Immediate Recovery from Depression

Immediate Recovery from Depression?

Ratan Singh,  ratanpsych@hotmail.com

Consultant in Nutritional & Clinical Psychology

91 141 2652561

Jaipur Hospital, “Lal Kothi” area, Jaipur, India.

First, is “immediate” recovery possible in depression?

There is a quick answer and a long answer. In the list of “Quickies”–that I am still compiling—I will give the quick answer “Yes, there is real immediate recovery possible”. I will add the “Quicky List” in the end. The long answer follows now.

Really, how immediate is immediate?

Note: If you are looking for treatments of clinical depression then skip the initial portions of this article. But, to get the full scenario of depression you may read the entire article.

The main difficulty with depression, unlike the case of schizophrenia, is that depression is so entwined with life that it’s hard to first of all define depression. So, we have to admit there are many kind of depression.  I will avoid the psychiatric types here. Simply, some depression is justified; for example, at the death of some near and dear. Only when it prolongs and interferes with daily functioning that it needs to be treated. Also there is the universal cause of depression so clearly enunciated over 2,500 years ago by the Buddha.  Its “Trishna” or “Kamana”  or craving or wish, desire, expectation. We get a desire to buy a costly car. In some cases it’s the cost, not the car that adds to the owner’s prestige—so the owner thinks. In such a case the desire for high social position—like the hierarchical ranking in a monkey colony—is the real cause of “Trishna”, not the car or its cost.

There is another mistaken belief that it’s the fulfillment of wish or desire or Trishna that brings us happiness. No. It’s the end of desire that brings us happiness. Hold on a minute here. Understand this point. Desire is a 2-sided coin. It gives us restlessness, sleeplessness and even apprehension and anticipatory anxiety before its fulfilled, that is, until it’s not fulfilled. But what happens when the desire is fulfilled? What is fulfillment of a wish? Isn’t it cessation or disappearance of the wish—even if momentarily? Please note here: Fulfillment = Cessation. So, by simple deductive logic, what is the cause of happiness? Obviously—-look at the flip side if its not yet visible—it’s the cessation of wish that gives us happiness or satisfaction.

Here you may say that this happiness or peace is temporary. Soon there will be another wish and another state of tension or jealousy. When will we relish our achievements or acquisitions in life if we go on wishing and wishing? Shouldn’t we stop and enjoy what we have? And how can we make this momentary happiness that comes to us with the cessation of a single wish, stable or constant? How can we in other words become independent of (the clutches of) wishes?

Please, don’t for a moment think I am talking of any religion here. I am a free thinker. Mentioning Buddha’s name was to make a point, nothing more.

Solution is: One solution is to scale down our wishes. To have simpler and achievable wishes. To learn to relish ordinary fulfillments. The other way is that we stop wishing. Scared? Wait until you read the paragraph below. But how to stop wishing? Meditate. Meditate for stillness. This technique of meditation is very different and I will get to it in a separate article. But that is the final path.

Some of you will say: “But how will life go on, how will we achieve big things for us, science, community, humanity if we stop having wishes?”  “I don’t want to go to the Himalaya, renunciating everything.

Answer: Our inherent infrastructure, the basic psycho-socio-biological systems and processes that have evolved in our life and even the tendency to evolve was not “wished” by us. Its there in Nature. So, we need not worry about it. It will happen if it has to. After all such a big thing as making of stars, the Sun, happened just like this. We didn’t wish and make them. There is a Zen Buddhist verse: “Sitting quietly, doing nothing; spring comes and grass grows by itself”.

You see: Grass doesn’t “wish”, it happens. So our great achievements will just happen as flowers and fruits of trees if we have groomed our habits rightly.

So, friend, let it happen. Sit back and relish.

But what about depression? After all we can’t say all type of depression is because of  wishes.  Its this other type of depression, the crippling type, involving crying, suicidal ideation absence of our daily activities that I will now talk. Sleep is deranged: No sleep or excess sleep or its reversal—sleeping in day, waking in night. No appetite, no sex. Its at times hard to differentiate if the given case of sleep reversal is because of depression or by habit or by peer pressure and fashion so rampant among those who prepare for “PMTs”, “PETs”, “IITs” etc..This is biological depression. Chemical changes have occurred in the brain. So…….

So, is the solution the anti-depressant psychiatric drugs?  Choice is yours. Choice is yours—and the right to choose should be yours– to go set right the molecular environment around your brain cells with appropriate nutrition and supplements or to take psychiatric drugs. The former approach is called Orthomolecular Medicine, the latter is called Heteromolecular Medicine.

But what about the “Immediate” issue—the title of this article? Can we remove the biological depression immediately? I will address this question in the lines that follow.

There is solid scientific evidence that the one type of biological depression, the learnt depression, can be removed immediately; at least the word is “immediate” used in the February 5, 2005 issue of Journal of Biological Psychiatry

The active ingredient, as you must note, used was Uridine. It’s a nucleoside found not only in the cells of our body but also in food we eat or drink. The richest source of uridine is black molasses.  Extracted from the third boil of sugar cane juice, its mixed in the animal feed or thrown  away in Indian villages. Imagine that: Such a potent effective treatment being thrown away.

In the experiment on rats, published in the above mentioned journal, omega3 oil was also used but that removed depression in one month. A combination of ineffective (low) dose of uridine and omega3 needed 10 days to remove the depression.

I don’t mean uridine or omega3 are the only effective substances. Others are vitamin D or Sunlight exposure, vitamin B12 and folic acid with vitamin B6, protein food, exercise, and correction of the following: Thyroid under-functioning (hypothyroidism), food allergies to milk and grains, heavy metal toxicity, addictions.  Luckily all these need not be fixed in a given case because the given case may respond and recover with any one or two of the above approaches. I give a brief case below.

This was a mainstream medical doctor, a medical officer in temporary (non-tenured) government service, who came with the complaint of depression. He had himself tried psychiatric drugs, anti-depressants without success. He wished to prepare for the upcoming interview and exam with the government selection committee that would make him a tenured permanent medical officer. It was a competitive exam and required regular study.  But he was unable to sit up and study. At home he would just lie down without sleeping. He would force himself to go to work but had no initiative to do anything else. He also had suicidal ideation and no sexual desire. He would eat little, just as a routine, without appetite. He responded very well to 4 gm of EPA and DHA mix (found in Mega3 of Dr. Reddy’s Lab or Mexepa of Merck and naturally found in cod liver oil). In one month he was fully functional. He faced the exam and interview and got selected as a tenured medical officer.

After one year he came back with the same complaint. But this time he didn’t respond to the EPA DHA mix. On history taking I learnt that he had now past one year become totally vegetarian. He refused to be a non-vegetarian. At this point I couldn’t help him.

Only later on I accidentally read a book on vitamin B12 on the basis of which I will now advise him for B12, folic acid and B6 (all B vitamins) because vitamin B12 is not found in vegetarian foods.

So you see, for me depression is more complex than schizophrenia —relatively speaking.

Now the promised list of Quickies for really immediate recovery. But caution: It will be a symptomic and temporary recovery. Long lasting recovery is when you will have found out the cause/s as mentioned in the long answers above in this article.

Anyway, the quickies now:

#1. Linus Pauling said in his book How To Live Longer And Feel Better” that increased oxygen supply to brain IMMEDIATELY relieves depression.

Want evidence? Just recall how you feel walking through a lush green garden in the morning or evening.

There are hyperbaric oxygen therapy machines. It is used on stroke patients but in autism circles its also used to chelate mercury from within the brain tissue and flush it out with urine. But its use is controversial.

#2. Another way, proven true –and you can feel the effect in THREE MINUTES (is it immediate enough?)—is taking niacin (vitamin B3). But don’t monkey around with it. Take it under supervision at least the initial few doses. Yes, the supervision can be in person or via e-mails.

#3.

Several years ago Italian scientists observed a queer phenomenon. Cold water poured in right ear (of right handed person) stimulates the left hemisphere thereby lifting the depressive state instantly. Cold water put in left ear stimulated the right brain and dampened mania immediately. Picking up on this thread,  the neuroscientist Jack Pettigrew of the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia, proposed his theory of “sticky switch” in the meeting of Society for Neuroscience (November, 1998) in LA, USA. This switch, deep in the brain, has to be un-stuck or de-switched to jerk out of the ongoing mental state. For this, the water has to be “ice cold” and you must tilt the head about 30 degree.

A cautionary note: There should be no pre-existing infection in the ear or the water will make for a fertile ground for bad bacteria and even candida fungus to grow in the ear. Secondly, it goes without saying that the “sticky switch treatment” will be temporary in effect. It has to be followed up with long term treatment.  Yet this quicky can be a useful “handy” strategy to pre-empt suicidal event. No drug, no prescription needed.

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