May 23, 2014

Five Distinct Types of Depression

Maybe, just maybe, some answers will get depression analysis on the right path and away from all the pills. This news article was an interesting read and I will encourage you to consider reading it as well. In the meantime, I will condense my thoughts to keep this shorter that I originally had it.

Most psychiatrists have felt that depression was the result of low levels of the chemical serotonin. This has been the standard treatment for depression is often selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which increase serotonin levels in the brain.  A new study suggests that there are at least five biotypes of clinical depression.

William J. Walsh, Ph.D., president of the Walsh Research Institute, and his team looked at about 300,000 blood and urine chemistry test results and 200,000 medical history factors from approximately 2,800 patients diagnosed with depression. They found that five major depression biotypes represented about 95 percent of the patients.”

Walsh and his team discovered that three of these forms of depression are not caused by fluctuating serotonin levels.” They list 5 Biotypes of depression:

#1. Undermethylated Depression This was found in 38 percent of patients in the study. This is not a serotonin deficiency, but an inability to keep serotonin in the synapse long enough. Most patients with this report excellent response to SSRI antidepressants, although they may experience nasty side effects.

#2. Pyrrole Depression This was found in 17 percent of patients. These patients said that SSRI antidepressants helped them. They exhibited a combination of impaired serotonin production and extreme oxidative stress.

#3. Copper Overload This accounted for 15 percent of the cases in the study. These patients cannot properly metabolize metals. SSRIs had no effect – positive or negative, but they reported benefits from normalizing their copper levels through nutrient therapy. Most of these patients are women who are also estrogen intolerant.
For them, this is not a serotonin issue, but an extreme blood and brain levels of copper that result in dopamine deficiency and norepinephrine overload, and this may be the primary cause of postpartum depression.

#4. Low-Folate Depression This accounted for 20 percent of the cases and SSRIs made their symptoms worse. Folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements helped. Benzodiazepine medications may also help people with low-folate depression. “Walsh said that a study of 50 school shootings over the past five decades showed that most shooters probably had this type of depression, as SSRIs can cause suicidal or homicidal ideation in these patients.”

#5. Toxic Depression This accounted for 5 percent of the cases. This type of depression is caused by toxic-metal, usually lead poisoning, but removing lead from gasoline and paint has lowered the frequency of these cases.

We are not the first to suggest that there may be other causes of depression, but we might be the first to identify the other forms of depression, and the first to suggest blood testing to guide the treatment approach,” Walsh said.

A urine test can detect pyrrole depression, while blood testing can identify the other biotypes.

If depression could be detected via a blood test or urine test, it would clearly be in the realm of ‘medical illness’ and therefore a real problem that is not due to individual weakness or other equally stigmatizing reasons.

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