Author of The Diet Cure & The Mood Cure
Monday March 31st
Mood & Alternatives to Antidepressants
This is FREE
for NCNM students!
Julia Ross is a psychotherapist who went into addiction treatment many years ago. She ran a clinic in the Bay area that treated many people for alcoholism and all manner of other drug addictions. Their success rates were pretty good (50% with alcoholics) while the clients were in the program, she said because clients respond to the truth and make healthy changes in their lives. But after the treatment ended, they relapsed due to CRAVINGS. Crack addicts had a 100% relapse rate. Marijuana addicts relapsed more than alcoholics. A person with multiple dependencies was most likely to relapse.
Genetics does play a part in addiction, and Julia gave the example of native americans who are very sensitive to her treatments. She said that 90% of natives are either addicted, or diabetic, or both. She says "addiction is a sign of genetic vulnerability" to neurotransmitter imbalances, and that "the core of addiction is biochemical". "People with normal neurtransmitters don't get addicted." In our culture, some of the common addictions are to sugar, alcohol, caffeine.
Julia had her own clinic in Mill Valley now. Recovery Systems Clinic. Julia focusses on four groups of neurotransmitters in her treatments. She assesses people by a whole lot of fairly subjective criteria---the quality of the depression, is it negative or is it apathetic? She said that negative depression (obsessing, suicidal thoughts) is caused by low serotonin, whereas flat depression is caused by insuficcient catecholamines (dopamine, norepinephrine, epinephrine). The other two possible deficiencies she deals with are GABA and endorphine deficiencies. It all sounds so simple when she is talking about it.
Julia wrote a couple of books and I bought them. I'm going to see if this integrates into my practice. I like the way people respond immediately to supplementation of deficient neurotransmitters, and I think she is onto something. She tests people by giving them ever so small doses of certain amino acids (ex: 5HTP or tryptophan for serotonin deficiency) while they are in her office. She breaks open the capsules and gives the doses as powder in the mouth, where it is immediately absorbed through the mucus membrane. In a few minutes she can see if there is a change.
She started the lecture with an orientation on the epidemic of depression in the US. She says it began in the 1970's, and this jives with something I heard from another source lately, that 1976 was the last year that American morale was high, and it's been going down ever since. Julia said that suicide rates started increasing in the 1970's. Our depression rate is 100 times more now than it was in 1900.
Julia said that 30-40% of the population is untreated for some kind of mood disorder. She said over TEN PERCENT of the American population are on antidepressants, and only about ten percent of those medicated say that it is beneficial. That must by why there is so much of it in the water. Unfortunately, even for those who report good results, the benefit seems to fade, usually after about three months. A lot of what she does now is get people off SSRI's by using aminos and diet.
Since 2002 there has been a lot of research on the adverse effects of SSRI's (selective seratonin reuptake inhibitors). Some include: liver failure (serzone, it was pulled from the market), breast cancer (paxil esp), suicidality and self harm (6x more likely on SSRI's), increasing violence and aggression (especially prozac), birth defects (40% increase), premature births (up 20%), still birth (2x), slowed growth, pulmonary hypertension (6x)...and more. Julia said the most characteristic part of the SSRI syndrome is the "I don't care" attitude. Then there are the side effects that the manufacturers have admitted: sexual dysfunction and decreased libido, headache, nausea, jitters, fatigue, sleep disturbance, weight bain, anxiety, increased depression, mania and bipolar symptoms, lowered male fertility....and more.
She recommends www.psyd-fx.com to keep up with the effects of all psych drugs.
There was LOTS more. I am not going to post it all, but let me just say that this lady gets a lot said when she's speaking, and it's useful. If she comes to town again, I'm definitely going, and taking notes furiously as usual.