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Depression Causes and Treatment: Brain O2 and CO2

- Updated on November 1, 2020
Depression Causes and Treatment: Brain O2 and CO2 1By Dr. Artour Rakhimov, Alternative Health Educator and Author
- Medically Reviewed by Dr. David Walker, CPA, Licensed Psychologist and Naziliya Rakhimova, MD

Definition of depression

Older man with depression Depression is defined as an abnormal state of the mind or mental state of the person characterized by feelings of sadness, hopelessness, and loss of interest.

Common symptoms and signs of depression:

– Low or irritable mood present most of the time
– A loss of pleasure in usual daily activities (work, exercise, hobbies, games, and so on)
– Tiredness and lack of energy
– A change in appetite, usually with weight gain (rarely weight loss)
– Poor quality of sleep and/or sleeping too much
– Feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem, hopelessness, and guilt
– Difficulty concentrating
– Too slow or too fast movements
– Lack of activity and avoiding usual activities.

Effects of overbreathing on brain oxygen levels

Inability or greatly reduced ability to deal with life problems is quite a common sign of depression even though the general individual picture varies.

What are causes of depression?

Breathing changes during last 80 years

Older man with depression and his doctor All available medical evidence suggests that depression is possible only when the brain has reduced levels of oxygen and carbon dioxide. Low brain oxygenation (brain hypoxia) leads to anaerobic cell respiration in nerve cells and low pH (acidic cell environment), while low CO2 (hypocapnia) causes overexcited states of nervous cells. Chronic fatigue and problems with sleep are other classical signs of chronic deep breathing (see this link for more details: click here).

Overbreathing is manifested in less than 30 seconds for the body-oxygen test. People with more than 30 s for the body-oxygen test have a good quality of sleep, good energy levels, satisfactory concentration, and are able to find the constructive ways to deal with reality.

Woman depressed and sad Therefore, while many other factors may look like triggers or causes of depression (e.g., death of a spouse, job loss, and so on), the real physiological causes relate to ineffective automatic breathing patterns and abnormal respiratory mechanics including chest breathing, mouth breathing and chronic hyperventilation (breathing more than the medical norms).

Treatment of depression

In agreement with Western studies (Mora et al, 1976; Damas-Mora et al, 1982; Tweeddale et al, 1994), clinical observations by about 200 Russian doctors practicing the Buteyko breathing method suggest that depression is a sign of hyperventilation.
Medical doctors smiling It is common in people who, apart from chronic overbreathing, experienced abuse, trauma, and other types of physiological, physical and emotional stress. Depression gradually disappears with breathing normalization. Most people with depression require more than X s for the body-oxygen test in order to be free from their symptoms or to have a cure or clinical remission. (The number X is explained further below.)

Furthermore, application of resistive breathing devices (such as the Frolov device, Samozdrav, Amazing DIY breathing device, and many others) provide faster recovery rates in comparison with the classical Buteyko method. Practically, it is noticed that physical exercise with strictly nasal breathing and perspiration has a profound effect on fast recovery from depression. However, bear in mind that other lifestyle changes (see the Section Learning) are necessary for the complete remission of main symptoms of depression.

Apart from this physiological approach, meditation exercises (if you know which ones and how to apply them) and New Decision Therapy (based on elimination of traumas and leading to forgiveness) can be effective in the elimination of past traumas and boost the mood and life outlook in the depressed person. This forgiveness therapy (or energy release technique) involves clearing 3 layers of denial and testing weak body points before the teacher proceeds to find the traumatic event in the past of the student.

There are some Western medical studies that testify about a need to retrain breathing. The references are provided below, while the extracts from these studies and the number X in seconds (to cure depression) are provided right below here as your bonus content.

Br J Psychiatry. 1976 Nov;129:457-64.
Respiratory ventilation and carbon dioxide levels in syndromes of depression.
Mora JD, Grant L, Kenyon P, Patel MK, Jenner FA.

J Psychosom Res. 1982;26(2):237-45.
Diminished hypercapnic drive in endogenous or severe depression.
Damas-Mora J, Souster L, Jenner FA.

J Psychosom Res. 1994 Jan;38(1):11-21.
Breathing retraining: effect on anxiety and depression scores in behavioural breathlessness.
Tweeddale PM, Rowbottom I, McHardy GJ.

Or go back to Symptoms of Hyperventilation