This type of depression was found in 38 percent of patients in the study. The problem in these cases is low activity at serotonin receptors, apparently due to rapid reabsorbtion after serotonin is released into a synapse.
“It’s not serotonin deficiency, but an inability to keep serotonin in the synapse long enough. Most of these patients report excellent response to SSRI antidepressants, although they may experience nasty side effects,” Walsh said.
This type was found in 17 percent of the patients studied, and most of these patients also said that SSRI antidepressants helped them. These patients exhibited a combination of impaired serotonin production and extreme oxidative stress.
Accounting for 15 percent of cases in the study, these patients cannot properly metabolize metals. Most of these people say that SSRIs do not have much of an effect—positive or negative—on them, but they report benefits from normalizing their copper levels through nutrient therapy. Most of these patients are women who are also estrogen intolerant.
“For them, it’s not a serotonin issue, but extreme blood and brain levels of copper that result in dopamine deficiency and norepinephrine overload,” Walsh explained. “This may be the primary cause of postpartum depression.”
These patients account for 20 percent of the cases studied, and many of them say that SSRIs worsened their symptoms, while folic acid and vitamin B12 supplements helped. Benzodiazepine medications may also help people with low-folate depression.
Walsh said that a study of 50 school shootings over the past five decades showed that most shooters probably had this type of depression, as SSRIs can cause suicidal or homicidal ideation in these patients.
This type of depression is caused by toxic-metal overload—usually lead poisoning. Over the years, this type accounted for 5 percent of depressed patients, but removing lead from gasoline and paint has lowered the frequency of these cases.
I really hope this pans out-- finding the right anti-depressant can be a miserable process.
I'll also note that the people ranting about school shootings and anti-depressants may well have been partly right.
I had no idea there might be a connection between copper and depression, though it's not totally news-- this discussion talks about a copper/zinc imbalance.
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