Depression and Toxins
Have you ever wondered if there might be a connection between depression and toxins? When dealing with depression and trying to find answers, it’s important to look for causes and not simply go for a medication that simply suppresses your symptoms. One of the most concerning things for me is that my doctors did not look at what I was eating, nor did they ask me what I was being exposed to in my day to day life.
Did you know that your depression symptoms may be caused or exacerbated by toxins in your world? It’s true, and I want to share with you a few of the possible culprits so you can evaluate your exposure to them and perhaps find some relief of symptoms.
Pesticides – Did you know our most common exposure to toxins comes from the conventionally grown food we eat? It does! The saying, “You are what you eat” is so true and actually goes beyond that to “…and you are what they eat…”. In this case, with conventionally grown food, what they eat refers to the pesticides used during the growing process.
Prescription drugs – These sometimes alter our brain chemistry. Some medications like Paxil, for instance, while technically an antidepressant, has a risk of increasing suicidal tendencies. Paxil was my antidepressant of choice, and while I was never suicidal, I was extremely miserable both on and off it. I went on it to try to control my depression and then went off it because I didn’t feel well and had a number of side effects while taking the drug. You should be absolutely sure to read the fine print on your leaflet when you are prescribed a new medication. Keep a daily journal of how you feel so you know when you started taking the medication and so you know how you feel while taking it. You want to track time and effects. You may think you’ll remember…you won’t…
Next on the hit parade list for depression and toxins are environmental pollutants. These include, among others, radon, lead, furnishings in your house that may have been treated with chemicals, building materials in your home, cleaning products, etc. I am extremely careful, as you should be, to carefully read all labels before purchasing any cleaning products. If you see ingredients such as Phthalates (which are found in a lot of household products containing fragrance like air fresheners, dish soap, etc.), perchloroethylene, triclosan, quarternary ammonium compounds, 2-butoxyethanol (which is not required by law to be listed on a label), ammonia, chlorine, sodium hydroxide, it’s in your best interest to find a healthier, less toxic alternative as these ingredients are endocrine disruptors, neurotoxins, skin irritants, etc. Try changing your all purpose spray cleaner to Sun & Earth All Purpose Cleaner. I’ve used it for years, and I love it!
Finally, heavy metals found in amalgam fillings, some fish and in cigarette smoke can influence depression. Mercury is a major culprit in this list, and you should be careful to avoid eating fish that is high in mercury such as tuna and sword fish. Eating wild caught fish such as salmon haddock or cod is a better, healthier choice. I suggest avoiding farm raised fish entirely; I don’t care how responsibly they tell you it is raised.
This is not a complete list of everything in your environment that can affect your mood and can trigger depression, but these are a good place to start evaluating what you are currently exposed to in your daily life.
Helping You Achieve Major Wellness!
Cheryl A Major, CNWC
Certified Nutrition & Wellness Consultant
I’m Cheryl A Major, and I work with people of all ages and challenges to help them understand how and what to eat to get healthy quickly and deliciously. Download your 10 Tips for Healthy Eating on a Budget, and get started right away!