Depression is a common condition, affecting more than one million Australians each year. When it takes hold, it can be a debilitating illness that robs people of their ability to experience joy, meaning or motivation. Instead, sadness and anxiety can take over. Rather than there being a specific cause, depression seems to be associated with a combination of life events, personal factors and changes in brain chemistry, particularly serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine.
As every individual is affected by depression in a unique way, there is no single treatment that cures depression. Traditional treatments typically include a range of psychological therapies, medication or both, but have we been overlooking some potentially powerful options?
In part 1 of this interview with Dr Jerome Sarris, we review some of the impressive research on the herbal medicines and nutraceuticals found to be effective in the treatment of depression.
Dr Jerome Sarris is a Senior Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne. Jerome moved from clinical practice to academic work, and completed a doctorate at The University of Queensland in the field of psychiatry. He undertook his postdoctoral training at The University of Melbourne, Department of Psychiatry; The Centre for Human Psychopharmacology, Swinburne University of Technology; and The Depression Clinic & Research Program at Harvard Medical School (MGH). He has a particular interest in mood disorders, anxiety, and insomnia research pertaining to Complementary and Integrative Medicine, and in nutraceutical psychopharmacology. He is co-editor of Clinical Naturopathy: an evidence-based guide to practice, has over 80 publications, and has published in many eminent psychiatry journals such as The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, Psychopharmacology and Bipolar Disorders. Jerome is a founding Vice Chair of The International Network of Integrative Mental Health (INIMH).