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The Empowering Neurologist – David Perlmutter, MD and Dr. Kelly Brogan

Today’s interview is with Dr. Kelly Brogan. Dr. Brogan describes herself as a holistic psychiatrist, and when you watch this interview you will understand why.

Here’s more about this incredible physician, in her words:

A silent tragedy in the history of modern health care is happening right now in America, but no one is talking about it. We have been told a story of depression: that it is caused by a chemical imbalance and cured by a chemical fix—a prescription. More than 30 million of us take antidepressants, including one in seven women (one in four women in their forties and fifties). Millions more—maybe you—are tempted to try them to end chronic, unyielding distress, irritability, and feeling emotionally flat—trapped by an exhausting, unshakable inner agitation.

It is time to let go of this false narrative and take a fresh look at where science is leading us. Before you try an antidepressant, I implore you to read this book. And if you do currently take these drugs, then I have an important message for you, too. Let me give you a primer.

Believe it or not:

  • In six decades, not a single study has proven that depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain.
  • The serotonin theory of depression is a myth that has been supported by the manipulation of data and an echo chamber of industry and media rhetoric.
  • Depression is not a genetic disease. It is an epigenetic syndrome. In 2003, a study published in Science suggested that those with genetic variation in their serotonin transporter were three times more likely to be depressed. But six years later this idea was wiped out by a meta-analysis of 14,000 patients published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that denied such an association.
  • Depression is often an inflammatory condition, a manifestation of irregularities in the body that can start far away from the brain and are not associated with the simplistic model of so-called ‘chemical imbalances’.
  • Depression is an opportunity. It is a sign for us to stop and figure out what’s causing our imbalance.

The human body interacts in its environment with deep intelligence. Your body creates symptoms for a reason. We usually suppress these symptoms with medication, but that is like turning off the smoke alarm when you have a fire going on.

I get the allure of the quick fix cure via a drug. I used to believe in the magic pill. Then, after my residency and fellowship training, I took a sharp turn.

I have spent years voraciously researching to find better health solutions for women, hungry for the truth about what works and what doesn’t. In my research and work with patients—people just like you—I’ve been analyzing data and connecting the dots.

First we have to ask why you are feeling the way you are feeling, and the sources of your symptoms may surprise you. It may be your food, your gut, your thyroid, or even your go-to pain reliever. I continue to be amazed at the power of the body to heal, after decades of abuse by our lifestyles, within time frames as short as thirty days.

My goal is to:

  • Help you change the beliefs we’ve all been fed by a system that is not really focused on wellness, but on symptom suppression—and profit.
  • Help you discover your body’s innate ability to recalibrate, reset, and recharge so you can heal.
  • Give you simple, highly practical steps in a comprehensive plan that activates your own healing power so you can start feel freer and healthier in thirty days or less.

Because you deserve to experience a mind of your own.

Sit back and feel empowered as you watch this exciting interview.

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  • Lynn Dell

    This was interesting – a new inflammation model, the placebo effect, and the previous mindset of physicians that make many see what they want to see (w/respect to the serotonin idea). This is one of those I have to listen to twice, because some of it was a little over my head at the rate you both were speaking. Thanks so much for doing these interviews!

    • Lynn Dell

      Wow! the discussion on SSRIs and bad outcomes via impulsive behavior is a big wake up call!

      I am so glad she’s more into transformation instead of symptom repression:

      “Mental illness is an invitation to recalibrate.”

      “When they’re held in a space that honors human suffering as a rite of passage we have completely lost touch with, then amazing things happen!”

      “. . . honors human suffering as a rite of passage we have completely lost touch with . . .” -Wow, that was powerful.

      Such great quotes. Treating people as whole people instead of just trying to get them feeling happy via meds.

  • billslo

    “…we reintroduce grains…”?

    Dr. P, what’s the basis of your website and book again?

    • Lynn Dell

      Her start up diet and long term are both gluten free. I suspect she’s well aware of gluten precipitating leaky gut, which allows bad items such as gluten and LPS to enter the bloodstream. She allows rice, as does Dr. Perlmutter in Grain Brain. Her diet is probably somewhat higher in carbs., but the grains she reintroduces would be the same ones Grain Brain would allow in strict moderation.

      • billslo

        She did not say, “We reintroduce rice.”

        • Lynn Dell

          But she was careful to state the diet is gluten free. That has to eliminate wheat, barley, and rye.

          • billslo

            That only leaves 10 or 11 other types of grain.

          • Lynn Dell

            So what? The grain brain diet allows all those grains in strict moderation. The only difference between her recommendations and Dr. Perlmutter’s is she allows for some more carbs, mostly resistant starch to help the gut. In addition to that, she seemed to hint at differing requirements for females w/respect to the above, which I want to look into.

        • Gingerken

          Yes she did

  • Carol

    Thank you for this valuable videos. However, I cannot hear this video. I’ve noticed in the past that sometimes the videos are produced without adequate sound. I hope attention will be paid to this problem and that more sound than needed can be provided.

    Oh, now, when Dr. Brogan came on, the sound increased substantially.

    • Gingerken

      Maybe check your computer audio settings. I don’t have any problem with the volume. Her volume is higher than his, but I can still hear him and my volume setting is not all the way up on my computer

  • Carol

    When the immune system is referenced and when inflammation is blamed, including low level inflammation, in relation to health problems, these terms should be described in terms of measurement so that one knows what is being discussed. The use of non-specific terms such as “immune system” and “inflammation” is not helpful. Please identify what part of the immune system. CD 4 cells, CD 8 cells, What component of the immune system are you discussing? How are you measuring these parameters? If you don’t know, then this is just hot air. If you do laboratory measurements that measure immune system response and those parameters that measure inflammation, then please articulate this.

  • bem

    Where can I find a noninflammatory diet to follow, what to eat and what to avoid? Thanks!

    • Charmaine and Linda

      you could look at the autoimmune paleo diet as a basis – look up PaleoMom (Sarah Ballantyne).

    • Gingerken

      Why not try the diet she talks about?

  • Donald

    Interesting information, but don’t look to the field of psychiatry to embrace this practice. Without prescriptions there would be no pharmaceutical companies or their sales staff going from doctor to doctor to offer new medications. Oddly, people have lived for thousands of years without synthetic medications, but were more active. Today, we have traded our health for a pill that will “cure” us. However, once treatment begins, there is no plan to ever stop. You may reach a “maintenance” phase, but you’ll be back in the office every 60 to 90 days. Also, possibly for blood tests to confirm that the “cure” isn’t damaging your liver or kidneys.

    I hate to sound cynical, however, the obsession with blood pressure, cholesterol levels and psychiatric wellness, leave us taking a handful of pills a day to be “healthy”. Maintain a weight that is lean for your body structure, exercise/move everyday and eat a diet similar to the one Dr Perlmutter describes and you’ll eliminate the need for the vast majority if not all the synthetic medication.

    • Hip hip Hooray. I love it when people talk sense. Don’t worry there are more and more of us out there fighting the fight

  • Sherris C Shank

    Had Dr. Brogan spent less time campaigning against anti depressants and more time offering real solutions I would have been better served. Nor did she address severe, long term, chronic, entrenched depression. I understand she wants us to buy her book. Had she given specific samples of her “simple, highly practical steps in a comprehensive plan that activates your own healing power so you can start feel freer and healthier in thirty days or less,” I might have been interested in doing that.

    • Rebekah Burks

      Agreed! I have severe long-term depression. It’s my hell!!

    • Suzy

      I think Dr. Brogan gave a pretty good overview of her approach to helping people overcome even long term, chronic depression. Expecting the equivalent of a consultation and a treatment protocol for your personal case within the confines of a 40-minute online interview seems a bit unrealistic. If her approach sounds reasonably hopeful to you, why not invest the 20 bucks in the book, where i’m sure you would find more specific examples that could get you started. That’s what I would do if I were experiencing that challenge. Best of luck to you on your journey.

      • Sherris C Shank

        Thanks for your point of view.Our experience of her talk was obviously very different. No worry, I will agree to disagree.

  • Carol


  • Steve

    Hello Dr Perlmutter. Have really enjoyed your work and the interviews you do. You’ve mentioned LPS many times. Is there a specific blood test or protocol to determine the level of LPS in the bloodstream. If there is, why don’t more physicians measure this as a first measure to determine gut health and thus inflammation, beyond CRP and homocysteine levels. Really hope you respond to this. Thanks

  • Anna

    Looking back at my own 10 year long bout of depression , the theory that inflamatory processess play a role might be just right. In my case it’s been H.pylori infection and subsequent duodenal ulcer. My depression gradually lifted after being treated (2 week antiobiotic Triple therapy ),which cured my ulcers and took me off years of Zantac daily.

  • Eileen

    I like her observation of parasympathetic dominance and eating red meat.

  • Gayton Judy

    This critical shift will save lives.Thank you for outing the misnomer of calling drugs “medication” as if simply because a ‘professional” prescribed them that they are safe or effective. The manner in which the public has bought into and parroted popular ‘medical” jargon into our vernacular by “diagnosing” ourselves and each other as “depressed”, “manic” etc, we are doing ourselves a serious dis-service. Why would we even want to ‘pathologize” and discredit our own perceptions, human reactions and normal responses as “diseased” or “insane” when it is so dis-empowering at the very least and completely fraudulent at worst. It is also important to note also that because people who ‘agree” they are “bi-polar” for example, win financial awards for being discriminated against, as such. It follows that, it is just a matter of time before the opposite happens and people who are misdiagnosed (falsely accused of) being “bi-polar” (sick, insane, crazy) are also given awards for being mistreated and injured by these discriminatory, libelous, slanderous, defamatory slur of being labelled as “mentally ill”. This is especially true because the science does NOT support the myths and falsies of psychiatry specifically and ‘medicine’ in general and in fact strongly discounts it. It’s time to stop the iatrogenic labeling; even if that means litigating against it in courts of law.

    Further, although the damage from these drugs is horrific on healthy people, it is far more damaging and killing people who are already compromised, such a vulnerable brain injury survivors, persons with compromised immune systems and anyone struggling with a disease process.

    Really great work:))

  • I have listened to the entire video now and rejoice that I have lived long enough to see “Food Medicine” finally being used by the mainstream medical profession. As a medical herbalist I have witnessed miracles with food medicine and I can truly say in my practice that “Above all food medicine will do no harm”.

  • My depression was acute for a period of time, and I refused to take medication. Then when I approached it with chiropractic care, changing my diet to be more fruit and vegetable based, eliminated sugar and alcohol, I became well. I also addressed my thoughts and my life became focused on finding the most effective ways to release and heal negative beliefs from the subconscious. Thanks for publishing this much needed information.
    healyourmindhealyourlife.com. Monica Dubay

    • dee Lund

      I would love to hear what effective ways that you released and healed your negative thoughts ty

  • RicardoRichard

    Especially for the last 5 years a lot has been said about microbiome and its role in a human life. We in fact live in symbiotic relationship with different bacteria. I think we couldn’t survive without these microbes.

    On the other hand I would not like to be a devil’s advocate but aren’t we making the same mistake called reductionism? Now there’s a tendency to say that all the chronic diseases begin in the gut. What about polluted environment we live in? What about our sedentary lifestyle full of stress? We may have the perfect gut but without oxygen for more than 5 minutes we would not survive.

    Besides, everyone is talking now about good bacteria. But is it OK if our gut experiences their overgrowth? It will probably be harmful to us. I am not speaking about SIBO, because so far as I know, this is about bad bacteria. What is our gut’s capacity to host good bacteria? There must be some limits or should we count on a sort of good bacteria’s civil war inside us?

    Talking about gastro-intestinal tract, I think the real problem starts in the stomach. Without a proper stomach acidity that brings down our food we consume, the gut would be overwhelmed and probably would not cope with the burden.

    I have always wondered what it really happens to our nutrients in the food we eat. We are told to avoid cooking fruits and veggies because high temperature kills the nutrients. And hydrochloric acid in our stomachs reaching sometimes 1.5 ph does not harm them?

    Although we welcome the specialists’ information on gut, shouldn’t we worry about a possibility of creating a sort of one-track mind that points to the gut only?

  • Cia

    What a great interview and such an important message for the millions of people suffering from depression and using heavy medications to try to cure it. Dr Perlmutter, you keep adding to my library with all these exciting interviews. Thank you!

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