Depression is usually divided into two categories. Reactive, if it is the result of a death for example, and endogenous or clinical when it occurs for no external reason. The latter is also referred to as a depressive illness. The endocrinologist Hans Selye, who wrote the first definitive study on stress, said “When endocrinology is fully understood there will be no place for psychiatrists.” In the 1960’s Dr Linus Pauling coined the term ‘orthomolecular medicine’ and defined it as “the preservation of good health and the treatment of disease by varying the concentration in the human body of substances that are normally present in the body and are required for health.” Very different from the ‘toximolecular’ practice of modern medicine, which introduces into the body extremely toxic, poisonous substances in the belief that health will be the end result. The very reverse has been true, with over 68% of people in the west now dying from degenerative diseases, whereas at the turn of the century it was only 15%. In the USA there has been an increase of deaths from infectious diseases of 58% in spite of antibiotics. Depression is also on the increase. Figures for the UK show 10% of the population have mental health problems. Nutrition plays a major role in overcoming depression, with a success rate of over 80%. Research indicates that one in four people become depressed because of allergens within food. It has also found that a low level of cholesterol increases the risk of getting depression. Progesterone has also helped many people overcome their depression, whether it has been male or female, young or old, women with PMS, post-natal depression and psychosis or menopause depression. Progesterone acts as a natural antidepressant by inhibiting the action of the enzyme monoamine oxidase (MAO) in the brain and has no adverse side effects as have the synthetic MAOI’s. It is also involved in the metabolism of serotonin and dopamine, both known to play a role in depression. It has recently been found that women suffering from PMS have low levels of serotonin in their blood. 10% of women get post-natal depression after giving birth, either acute or chronic. The reason is the same in both cases, a sudden drop in progesterone levels once the placenta has come away. A few rare cases, 0.5%, develop postnatal psychosis, a temporary disorder that is also helped by progesterone. There are many mental and physical symptoms associated with PMS, menopause, post-natal depression and psychosis. The milder problems manifest themselves in PMS, while the severest appears in post-natal and premenstrual psychosis, which in very rare cases ends in infanticide, murder and self-mutilation. The following are some of the symptoms:
- mental – loneliness; uselessness; endless crying; irrational behaviour; confusion; feelings of unreality; guilt; anxiety; agitation; panic attacks; agoraphobia; claustrophobia; irritability; aggression; anger; rage; violent mood swings; rejection of the baby; delusions; hallucinations; visions; voices in the head; depression; suicidal thoughts; paranoia; changed personality, manic depression.
- physical – asthma; bloating; epilepsy; exhaustion; dizziness; hunger insomnia; migraine; muscular weakness; sinusitis; compulsive eating; thirst.
Up to one third of women who have PMS suffer from dizziness during the premenstruum. It is also frequent in women nearing menopause and those who have had children. High levels of oestrogen in the premenstruum cause water to be retained affecting the fluid in the ear and therefore balance. Different dosages of progesterone should be used depending on the severity of the PMS and menopausal symptoms.