Depression is classically defined as a psychiatric disorder characterized by feelings of extreme sadness or guilt, an inability to concentrate, helplessness, hopelessness, and thoughts of death that can lead to some degree of impairment—whether mild, moderate, or severe. It can appear as a result of life changes such as divorce, loss of a job, or death of a loved one.

Depression may also come about gradually for no apparent reason at all. The familiar adage, “sound body-sound mind,” is thus appropriate in reference to this disorder because depression is commonly entangled with a myriad of diverse health conditions and illnesses. The importance of uncovering potential imbalances or deficiencies in the body is therefore crucial to effective treatment of and recovery from this devastating condition. Statistically, depression is the second most common medical condition observed in general medical practice today—behind hypertension alone. An estimated 16% of adult Americans suffer from major depression at some point in their lives, and of these, only 25% receive adequate treatment.