Call (503)408-0790

To schedule an appointment

Lee Dennis, ND

Naturopathic Physician

Call (503)408-0790

To schedule an appointment

Location

Namaste Natural Healing Center
12616 SE Stark St
Portland, OR 97233

Depression

If you’ve ever been diagnosed with depression or even suffered through a period of depression without being diagnosed, you probably know what a debilitating condition this can be. Being depressed can make even simple, daily tasks feel like a struggle. You may even have trouble convincing yourself to get out of bed in the morning. When at its worst, depression can lead to thoughts of complete hopelessness and even suicide. Those who’ve never struggled with depression may wonder why you can’t just snap out of it and move on with your life. This may lead to feelings of guilt or shame and the feeling that you must hide the truth from others. If this describes you, know that you are not alone in these feelings, you don’t have to hide and there is a way out.

The factors that lead one to depression can be many and varied. Depression may be associated with other conditions, such as hypothyroidism, and may resolve when the related condition is treated. Research shows us that many times there is a genetic component to depression, but that it’s not the only factor. For many, periods of intense psychological stress can lead to bouts of depression. Sometimes they are brief, but sometimes they are not. When grieving the loss of a loved one, for example, it is normal to go through periods of depression. Sometimes, however, the depression stays longer than is healthy or the cause isn’t so apparent.

The conventional approach to depression generally involves psychotherapy and antidepressant medications. Both can be helpful when used appropriately. From a naturopathic perspective, in taking a holistic view of the patient, we look for the cause of the depression. Sometimes psychotherapy can illuminate the cause when it is related to stress, trauma or abuse. Other times, however, when the cause is less clear, there may be organic contributing factors, such as food allergies, dietary habits, nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, blood sugar imbalances, dysbiosis (bacterial imbalance in the gut), neurotransmitter imbalances or genetic factors.

There are a variety of treatments in naturopathic medicine that can be beneficial in treating depression. Herbs like St. John’s Wort and amino acids like L-tryptophan and L-tyrosine can often be helpful in treating the symptoms of depression. Homeopathy can sometimes be utilized to help your body naturally correct the imbalance leading to depression in a safe, side-effect free manner. The real key in any long-term treatment plan is identifying the cause, whether it be a nutrient deficiency, hormonal imbalance or SNP, and addressing that cause.

Dr. Dennis offers compassionate care for all patients and strives to work on an individual level to meet each patient’s needs – whether that be antidepressant medications, herbal supplements or nutrient therapy – while working to identify and address the underlying cause of depression.



SNPs

Have you struggled with depression for most of your life? Have you been treated with medications such as Prozac, Zoloft or Paxil only to find that they didn't do much or that they only provided a temporary benefit? Have you been switched from medication to medication, only to find the same pattern occurring - temporary benefit, with no long lasting relief? If you've been through this, you could have... - ream more -


Thyroid Disorders

The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped, endocrine gland that sits at the base of the throat. It is an immensely important gland as it produces hormones that affect our entire body and can actually speed up or slow down our metabolism. Problems with the thyroid gland are fairly common and affect a large percentage of our population. Unfortunately, thyroid problems often go undiagnosed because of a lack of agreement regarding what proper... - read more -


Autoimmune Conditions

Autoimmune conditions are caused by an abnormal reaction of the immune system towards the body. Cells of the immune system either directly attack other cells in the body or they produce antibodies which then attack other cells or proteins in the body. Examples of autoimmune conditions include hashimoto’s thyroiditis (autoimmune hypothyroidism), grave’s... - read more -