What is Depression?

Depression is one of the most common medical conditions in this country, affecting an estimated 17 million Americans every year. Depression is a whole-body illness, one that involves the body, nervous system, moods, thoughts, and behavior. It affects the way you eat, lose/gain weight, sleep, feel about yourself, and react to people and events around you.

People with depression often experience the desire or need to withdraw from their friends, family, and overall environment. They can lose interest in things around them and become incapable of experiencing pleasure.


Signs of Depression

Symptoms of depression commonly include fatigue, insomnia, headaches, changes in weight, digestive disorders, restlessness, irritability, quickness to anger, loss of interest in once pleasurable things, and feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy.

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Changes in weight
  • Digestive disorders
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability or anger
  • Feelings of worthlessness


What Causes Depression?

The cause of depression varies by person. Depression may be hereditary or triggered by tension, stress, a traumatic life event, a loss of a loved one, chemical imbalances in the brain, thyroid disorders, nutritional deficiencies, poor diet, lack of exercise, or even allergies.

Diet & Depression

How Food Can Cause Depression

Food greatly influences the brain’s behavior. A poor diet, particularly one with an abundance of “junk” food, processed food, and hydrogenated fats, is a common cause of depression. The levels of brain chemicals, called neurotransmitters, are controlled by what we eat and are closely linked to our regular diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

More Information on Depression

Depression and anxiety can result from certain environmental triggers, such as stress or a break from an important emotional attachment. On a physical level, depression and anxiety can also be the result of deficiencies in neurotransmitters. Research suggests that individuals suffering from depression, anxiety, or ADHD generally have a deficiency of one or more of the natural substances (neurotransmitters) that allow the brain cells to communicate with each other effectively.

There are four main neurotransmitters that create our moods:

  • Dopamine/Norepinephrine (the natural energizer and mental focuser)
  • GABA (our natural sedative)
  • Endorphin (our natural pain killer)
  • Serotonin (our natural mood stabilizer and sleep promoter)

Deficiencies in serotonin may result in sleep problems, anxiety, irritation, and other symptoms of depression. A deficiency in Norepinephrine is associated with fatigue and depressed mood. A deficiency in GABA is linked to anxiety and panic conditions.

Deficiencies affecting biochemical pathways can be inherited and can be further exacerbated by prolonged stress during which the body consumes the brain’s natural sedatives and stimulants. While the body has emergency stores of these brain chemicals, chronic stress can deplete them.

Dr. Baten works with her patients to identify and address the root causes of the imbalance. The combined approach of nutrition and cognitive behavioral therapy is critical.

Dr. Baten’s approach is holistic. It involves looking at the factors that affect your mental health, including belief patterns, chronic stressors, and diet. Where deficiencies in neurotransmitters are identified, she assists the body in returning to a state of balance through amino acid and nutraceutical therapies.

You can help support a healthy mood by consuming foods that promote the production of essential neurotransmitters. Dr. Baten’s approach incorporates nutrition education along with rigorous and effective dietary practices.

In conjunction with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques, Dr. Baten teaches individuals how to eat a healthy diet by incorporating more foods into their daily regimen without feeling deprived, which is paramount to a reduction in symptoms of depression. Additionally, the use of natural supplements can decrease depression and lift mood without the use of pharmacology.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is clinically proven to effectively treat depression and anxiety. It helps individuals take control of their lives and emotions.

Dr. Baten helps individuals learn to identify dysfunctional beliefs that lead to negative consequences in mood and behavior and to stimulate emotional growth by replacing self-defeating thoughts, feelings, and actions with new and more effective ones. The result is a rewarding sense of responsibility for emotions, empowering people to change and overcome unhealthy behaviors that interfere with their ability to enjoy life.

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