My patients with Adrenal Fatigue are commonly dismissed as having depression or anxiety. This myth stems from the fact that most well-meaning physicians could find no biologic abnormality (though they exist) for the various symptoms with which my patients present. The next logical – though inaccurate – step for these physicians is to assume and often tell the patient that “it’s all in your head.”
The myth that depression is the cause of these conditions has repeatedly been scientifically refuted and proven. If your physician continues to have this line of thinking, he or she is simply ignorant of the current research, and it should be a warning sign to you that you should start your search for a new doctor.
At a conference I once attended, a forward thinking psychiatrist said that one can tell the difference between a depressed patient and a patient with CFS (Adrenal Dysfunction) easily with one question. Ask the patient what she would do if she were better? A person suffering from depression has difficulty with this; she will hem and haw and finally be unable to answer. Ask this to a patient with CFS and you better have some time to sit back and listen, because she will regale you with various plans and goals, and ultimately with the frustration of not being able to achieve these goals.
This is not to say that my patients do not suffer periodically from depression. Honestly, I’d start worrying about their mental health if they didn’t. Most cannot live the life they once knew. As Dr. Poesnecker and other pioneering physicians in the field would say, “They’ve lost their vitality.” Ultimately, the fatigue causes the depression, not the other way around.
Conventional treatment of depression is purely symptomatic and almost always uses pharmaceuticals to treat the depression and fatigue, which is said to be “all in your head.” This is not all in your head. Treating only on a symptomatic level, however, is shortsighted; the symptom of depression is just the tip of the iceberg. The root cause of this and all the other symptoms is the hormonal and neurotransmitter dysregulation that’s below the surface.
Treat the cause, treat the Adrenal Dysfunction, and you’ll treat the depression.