Depression affects millions of people in North America, and many are looking for alternative treatments such as natural remedies. There are several options available. However, you should also seek the help of a qualified healthcare practitioner (your family doctor and/or a naturopathic doctor) as depression is not something that should ever be taken lightly. In particular, it is not safe to take some herbal remedies together with other medications. They could cause an unsafe interactions.
Whether you suffer from mild depression or major depression, there are always ways of treating depression naturally. If your depression is mild, you may be able to control it fully with natural methods. However, if it is more severe, then you may have to take prescription medications, but some natural methods may also be able to be incorporated into your treatment plan.
That being said, what are some of the most common natural remedies available for depression?
1. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
- You can purchase this herb in your local grocery store or health food store.
- Reports indicate it can help people with mild to moderate levels of depression.
- Not recommended for use by pregnant or breastfeeding mothers.
- It is not safe for use when taking prescription antidepressants.
- It is also not safe with other kinds of medications, some of which include anti-epileptics, heart, and organ transplant medications.
- Always discuss with your healthcare provider if it is safe for you to trial St. John’s Wort for your depression.
2. S-Adenosyl Methionine (SAM-e)
- SAM-e occurs naturally in your body.
- It appears that SAM-e may increase the availability of brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) known as serotonin and dopamine.
- Like St. John’s Wort and Omega 3’s, you can purchase SAM-e in a health food store or grocery store.
- One reported precaution is that people with bipolar depression not take it, due to the increased risks of manic episodes.
Exercise has so many benefits. It can keep you physically fit, increase your energy levels, and keep you active when you do not particularly feel like doing anything. In addition, exercise has many positive effects on your mental health. This is because exercise will cause feel-good hormones (known as endorphins) to be released.
Diet alone cannot treat your depression. However, choosing the right kinds of foods can ensure you are supplying your body with maximum levels of nutrition for it to operate at its best.
Some suggested foods include:
Antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables
Try to eat a variety of colors of fruits and vegetables each day, as this provides you with a wide range of antioxidants.
Healthy and high-fiber carbohydrates
Avoid the kinds of carbohydrates found in sugary pop, for example. However, high-fiber cereals and high-fiber breads are healthier choices of carbohydrates.
Foods rich in Omega 3’s fatty acids
Depression is much less common in cultures that eat diets high in omega 3’s. This is because your brain is composed of fatty acids. Unfortunately, many people in North America do not eat adequate levels of omega 3’s. To get these needed fatty acids, you can eat fatty fish, flaxseed, walnuts, or take a quality, fish-oil supplement. Before using any supplements, you should always check with your physician and/or pharmacist first.
You can get protein by eating yogurt, cheese, fish, lean meats, chicken, and milk.
5. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy
The premise of this therapy is to change your way of thinking. This form of therapy is based on the belief that what you think also affects your mood and behavior. Therefore, you need to learn how to turn negative thoughts into positive thoughts and actions.
In summary, depression can keep you from enjoying life. Fortunately, there are ways to treat this mental health disorder. This article has outlined five ways of dealing with depression naturally. Incorporated them into an overall treatment plan to bring relief from the sadness and despair felt by sufferers. Always remember, before starting any herbal product, you should always consult with a healthcare professional to lessen your risks of adverse effects.