How to recognize different types of depression, and how medicine addresses these deficiencies.
This may seem like a doctor problem and not a patient problem, but I think understanding the key differences in types of depression can guide patients to understand the cause of their depression (the neuro-chemical that is missing) and can guide you and your doctor to the right medication faster than the usual trial and error method of depression medication choices.
You don’t have to be a neuro-psychiatrist to understand this type of depression that you are experiencing. Many people have a mixed depression but that is often why we see depressed patients taking multiple medications to treat both deficient brain chemicals or neurotransmitters.
Today you will learn how to recognize different types of depression and how medicine addresses these deficiencies.
Recent research has divided depression into categories based on the neurotransmitters (brain chemicals) that are deficient. These deficiencies cause the depressed moods that people experience and that doctors call depression.
- Serotonin deficiency—low serotonin levels
- Dopamine deficiency—low dopamine levels
- Epinephrine and norepinephrine low levels of each
- Endorphin deficiency—low brain opioid levels
- Hormone deficiencies—low oxytocin, prolactin, thyroid, testosterone
We will describe all of the types and the specific medications, foods, and supplements that help replace the missing neuro-chemicals.
Serotonin deficiency depression has a specific symptomology. You can tell by asking a depressed person certain questions about how they feel and the foods they crave. The foods craved by S-Depression are bananas, dairy and high carb foods.
Serotonin deficient patients obsess and worry, and have trouble sleeping and are all in pain. If they are suicidal they tell their doctors they want to end it all because life is painful, or they are in pain, and they want it to stop.
Supplements that improve Serotonin deficient depression include 5_HT, Magnesium, Tryptophan, B Complex Vitamins and B3, Zinc and St. John’s Wort. Drugs that increase just Serotonin are: Prozac, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexaro, Brintellex, Viibryd.
Dopamine deficient patients are missing the “feel good” hormone, this and is associated with pleasure and reward. In mental acuity, motivation and arousal this hormone is necessary. Dopamine is a stimulant neurotransmitter in the category of catecholamines where norepinephrine and epinephrine are filed. A disease that is caused by chronically low dopamine is Parkinson’s disease, which occurs as we age and takes away our facial expressions of joy and responsiveness to social attachments.
Dopamine is necessary for people to feel love, attachment to loved ones and generosity. Dopamine deficient patients complain of dissatisfaction, apathy, boredom, difficulty thinking, and loving as well as trouble with concentrating and critical thinking. Dopamine deficient depressed people sleep a lot, they are apathetic and cannot get going in the morning. When these patients talk about suicide they say, “I have nothing to live for, there is nothing in life that gives me a reason to stay.” For these patients, life is grey, boring, and disorganized.
Dopamine deficient patients crave foods with the building blocks of dopamine that can add value to the medication they are taking. These include strawberries, raw almonds, dark chocolate, apples and bananas.
Stimulant deficient depression involves a lack of norepinephrine and epinephrine and these patients say, “ I am sooo tired!” or “I can’t get out of bed and don’t want to go to work or to a party or anywhere! Or I am disorganized and can’t get anything finished because I can’t concentrate long enough to do so!”
Medicine treats these problems with stimulants such as Modofinil and stimulants like Dexadrine, Ddderal, and other well- known stimulants.
Combo medications that increase both serotonin and epinephrine levels include Effexor, Cymbalta, Pristiq. They take away the pain and offer energy and motivation.
This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author, with Brett Newcomb, MA., LPC., Family Counselor, Presenter and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com.