, men are likely to experience anger and restlessness, which is usually coped by alcohol or drugs.

But what symptoms indicate if an individual is going through depression?

If you are having trouble sleeping, i.e., sleeping for a long time or not sleeping; shifts in appetite or weight, i.e., excessive weight gain or loss; chronic physical symptoms, i.e., headaches or gastrointestinal disturbances. Loss of energy and fatigue; Feelings of hopelessness, guilt, or sadness. Thinking difficulty, i.e., memory loss, difficulty while making a decision or concentrating, and thinking about death or suicide, you should see a psychologist before the matter worsens.

To add to your knowledge, anxiety is the most common mental disorder in the United States, and figures suggest that every one of five individuals suffers from anxiety. Feeling anxious before your exam or on your first day at the job is alright but constant feelings of fear, uneasiness, or worry sum up to anxiety disorder. These feelings accompany physical symptoms like headaches, fatigue, muscle tension, difficulty swallowing, trembling, sweating, irritability, etc. People suffering from anxiety often seek to avoid people and even certain places.

Supplements for Depression and Anxiety 

Supplements can offer another solution to those suffering from depression and anxiety to enhance the effectiveness of medications or as a stand-alone for those who can’t tolerate medications. While many prescription medications are available to treat these conditions, some people may prefer to try supplements first. B vitamins, St. John’s wort, 5-HTP, l-theanine, and SAM-e are all-natural supplements that have been shown to offer some benefits for depression and anxiety.

Amino acids and protein shakes can also be helpful supplements for those with depression and anxiety.  5 HTP is an amino acid that increases serotonin production, improving mood. B vitamins are essential for serotonin production, which is important for mood regulation. Adaptogens are herbs that help the body adapt to stress and can help manage symptoms of anxiety and depression.

B vitamins are essential for mood regulation and cognitive function. A study published in Nutritional Neuroscience found that B vitamins effectively reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety.

St. John’s wort is a herb used to treat mental health disorders for centuries.  It is thought to work by increasing serotonin levels. Serotonin helps to regulate our mood. 

Phosphatidylserine is a lipid that helps to improve depression, anxiety, and insomnia by lower elevated cortisol levels. Read more about the health benefits of phosphatidylserine. 

While supplements should not replace traditional therapies for mental health conditions, they can be useful for some people.  

More Health News Articles About Depression and Anxiety:

St John’s Wort and 5 HTP Benefits for Depression
Phosphatidylserine and Phosphatidylcholine Benefits

About Author

 Ava Bell-Taylor, M.D

Ava Bell-Taylor, M.D

Ava Bell-Taylor, M.D., originally from Atlanta, Georgia, received her Bachelor of Science degree from Spelman College. She later received her medical degree from Morehouse School of Medicine. She completed her Family Practice training at Floyd Medical Center in Rome, Georgia and her psychiatry residency at Emory University School of Medicine. Dr. Bell-Taylor has extensive post-graduate medical training in Functional, Integrative, and Anti-Aging Medicine. She is certified in Functional Medicine. Ava Bell-Taylor, M.D. is a holistic doctor with a focus on functional and integrative medicine. Combining functional medicine with her knowledge of conventional medicine has enabled Dr. Bell-Taylor to help many patients suffering from depression, anxiety, insomnia, attention-deficient, dementia, and eating disorders. Dr. Bell-Taylor specializes in functional medicine with a special emphasis on how hormone disorders, environmental factors, lifestyle choices, and nutritional deficiencies contribute to brain dysfunction, like depression, attention deficiency, anxiety, insomnia, dementia, and other chronic medical illnesses. Dr. Ava Bell- Taylor is the co-author with her husband, Eldred B, Taylor, M.D, of two must-read books, Are Your Hormone Making You Sick? and The Stress Connection: How Adrenal Gland Dysfunction Effects Your Health.

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