In the meantime, burnout, diabetes, depression and obesity are among the widespread diseases due to today's diet with predominantly industrially produced food. Likewise, the lack of exercise as well as excessive stress in everyday life and the enormous environmental pollution are reasons that people suffer from these widespread diseases.
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), depression in particular is one of the most widespread diseases, the scope and effects of which most people underestimate. Today, approximately 5 percent (about 3.1 million people) of the adult population suffer from depression, which requires treatment. Likewise, depression can also be found in some adolescents (up to the age of 18) or even in older people from the age of 65.
Depression reduces quality of life and enjoyment of life
The course of depression is usually protracted over a long period of time, such as weeks, months or even several years. If the affected person does not seek treatment in time, a chronic course of the disease is possible. In this case, the duration of recovery is usually longer than would be the case with a non-chronic illness.
Depression manifests itself in various ways. However, the main symptoms of this disorder are pessimism and negative thinking with regard to everyday life, life in general and oneself. Those affected suffer from permanent feelings of guilt and self-reproach and usually see no meaning in their lives. Health and contentment are usually a long way off for them and are unimaginable for them at this point.
Depression significantly reduces the quality and enjoyment of life of those affected. The pressure of suffering can sometimes become so high that patients start having suicidal thoughts or even attempt suicide. Half of those suffering from the disease commit at least one suicide attempt in the course of their lives. Around 15 percent of people suffering from severe depression die by suicide.
Furthermore, depression can lead to life-threatening situations if loss of appetite as well as reduced fluid intake are added in the course of the disease. In addition, depression can lead to a longer healing process for diseases such as diabetes or heart disease.
The symptoms of depression
A striking symptom of this disorder is the patient's altered behavior. Those affected usually withdraw, avoid social contacts and hardly cope with their daily work routine. They no longer have much interest in their hobbies and their bed increasingly serves as a refuge. Furthermore, their facial expressions and gestures hardly show any movement. They speak in a low and monotone voice. In contrast, patients with agitated depression are restless, desperate and appear driven.
Likewise, depression also makes itself felt physically. Patients often suffer from insomnia, tire quickly or exhibit disturbed eating behavior such as loss of appetite. In addition, depression can also make itself felt through general physical complaints or loss of libido. Overall, those affected have little energy and fail even at simple everyday things such as getting dressed.
The treatment of depression
Depression is divided into different degrees of severity, which is determined individually. From this, the appropriate treatment of the patient is then carried out. As a rule, treatment consists of therapy and the prescription of antidepressants. Whether psychotherapy alone is appropriate as treatment for mild to moderate depression is a point of debate. Many of the synthetic medications often contain undesirable side effects. With some medications, these even lead to dependence. For this reason, alternative practitioners, naturopaths as well as patients are looking for purely herbal alternatives.
For depression 5-HTP helps in a natural way
The woody climbing plant Griffonia simplicfolia, also known as the African black bean, grows in the rainforest of western Africa. The bean pods of this plant and the tips of its flowers contain an antidepressant substance. The 5-HTP (5-hydroxytrytophan) is obtained from it.
Tryptophan is an amino acid that our body cannot produce itself. From this amino acid first trypatmin can be formed and subsequently the 5-HTP. The 5-hydroxtrytamine (5-HT)-serotonin results from the accumulation of hydrogen and the decomposition of carbon. Thus, 5-HTP is a good supplier of serotonin - the so-called happiness hormone.
If there is a deficiency of serotonin, this sometimes leads to anxiety, depression or even increased aggressiveness. In addition, serotonin regulates the sleep rhythm and promotes the performance of the memory and thus also the learning ability of humans. Furthermore, the happiness hormone helps with inflammation and pain. Migraines, obesity, stress, addictive behavior, suicidal thoughts and premenstrual syndrome can often be traced back to a serotonin deficiency. This could be determined on the basis of different reports of experience.
At the Psychiatric University Hospital in Basel, Dr. W. Pöldinger proved the effectiveness of 5-HTP in 1991. In the treatment of depression, its effectiveness did not differ in any way from that of conventional antidepressants. However, it had much fewer side effects than synthetically produced drugs. In the case of bipolar depression, it was found that the anxiety attacks and the potential for aggression were considerably reduced and improved by the serotonin supplied.
In addition, 5-HTP has a positive effect on the contraction of the ateries and on the cardiovascular system. This results in a positive support of blood pressure control. Furthermore, the serotonin stimulates blood circulation, as it dilates the vessels of the muscles.
The dosage and intake of 5-HTP
In Germany, the African black bean is available without prescription as a dietary supplement either as a capsule or a tablet. In most cases, the recommendation is to use a preparation that is as highly concentrated as possible at the beginning. The high dosage at the beginning ensures a quick replenishment of the depots in the body. As a rule, a point in time is agreed with the doctor, pharmacist, naturopath or alternative practitioner, after which a lower dose is then taken using a less highly concentrated drug.
As a rule, the drug should be taken over a period of three months, followed by a four-week break. These four weeks are for regeneration, during which the effect is still maintained. In the case of more highly concentrated preparations, a break should be taken at the weekends. This allows 5-HTP to develop its full effect in the body. This is comparable to the training breaks of a competitive athlete, in which the muscles can regenerate and grow.
If the patient has previously been taking another medication, he or she should consult his or her treating physician before discontinuing the preparation.