Mental Health 101: Hormones & Their Affect on Depression
It seems a lot of doctors have suddenly become psychiatrists. And the way they have turned en masse to the diagnosis of depression to explain away a complex of symptoms they don’t know what else to do with is of particular concern.
Telling someone they have depression is more than just a misdiagnosis when they get it wrong. They often start people on antidepressants, which adds a whole new set of complicating factors to an already unsolved equation.
The fact that these people respond poorly to the drug prescribed or get worse suggests that depression is probably not the core issue, but rather another symptom. A symptom we commonly see in hormone deficiencies.
On top of that, it does something to the psyche when someone is labeled ‘mentally ill.’ Although depression issues have gained much wider acceptance in society over the past 20 years, it’s still a loaded diagnosis with troubling implications. And there’s cruelty in pronouncing that diagnosis hastily. On some level, the patient now has to face the prospect that they have a mental defect. This can be very disturbing and actually make things worse if the diagnosis has missed its mark.
It is extremely alarming the number of patients coming into our clinics on antidepressants. Either there is an epidemic of sadness going around, or perhaps it’s something else? We do not deny that there is bona-fide clinical depression out there that is independent of hormone health. And we never advise stopping antidepressants abruptly. Some folks suffer from profound depression that ravages their lives. It is a mental illness that stems from organic causes and it can be a real challenge to treat effectively.
We propose taking a serious look at the hormone levels that continue to change constantly. It’s sort of like setting the sights on a rifle while someone is moving the target back and forth. Depression is a symptom that is very strongly hormone mediated in both men and women. It responds to variations in thyroid, progesterone, DHEA, and especially testosterone levels in the blood.
When these hormones are properly balanced, what appears to be clinical depression often resolves completely. And if it does not resolve, almost without exception it is immensely easier to treat and much more responsive to antidepressant therapies that were only marginally effective before. We have learned that a baseline of strong hormone health is very supportive of good mental health.
Conversely, the best psychiatrist will find it very difficult to help a patient with hormones that are out of balance. If you are suffering from depression, we strongly urge you to call us for some simple hormone level tests that can be run quickly and inexpensively. Labs are usually covered by your health insurance.
Call today at 801 671 7456. We offer a very affordable initial consultation program.