Carrie Louise Daenell, ND

Depression can be debilitating any time of year

Unfortunately, most people that cope with some level of depression throughout the calendar year seem to suffer beyond their ability to cope near and after the holiday season. Because this time of year is associated with lesser light hours in the day, it has been called Seasonal Affect Disorder, or S.A.D. There are many causes of depression.
Sometimes a person suffers from a combination of causes.

Whether circumstantial, light or a combination of genetic brain chemistry imbalances, trauma or other causes, every kind of depression has hope for “better”

As Naturopathic Doctors we are trained to employ the least invasive therapies first and reserve the more potent interventions as a last resort. This gives the body’s natural ability to heal itself every chance, and often allows a patient to avoid unnecessary and undesirable side effects. As a modern Naturopathic Doctor, I believe that natural as well as conventional therapies are simply tools in our quest to assist a patient in achieving their greatest state of health. Neither is a religion or a political belief. The tools made by nature stand alongside the tools of our modern laboratories. Each has a place. Every patient is an individual and must be treated as such. For some, natural intervention is the more appropriate strategy. For others, conventional medications will best serve their needs. Still, for others, a carefully planned combination of both is where balance is best achieved.

Conditions that lead to depression and are best supported through nutritional supplements include

  • Chronic adrenal fatigue
  • Blood sugar imbalances
  • Brain chemistry imbalances
  • Chronic pain
  • Anemia
  • Poor digestion
  • Chronic allergies
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Poor diet
  • Lack of exercise

Natural support for depression includes

  • Light therapy
  • Exercise
  • Whole foods organic diet
  • Eliminating sugar and alcohol
  • Drinking plenty of water and
  • Daily prayer, meditation, yoga, qi gong or other mindfulness practice

A few nutritional supplements that can help include

  • 5 HTP
  • L-Theanine
  • Magnolia
  • L-Theanine
  • Ashwaganda

I encourage seeking professional guidance when using nutritional supplements for depression and S.A.D. Do not mix nutritional supplements and mood-related medications without professional guidance. An ounce of prevention, as they say.

Understanding depression is a complicated endeavor. I would encourage anyone facing depression to seek professional support. Sometimes that support is a team. My patients might have a Psychiatrist for medication prescribing, a Psychotherapist for emotional and cognitive therapy and me, a Naturopathic Doctor for targeted, safe and effective nutritional supplement support, along with lifestyle guidance.

There are as many ways to support and treat depression as there are causes of depression. Every person is an individual. As a Naturopathic Doctor, I believe that every patient deserves to be supported on an individual basis. No two people are exactly alike, therefore supportive strategies must be designed for each person depending on their situation. This takes time and attention to detail. Seek a provider that has the time to pay attention to the details of your case. Be discriminating. You deserve it.

I am a results-obsessed Naturopathic Doctor. I love what I do. Throughout my career, I have also worked on the “raw materials” side of the nutritional supplement industry. This gives me and my patients the advantage of knowing what works and more importantly, what doesn’t. Our work is targeted, specific and dramatically effective. How fun is that? I have a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University, am licensed as a primary care physician in the state of WA, am an author (Better Breast Health for Life!), speaker, frequent guest on PBS health programming and am always in volunteer service to the state, national and educational institutions of Naturopathic Medicine. Find her at

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