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Understanding Depression: The 5 Biotypes

Depression, a common mental disorder, accounts for the most cases of disability in the world. It negatively impacts almost every aspect of a person’s life, reducing their ability to function and inducing feelings of hopelessness, worthlessness, and fatigue. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 300 million people worldwide suffer from depression around the globe.

The medical community has made many strides toward reducing the stigma of mental illness and improving access to treatment and therapy. However, our understanding of depression and its biological causes continues to evolve.

The Yang Institute of Integrative Medicine firmly believes in the value of time-honored, empirically-tested medical techniques from around the world. On top of that, we also believe that medical professionals should take all aspects of a person’s life into consideration when diagnosing and treating them. William Walsh, Ph.D., serves as an example of this approach.

In his study of over 30,000 patients, Dr. Walsh has defined five different depression biotypes. These all represent different forms of chemical imbalances in the body that may disrupt production of neurotransmitters or hormones that regulate mood and energy levels. Because these biotypes represent different biological underpinnings for depressive symptoms, each may respond better to different treatments or medications.


Undermethylation

Depressed individuals with this biotype tend to exhibit low levels of serotonin, a type of neurotransmitter. They may demonstrate high levels of accomplishment, but also tend to have addictive tendencies. Although they can appear outwardly calm, they frequently carry a tremendous amount of tension. Over 38% of depression diagnoses may fall under this biotype.
High-Copper

Women comprise over 95% of depressed individuals with this biotype. High copper levels may lead to anxiety, post-partum depression, and sensitive skin. In this instance, depression may be attributed to elevated norepinephrine levels and low dopamine.
Folate Deficiency

Depressed patients with low folate levels demonstrate unusually low energy and libido incongruent with their high anxiety. Incidentally, they tend to display a high number of food and chemical sensitivities.
Toxic Metal

Those with toxic metal depression typically report a periodic metallic taste in their mouth. They also exhibit irritability and often mention abdominal pain. Patients with this form of depression show impaired function of NMDA, receptors critical to memory function and synaptic plasticity.
Pyrrole

In this biotype, people tend to experience severe mood swings, sensitivity to noise and light, and high oxidative stress. Dr. Walsh’s study indicates that individuals with this biotype have a deficiency of zinc and B-6. To read about these biotypes in more detail, visit the website of the Walsh Research Institute at https://www.walshinstitute.org/. “At its core, integrative medicine assesses and cares about a person at the structural, biochemical, energetic, and soul levels, utilizing the best tools we have to meet a person’s needs fully,” writes Dr. Jingduan Yang in his book, Facing East. Dr. Yang founded the Yang Institute of Integrative Medicine around the same principles that Dr. Walsh kept in mind when defining the five biotypes of depression; namely, that every part of a person’s life contributes to their overall health and well-being. The Yang Institute of Integrative Medicine provides a number of treatments designed to address depression, anxiety, chronic pain, and a great many other physical and mental issues. To learn more, get in touch today.

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