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Potential Causes of Depression

Authored by: Kristine Stein BSc, MS in Herbal Medicine & Nutrition, BCIA Certified Neurofeedback Clinician

Depression is a multi-faceted issue. The root cause can depend on several factors. Some of these factors include the health of the gut and endocrine system, lifestyle choices, stress, and brainwave activity. There are ways of treating depression without medication. Since there can be so many potential causes, it would make sense that one recommendation is not the end-all, be-all solution to depression.

Problems with Anti-Depressants for Depression


Often times if one is diagnosed with depression, they have prescribed an anti-depressant as standard protocol. Over time, the efficacy of the medication may decrease and an additional medication (or even an additional two medications) will be prescribed to compensate. These medications can be very addictive and cause unwanted side effects such as weight gain, fatigue, and digestive issues. I have personally witnessed the above symptoms with some of our clients who are on anti-depressants here at our clinic.

Potential Causes of Depression

As a naturopathic clinic that offers Neurofeedback, our clinicians also look at the other potential causes of depression. We offer nutritional consulting to help educate clients on how to eat properly to feed the body and optimize their beneficial gut bacteria. Your beneficial bacteria that exist in your gut produce 95% of feel-good neurotransmitters such as serotonin. In fact, the gut produces approximately 30 neurotransmitters!

Eating right for your gut is a must for depression. In addition to eating poorly (the average American only gets 1.5 cups of veggies and unfortunately more than half of this “veggie” intake comes from potatoes and tomatoes), proper supplementation is overlooked as most people do not realize how nutritionally-depleted our food supply has become over the last 75 years. Eating well in addition to correct supplementation is needed to provide your microbiome with what it needs to produce the right amounts of neurotransmitters.

Another possible factor that can cause depression is a dysfunctional endocrine system. Our endocrine system produces a myriad of hormones that contribute to our well-being. With our modern lifestyle, most of us are cruising along in life at 150 MPH all of the time. We have demanding jobs, families to take care of and other stressors in addition to living our lives. This go-go-go style of living on a long-term basis can be very taxing on certain organs like the hypothalamus, adrenals, and thyroid. If any of these organs are depleted, depressive-like symptoms can set in as your hormonal system becomes burned out.

As we all know, lifestyle choices can have a great impact on our well-being. Things like working an unsatisfying and/or stressful job, dealing with toxic people and/or having toxic relationships, the inability to say no, and taking on more than what you can handle; these are all examples of added stress that can contribute to burn-out and over time, have a negative impact on your well-being. Many of us have unresolved traumas that we have experienced and have yet to work through and of course, this can be a definite contributing factor to depression.

Depression can also stem from abnormal brainwave activity. Our brains produce 4 types of brainwaves: beta, alpha, theta, and delta. All of these brainwaves should be equal in both hemispheres except for beta and alpha. Technically we should have elevated beta in the left hemisphere in comparison to the right and elevated alpha in the right hemisphere in comparison to the left. In some depression cases, people will have higher levels of alpha in the left hemisphere which can create issues such as negative thoughts, melancholy, and a sense of hopelessness. Neurofeedback is very helpful in training the alpha waves to stay elevated in the right hemisphere. It is a non-invasive, relaxing technique that helps balance out brainwave activity.

How We Help People


As we can see, depression can be a condition that stems from multiple issues. At Total Health, our Neurofeedback clinicians work hard to approach it from multiple angles. In addition to practicing Neurofeedback, we focus on nutrition, supplementation, organ, and body system rebuilding and lifestyle changes.

If you are interested in learning more, please contact our clinic at 262-251-2929 to schedule a complimentary phone call with me to see if Neurofeedback is right for you. We also offer free monthly seminars that you can attend for more information.

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