When I was in college, I saw my first therapist for depression. I still remember her advice to visualize a stop sign and watch my over-analytical thoughts bounce off them.
This did not work for me.
So I tried various anti-depressants. Generic prozac. Celexa.
When those didn’t work, I thought, I’ll go the natural route! I tried St. John’s Wort and what I learned in the book Potatoes not Prozac.
This did not work for me.
Mental illness runs in my family and so I thought, maybe this is something I’ll just have to learn to manage.
What I wish that 20-something Ali who was trying so hard knew was: depression isn’t a diagnosis. It’s a symptom.
And now there’s a road map to get control of this debilitating symptom. This paradigm-shifting path is what we talk about in this Insatiable episode.
Dr. Kelly Brogan’s NY Times best-selling book is A Mind Of One’s Own.
Special note: Dr. Brogan points out in her book that depression presents differently for women. If you struggle with anxiety, thyroid issues or “random” symptoms like hair loss and low libido, those are important depression symptoms too.
I got an advance copy of the book and here’s what deepened and enlightened my own thinking around depression:
1. Nutrition is one of the best evidence-based treatments we have for treating depression. She outlines a 30-day step-by-step plan to experience this “medication” for yourself. The recipes look amazing.
2. It takes on average 17 years (!!!) for new medical knowledge to trickle down to your doctor. And learning about the gut microbiome changes everything we think we know about illness and wellness. This book will help you become an advocate for yourself.
3. Anti-depressants and birth control aren’t neutral. Here are some profound statistics:
We all have to decide for ourselves if medications are for us. What I care deeply about is each of us knowing the data, not just what Big Pharma publishes. You’ll learn about this in depth in A Mind of One’s Own.
4. Environmental issues don’t skip “good neighborhoods” as Dr. Brogan points out. She shares how to fortify yourself in a world that can overload you with toxins if you’re not careful.
As someone on the other side of depression, and searched high and low, I promise you’ll find no better resource than A Mind of One’s Own.
You can order Dr. Brogan’s book here.
Kelly Brogan, M.D. is a Manhattan-based holistic women’s health psychiatrist, author of the book, A Mind of Your Own and coeditor of the landmark textbook, Integrative Therapies for Depression. She completed her psychiatric training and fellowship at NYU Medical Center after graduating from Cornell University Medical College, and has a B.S. from MIT in Systems Neuroscience. She is board certified in psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and integrative holistic medicine, and is specialized in a root-cause resolution approach to psychiatric syndromes and symptoms. She is on the board of GreenMedInfo, Functional Medicine University, Pathways to Family Wellness, NYS Perinatal Association, and Fisher Wallace, Medical Director for Fearless Parent, and board member for Health Freedom Action and the peer-reviewed, indexed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. She is a mother of two.