Vitamin D and It’s Effects on Mental Health
Did you know that depression is an issue that over 18 million Americans deal with every year? That’s 1 out of every 10 people; that number is extremely high. According to statistics, this disorder takes more lives every year than homicide (41,000 annual deaths to suicide and 16,000 deaths to homicide). There are over 290 million people around the world that suffer from this disorder and the numbers continue to grown. This problem can be amplified if the person is resorting to substance abuse to solve this problem. Approximately 20% of people who are suffering from depression struggle with some kind of substance abuse. But what can be the cause of depression? There’s plenty of answers to this question, but how do you prevent or fight against depression? Recent studies show there is a significant connection between vitamin D and lack of depression. Can this vitamin be used as a way to treat such a debilitating disorder?
Vitamin D’s Purpose
When you talk about essential vitamins, vitamin D is sure to come up. This vitamin is one that is vital for your well-being. Vitamin D is so important that your body makes it on its own. One incredible benefit that vitamin D has is it helps to absorb calcium. This results in bone growth and healthier tissues. However, it’s most incredible feature is that it is essential for your health. It helps regulate your immune and neuromuscular system. This vitamin can help fight back against infections and autoimmune diseases in the body. Recently, it has also been discovered that it can possibly help fight against depression. People that have struggled with depression or other related mental illnesses have gone to show low levels of vitamin D in their system. This can be due to their dietary restrictions/deficiencies, lifestyle, or even lack of sunlight. When given supplements of vitamin D, those with depression have shown incredible results. However, even though it has gone to show incredible results, the vitamin itself should not be treated as a cure for depression. Implementing more fish, dairy, oranges, healthy cereals, sunlight, or vitamin D supplements into your life can help immensely.
Can Vitamin D Treat Depression?
The amount of research done on the connection between vitamin D and depression is massive. However, the results can be a bit mixed. There are plenty of studies that say there is a significant connection between vitamin D and depression, while others suggest vitamin D should not be used when trying to deal with/treat depression. Unfortunately, until the results are unanimous, there is no telling whether or not vitamin D is a full proof way of curing or helping fight depression.
Some researchers suggest that depression causes lowered levels of vitamin D, but others will say depression is caused by the low levels of vitamin D. It’s hard to tell which is right. Thankfully, since the answer is still unknown, researchers are actively testing both theories in an effort to find out whether or not there is a connection between depression and vitamin D. However, this means many individuals have to rely on medical treatments in order to fight off depression. This has caused some, but not all, individuals to fall into addiction, only reinforcing their addictive habits. There are options for behavioral therapy to stop behaviors like this from happening (cognitive behavior therapy).
Vitamin D: Not A Cure For Depression
If you go anywhere online, you can read plenty of articles and research papers that say vitamin D can be used to treat depression. Unfortunately, there is no solid answer to whether or not it can do this. However, people with depression have been linked to lower levels of vitamin D. Try implementing more vitamin D into your lifestyle/diet and see what it can do for you. Your body makes vitamin D when out in the sun and many people believe they’re in a better mood after being in the sun. Try implementing more vitamin D into your life and see what happens. Still, do not use the vitamin as a treatment method for depression. It is best to seek professional help when dealing with something as serious as depression.