We have been told that depression is always caused by a chemical imbalance and cured by a chemical fix—a prescription. More than 30 million Americans take antidepressants, including one in seven women, and one in four women of reproductive age. Millions more are tempted to try them to end chronic, unyielding distress, irritability, and emotional “offness”—trapped by an exhausting inner agitation they can’t shake.
Leaders in the field are beginning to accept that this is not the whole story. Science is leading us to explore the way the human body interacts with our intellect. Your body reacts to certain things positively and certain things negatively. These are "symptoms" of great causes.
I believe depression is a meaningful symptom of a biological mismatch with our lifestyles—we eat poorly, harbor too much stress, lack sufficient physical movement, deprive ourselves of natural sunlight, expose ourselves to environmental toxins, and take too many drugs. I believe that inflammation is the language the body speaks, expressing imbalance, inviting change. We usually suppress these symptoms with medication. That, to me, is like turning off the smoke alarm when your house is on fire.
Let’s get the facts straight: