One of the first blogs we ever posted (back in 2014) was about depression, and I think it’s important that we revisit this topic often. When we say depression, we’re not talking a few days of having the blues– we are talking about a long-lasting sadness or emptiness that interferes with daily life. Simple tasks like unloading the dishwasher, taking a bath, or going for a walk can feel overwhelming to someone who is depressed, and those who are depressed typically find themselves withdrawn from activities that once gave them joy.
Depression, I believe, is best helped by considering a full-body approach, because the cause is not always black-and-white. Depression could be triggered by a chemical imbalance in the brain like low serotonin, vitamin or mineral deficiency like low vitamin D, hormonal instability like low estrogen, another medical issue like hypothyroidism, as the result of an illness or surgery, or all of the above. Doctors who spend 5 minutes with you and write you a prescription for an antidepressant are doing you a disservice.
I will be the first to say that sometimes medication is the answer. But oftentimes it’s not. Maybe a woman you know is struggling with a recent hysterectomy and is angry she can’t have another child. Perhaps your estrogen has been low for years and vaginal dryness has interfered with you and your husband’s intimacy. Or maybe an overlooked vitamin D deficiency has left your wife severely fatigued with little energy for anything or anyone. It’s important to make sure that these conditions are not overlooked! If there is a medical issue we need to treat it. But if it’s something else, if you need someone to talk to, if you need a counselor we need to make sure you’re getting the help you deserve.