Tag Archives: Alcohol Dependency

How To Tell If Your Depression Is Psychological or Biochemical – Excerpts From The Book “7 Weeks To Sobriety” – By Orthomolecular Medicine, Orthomolecular Psychiatry, Holistic Drug Addiction Treatment, Alcohol Dependency, Medication Detoxification,Chemical Dependency, Depression and Anxiety – Minneapolis, Minnesota

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How To Tell If Your Depression Is Psychological or Biochemical – Excerpts From The Book "7 Weeks To Sobriety"By Joan Matthews Larson – Orthomolecular Medicine, Orthomolecular Psychiatry, Holistic Drug Addiction Treatment, Alcohol Dependency, Medication Detoxification,Chemical Dependency, Depression and Anxiety – Minneapolis, Minnesota


How to Tell if Your Depression Is Psychological or Biochemical

Biochemical depression has certain symptoms that distinguish it from the depression stemming from negative life events. You have reason to suspect that you are biochemically depressed if any of the markers listed below describes your depression:

  • You have been depressed for a long time despite changes in your life
  • Talk therapy has little or no effect; in fact, psychological probing– questions like "Why do you hate your father?"–leave you as confused as Alice at the Mad Hatter's tea party
  • You don't react to good news
  • You awaken very early in the morning and can't get back to sleep
  • You cannot trace the onset of your depression to any event in your life
  • Your moods may swing between depression and elation over a period of months in a regular rhythm (this suggests bipolar, or manic-depressive, disorder)
  • Heavy drinking makes your depression worse

How Serious Is Your Depression?

As important as identifying the cause of your depression is determining the depth of your feelings. If you often have suicidal thoughts, please confide in your physician and a close friend or relative. You will recover, but in your present state you need the support of someone you trust. Share this information and together do the detective work needed to discover what is responsible for your continued depression. 

The Seven Kinds of Alcoholic Depression

As I noted earlier, at HRC we have identified seven sources of biochemical depression affecting alcoholics:

  • Neurotransmitter depletion
  • Unavailability of prostaglandin E1
  • Vitamin/mineral deficiency
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Food and chemical allergies
  • Candida-related complex.

Where do you fit in? Let's begin with the most likely biochemical scenario.

 

Neurotransmitter Depletion and Depression

In earlier reading of this website you became acquainted with neurotransmitters-the natural chemicals that facilitate communication between brain cells. These substances govern our emotions, memory, moods, behavior, sleep, and learning abilities. Neurotransmitters are manufactured in the brain from the amino acids we extract from foods and their supply is entirely dependent on the presence of these precursor amino acids.

Alcohol destroys these essential precursor amino acids, which is probably why alcoholics seem so emotionally muddled and depressed. Without adequate amino-acid conversion, neurotransmitters are no longer produced in sufficient amounts; this deficiency causes "emotional" symptoms, including depression.

The two major neurotransmitters involved in preventing depression are serotonin (converted from the amino acid L-tryptophan) and norepinephrine (converted from the amino acids L-phenylalanine and L-tyrosine). You can resupply these vital neurotransmitters and reverse depression by taking daily amino-acid supplements.

Your symptoms will determine which amino acid you will take for depression: tryptophan if your symptoms are sleeplessness, anxiety or irritability; L-tyrosine or L-phenylalanine if your symptoms a lethargy, fatigue, sleeping too much, or feelings of immobility.  

Tryptophan to Serotonin

The amino acid tryptophan, found in large amounts in milk and turkey, is the nutrient needed to form serotonin, which controls moods, sleep, sex drive, appetite, and pain threshold. Eating disorders and violent behavior have also been traced to serotonin depletion. Replacing serotonin can lift depression and end insomnia. In one notable study, a medical researcher in Holland demonstrated that a combination of tryptophan (2 grams nightly) and vitamin B6 (125 milligrams three times a day) could restore patients with anxiety-type depression to normal in four weeks. Depression accompanied by anxiety and sleep disturbances is most likely to respond to tryptophan.

New research (1997) from McGill University in Montreal has found that men produce 52 percent more serotonin than do women. This in-formation seems to explain why more women than men appear to experience a shortage of this critical chemical that modulates moods and so are more likely to suffer from depression and/or eating disorders.

Until the U.S. Food and Drug Administration prohibited the manufacture and sale of tryptophan in the United States in the fall of 1989, we used it for ten years at HRC without any ill effects. This amino acid has also been widely used in England and Canada. In 1989, however, a number of deaths and illnesses in the United States were traced to batches of tryptophan manufactured in Japan. In response, the FDA removed tryptophan from the U.S. market. The FDA has finally allowed this essential amino acid to be restored to baby food and also has made it available by prescription only. Unfortunately, the price of it has now quadrupled.

Tryptophan is now available at Bio-Recovery

Tryptophan is not a drug. It is an essential amino acid much needed to support life and sanity. In an interesting coincidence, Prozac made its first appearance within days of the ban on tryptophan. Now there is a whole family of serotonin-stimulating drugs, but none of them can create more serotonin; they can only speed its firing into the brain and partially block the reuptake into the neurotransmitters, and so the low levels of serotonin in those neurotransmitters are slowly becoming even more depleted.

At HRC almost everyone comes into our program taking one of the serotonin-firing antidepressants (Zoloft, Paxil, Desyrel, Serzone). Our physician switches them to the natural serotonin precursor, tryptophan, which promptly restores the missing serotonin levels. Usually the firing mechanism works fine; the problem was that it simply has had very little serotonin to fire.

Here are the guidelines for substituting tryptophan for a serotonin enhancing drug:

  • Tryptophan alone will not be converted to serotonin. To insure that it is properly used, you must also take vitamin C and vitamin B6 (Table 25, Seven Weeks to Sobriety).
  • Tryptophan is converted to niacin before its final conversion into serotonin. If your body is deficient in niacin, the tryptophan you take will supply you with niacin, not serotonin. For this reason, it is a good idea to take a B-complex vitamin daily. This will give you both vitamin B6 and niacin and allow the tryptophan to be converted to serotonin.
  • Inositol changes into a substance that regulates serotonin's effectiveness within nerve cells. A recent (1997) study confirms its effectiveness with depression. Therefore, we include inositol in this formula.

Of all the amino acids, tryptophan is least able to cross the blood-brain barrier. It must pass this biological hurdle in order to be converted to serotonin. You can give it a nudge by taking it in fruit juice. This will trigger insulin release, which will assist the tryptophan across the blood-brain barrier. Always take your tryptophan on an empty stomach.  


 

Seven Weeks to Sobriety

 

When her teenage son committed suicide after completing a three-month alcohol rehabilitation program, Joan Mathews Larson turned her devastating loss into a search for answers. Why had conventional treatment failed her son? Why has understanding alcoholism as a disease become clearer, while advances in treatment have not? Through painstaking study, Dr. Larson found answers and initiated a revolutionary treatment program that has become one of the most successful models ever developed for this disease. Her findings are the basis for her best selling book, Seven Weeks to Sobriety, making it possible for millions to have access to this proven program.

The book’s breakthrough self-treatment program is designed to take an alcoholic from addiction to sobriety in just seven weeks. Based on the format developed at Health Recovery Center in Minneapolis, psychological problems (mood swings, anxiety, depression) are proved to be distortions of brain chemistry brought on by alcohol use or genetics; thus treatment involves stabilizing the brain at a molecular level by utilizing specific “biochemical repair.”

To purchase the book “Seven Weeks to Sobriety”

Excerpts from Joan’s best selling books Seven Weeks to Sobriety and

Depression Free, Naturally.


To read more about Joan Matthews Larson and the Health Recovery Center, Please Go Here. You can also see her Videos on My Healthiest Life TV. Joan Matthews Larson is also an expert contributor to My Healthiest Life.

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Health Recovery Center – Joan Matthews Larson, PhD – Orthomolecular Medicine, Psychiatry, Holistic Treatment of Drug Addiction, Alcohol Dependency, Medication Detoxification,Chemical Dependency, Depression and Anxiety – Minneapolis, Minnesota

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About Joan Mathews-Larson, PhD - Health Recovery Center – Joan Matthews Larson, PhD – Orthomolecular Medicine, Psychiatry, Holistic Treatment of Drug Addiction, Alcohol Dependency, Medication Detoxification,Chemical Dependency, Depression and Anxiety – Minneapolis, Minnesota


Joan Mathews-Larson began her work over thirty years ago. The loss of her son, shortly after he completed a top-rated, 12-step treatment program, fueled a passionate search for more effective solutions to treat addictions. Convinced that alcoholism is not the result of emotional triggers, or willpower weaknesses, Joan delved into the scientific research, and uncovered scores of studies, including those by the groundbreaking biochemist Dr. Roger Williams, which clearly established a genetic and nutritional connection to addiction.

Mathews-Larson holds a doctorate in human nutrition and is the author of the national bestseller Seven Weeks to Sobriety and Depression Free, Naturally. Her books have led the field into new ways of understanding chemical addictions and mental health problems. They have both been translated into several languages. Her breakthrough, bestseller on alcoholism, Seven Weeks to Sobriety, has served as a textbook in upper level nursing classes, and continues as a manual for other treatment centers wishing to incorporate cause-based healing strategies into more progressive programs.

Bio/Credentials

Dr. Joan Mathews-Larson founded her unique psychobiological model for treating addictions and emotional disorders in 1981. The focus of her clinic, Health Recovery Center®, is to combine therapy with intervention at a molecular level to repair the biochemical damage that manifests as impaired mental functioning and behavior problems. Her research, published in the International Journal of Biosocial and Medical Research in 1987 and 1991, describes this work.

Over the years Health Recovery Center has received national recognition due to its high recovery rates. Today, Dr. Mathews-Larson continues to work as the Executive Director of this internationally renowned program, having successfully treated thousands of people from around the world. After more than 30 years, the success rates of HRC is unparalleled by conventional approaches. Not only do clients no longer drink, they no longer crave alcohol, nor do they suffer from depression, anxiety, or the myriad symptoms that drive most alcoholics back to drink. Yet, few other programs have adapted Dr. Mathews-Larson’s psychobiological approach to therapy. Being a new, revolutionary approach, Dr. Larson has had to butt heads with the establishment, which seems to cling to the status quo despite failing recovery rates. As she continues to defend the logic of her innovations, slowly the treatment industry is coming to recognize and accept her ideas as true innovations to enhance to success of treatment.

In addition to being a popular guest lecturer, she is also in high demand from the media. Her best-selling books, Seven Weeks to Sobriety and Depression Free Naturally—published by Ballantine in 1992 and 2000 –respectively– have led to over 500 television and radio appearances including:

20/20

CNBC-TV

The Susan Powter Show

ABC Network News

Universal Studios American Health Network

CBN-TV’s 700 Club


Bio-Recovery

Bio-Recovery sells the same nutrients to the public that are used at the Health Recovery Center holistic health clinic. The success of HRC’s program is tied directly to the nutrients they prescribe so no expense is spared to insure these products incorporate the latest scientific research with the highest quality features.


Seven Weeks to Sobriety

When her teenage son committed suicide after completing a three-month alcohol rehabilitation program, Joan Mathews Larson turned her devastating loss into a search for answers. Why had conventional treatment failed her son? Why has understanding alcoholism as a disease become clearer, while advances in treatment have not? Through painstaking study, Dr. Larson found answers and initiated a revolutionary treatment program that has become one of the most successful models ever developed for this disease. Her findings are the basis for her best selling book, Seven Weeks to Sobriety, making it possible for millions to have access to this proven program.

The book’s breakthrough self-treatment program is designed to take an alcoholic from addiction to sobriety in just seven weeks. Based on the format developed at Health Recovery Center in Minneapolis, psychological problems (mood swings, anxiety, depression) are proved to be distortions of brain chemistry brought on by alcohol use or genetics; thus treatment involves stabilizing the brain at a molecular level by utilizing specific “biochemical repair.”

To purchase the book “Seven Weeks to Sobriety”

Excerpts from Joan’s best selling books Seven Weeks to Sobriety and
Depression Free, Naturally.


Depression-Free, Naturally: 7 Weeks to Eliminating Anxiety, Despair, Fatigue, and Anger from Your Life

In this groundbreaking book, nutritionist Joan Mathews Larson, Ph.D., founder of Minnesota’s esteemed Health Recovery Center, offers her revolutionary formulas for healing your emotions–biochemically. Through proven all-natural formulas, Seven Weeks to Emotional Healing will help you find the emotional well-being you’ve been missing your entire life. Inside you’ll discover how to 

- Screen yourself for emotional and behavioral symptoms
- Recognize the mental and physical clues that indicate biochemical imbalance
- Heal your depression and anxiety with the right vitamins and minerals
- Stabilize your mood swings and protect your well-being with essential fatty acids
- Choose the right foods for optimal mental fitness
- Rejuvenate your body with key natural hormones

Safe, fast, more long-lasting and cheaper than prescription drugs or psychotherapy, Seven Weeks to Emotional Healing will help you find balance and well-being.


Treatments

HRC Approach

The essence of HRC’s addiction treatment is to identify (once and for all) with labs the many possible biochemical mistakes that keep you craving, depressed, anxious, and needing a “fix” to feel better, and to correct these biochemical disruptions using the wealth of knowledge that orthomolecular medicine and holistic health treatment offer.

Is there an AA Component to Health Recovery Center?

We cannot see the value of a “searching moral inventory” for a disease of genetic physical origin. An attempt to make moral judgments about any behavior that is triggered by a physical disease is not 21st Century intelligence.

The 12-step, AA belief system is embraced by only three percent of U.S. alcoholics today according to their own figures*. Even those members have a hard time staying sober and feeling stable because NO repair has taken place for this physically caused disease! Alcoholics lose an average of 20 years of life, and government figures show that both drinking and abstinent alcoholics die at almost the same rate because treatment does not reverse physical damage.

Philosophy

Consider a physical disease such as schizophrenia. With its multiple distortions that mimic a troubled mind, it would seem the mind is hearing voices, or seeing what isn’t there, but these symptoms are being broadcast to the mind from an unstable brain. When we fix the brain, the voices stop.

Similarly, when treating alcoholism, the addiction treatment philosophy of trying to talk to the mind about the brain’s physical needs is the same waste of time. How can recovery happen without first repairing the damage an addiction has done, and without testing to determine which primary physical problems need fixing?

Carefully selected labs help us identify biochemical imbalances that drive cravings,depressionanxiousness, and the need for a “fix” to feel better. We then correct these mistakes using a molecular science to restore life with the substances all humans require—not toxic, psychiatric drugs. This is orthomolecular medicine: Providing the brain and body with the optimum concentrations of natural substances that are normally present to restore stability and sanity.

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