Have A Proper Sleep Schedule
Are you sleeping too much and waking up extremely tired? Do you wake up at a certain point every night and find it hard to go back to sleep? Correcting your sleep is paramount in the natural treatment for depression. Depression is known to affect sleep cycles. Some people sleep a lot while others develop insomnia. Either way, both end up feeling exhausted. Here are some tips that might help you in correcting your sleep quantity and quality:
- Try not to fiddle with your phone during bedtime.
- Read a book if you can.
- Try waking up at the same time every day.
Recommended Lifestyle Changes For Depression
In Buddhist philosophy, depression represents the inevitable consequence of seeking stimulation. The centuries old teachings suggest that we seek balance in our emotional health and lives, rather than continuously striving for the highs, and then complaining about the lows that follow.
Its basic recommendation encourages the daily practice of meditation, and this is perhaps the best way to address the root of depression and change it. This requires long-term commitment, however, as meditation does not produce immediate results.
Symptoms And Causes Of Depression
The core symptoms of depression include:
- A sullen mood
- Inability to concentrate
- A lack of energy or feeling run-down
Clinical depression can be triggered by a recent loss or other sad event, but then grows out of proportion to the situation and persists longer than appropriate, affecting your emotional health. While there are many theories about mood disorders, the actual causes of depression remain unclear. The current branch of medicine that addresses depression, psychiatry, is deeply founded in materialistic thinking, and believes that all mental problems stem from imbalances in brain chemistry. Hence, its total commitment to the use of drugs. While it seems likely that some cases of depression may result from deficiencies or excess neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, it makes equal sense to suggest that mood disorders actually result in disordered brain biochemistry.
Those with a family history of depression are much more likely to experience its effects at some point in their lives.
In addition, there are several factors that can precipitate depression:
- A recent loss or sad event such as the loss of a job, bereavement or social isolation
- Side effects of certain drugs
- Infections such as AIDS, mononucleosis and viral hepatitis
- Pre-menstrual syndrome
- Neurological disorders such as stroke, multiple sclerosis and Parkinsons disease
- Nutritional deficiencies of B12 or B6
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Tend To Your Social Life
When you’re depressed, there’s no reason to go it alone, and there are all sorts of reasons to reach out to friends and family. Make plans with loved ones and keep those dates. Join a club or sign up for a group activity such as a local dodgeball league or a French class.
Other things you might try:
- Join a support group. Talking to other people who are going through similar experiences and challenges can be informative and helpful.
- Schedule activities. Having routines can be helpful when you are going through depression. Create a daily schedule that includes spending time with others. You are more likely to stick to it if it’s a scheduled event.
- Volunteer.Joining a cause that you care about is a great way to meet new people and expand your social circle.
The problem is that depression often causes people to withdraw, which only further exacerbates feelings of isolation and loneliness. Even when you don’t feel like going out or being social, try reaching out in whatever way is most comfortable for you. Enlist a few of your closest loved ones who understand what you are experiencing.
Doing the things you used to do might not bring you quite the same enjoyment when you are depressed, but getting out of the house and spending time with people who care about you can help you feel better.
When To Seek Depression Treatment
Holistic, natural remedies for depression can always be something you consider, but its important to keep in mind that with a lack of research for these natural remedies, evidence- based therapies and treatments might be something to consider. Depression can, and typically does worsen over time without treatment, whether thats a medical treatment like prescription medication or natural depression treatment.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression that have lasted longer than two weeks, and if theyre interfering with your ability to function daily, you might need to reach out for help.
If youre having thoughts of self-harm or suicide, you should get help immediately. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is always available.
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Antidepressant Medications Alter Brain Chemistry
Although its unclear exactly how they help with depression, antidepressants are drugs that moderate neurotransmitters, chemicals in the brain such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine. These chemicals play many roles and are thought to impact things like mood and motivation.
About 13 percent of Americans age 18 and older report taking antidepressants, according to the National Center for Health Statistics, with women about twice as likely as men to take antidepressants .
Many types of depression medications are available today. Most fall into the following drug classes, grouped by their effect on brain chemistry:
- Tricyclic and tetracyclic antidepressants
Some widely used antidepressants, such as Wellbutrin , dont fall into the above categories.
All of these medications require a prescription from a physician and usually take several weeks to begin working. They also have possible side effects, such as weight gain, fatigue, and restlessness, that your doctor should discuss with you.
Effective Natural Remedies That Can Help With Depression
There are a variety of natural remedies that can help alleviate depression in some people.
We all feel blue from time to time, but if youre consistently down in the dumps and you cant think why, you might be one of around 10 percent of Americans suffering from depression.
The good news is that pharmaceutical help is available antidepressants like Fluoxetine, Citalopram and Sertraline are among the most widely prescribed medications for depression.
The bad news is that these powerful, mind-altering drugs despite their proven efficacy and relative safety come with a laundry list of unpleasant side effects, such as anxiety, nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, insomnia, weight gain, and even impotency.
Remember that depression can be a very serious condition. Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and before changing medicines or taking dietary supplements.
If youre struggling with depression but concerned about these side effects, you might be looking for a natural alternative. Heres a list of three:
St. Johns Wort has been shown to have comparable efficacy to SSRIs for mild-moderate depression in a scientific meta-analysis.
St. Johns Wort
The yellow flowering herb Hypericum perforatum, more commonly known as St. Johns Wort, has long been recognized as a natural antidepressant.
In a scientific meta-analysis, saffron showed results similar to the antidepressant drug Fluoxetine.
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Stop Smoking As A Natural Depression Treatment
This form of natural depression treatment focuses more on what not to do than what to do. But making a few changes regarding smoking can have a huge impact on your mental health. And on your physical health as well.
According to the NHS, stopping smoking can have the same effect on depressive symptoms as taking antidepressants. So, if youre a smoker, this is one of the most powerful natural treatments for depression available.
But wait a minute. Doesnt smoking make you more relaxed?
Its a common misunderstanding that smoking relieves anxiety and stress. The truth is that the cigarettes most likely caused the stress in the first place.
Addictive substances create withdrawal symptoms, or cravings. When smokers havent had a cigarette in a while, they start feeling restless and anxious and they crave another cigarette for relief. When they light up, the craving momentarily disappears. And the smokers associate the cigarette with their improved mood.
Take the cigarette out of the equation and the withdrawal symptoms never show up in the first place.
If this natural treatment for depression applies to you, contact the NHS stop smoking services.
How To Treat Depression Naturally
1. Consider why you might feel depressed. Sometimes depression is a symptom of something circumstantial in your life, rather than biochemical imbalances. Does your job require you to sell out your integrity every day? Have you been unable to admit that you need to end your ? Are you feeling spiritually disconnected or sexually restless? Are you suffering from creative blocks? Is your body failing you? Are you facing financial ruin? Be honest with yourself about what might be off-kilter in your life, and make an effort to get to the root of why you might be feeling depressed.
2. Move your body. Exercise releases happy-making endorphins, which act like natural antidepressants. Runner’s high, anyone?
3. Never skip a meal. Keeping your blood sugar stable reduces mood swings.
4. Eat a serotonin-enhancing diet. Many antidepressants like Prozac act by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin by receptors in the brain, thereby increasing serotonin levels. But you can increase your brain’s serotonin levels by eating foods that boost your serotonin levels naturally. Serotonin-enhancing foods include:
- Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids
- Healthy fats like coconut oil
- A high-protein diet, especially proteins high in tryptophan, like free-range turkey
5. Avoid caffeine, which reduces serotonin levels. If you need an energy boost, supplement with L-Tyrosine .
7. Try mood-enhancing supplements.
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What Alternative Therapies Are Recommended For Depression
No alternative therapy is guaranteed to cure depression, but the same can be said about several Western medicines and psychotherapies. To be safe, be sure to consult with your healthcare provider before you try one or more of these recommended therapies:
- Herbal remedies: Herbal remedies are made from plants. Of the wide variety of available herbal therapies, St. John’s wort and ginkgo biloba are the products most often used for treating depression.
- Acupuncture: Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method of healing that prevents and cures specific diseases and conditions.
- Reflexology: For this treatment, the reflexologist applies pressure to different pressure points on your feet, hands, ears and face.
- Exercise: In general, exercise is a safe and easy way to improve your well-being.
- Meditation: Meditation is a form of relaxation and introspection.
- Massage: Massage uses touch to promote relaxation while decreasing tension and stress.
- Guided imagery: Guided imagery is a form of focused relaxation that helps create harmony between the mind and body.
- Yoga: Yoga is a type of exercise and spiritual practice.
- Deep breathing: Taking slow, deep breaths in, then slowly exhaling, while your mind focuses on the breath.
Get Some Warm Fuzzies
One great tip for naturally overcoming seasonal depression is to literally go out and find a furry friend if you can. Spending time with animals like dogs and cats has been proven to release feel-good hormones like serotonin and prolactin in your brain.
If you have a pet, make time each day to spend with them, whether its a long walk or jog, or just some nightly cuddles. If you dont have a pet of your own see if you can play with a friends or neighbors.
You could also volunteer at an animal shelter to give you warm fuzzies in more ways than one.
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Does Testosterone Contribute To Men’s Postpartum Depression
11. Talk it out. See a therapist, psychiatrist, or life coach and express how you feel. Sometimes just finding someone you trust who will help you work through your feelings can make all the difference in the world.
If all else fails and you need antidepressants, don’t beat yourself up. Sometimes you can do everything right, and if your imbalance is biochemical, you may need the drugs. But don’t forget to nurture the rest of you, too. Depression, like most physical and mental illnesses, is multifactorial and requires a global investigation of your whole healthnot just your mind and body, but your relationships, your work, your financial picture, how you express yourself creatively, how you satisfy yourself sexually, your environment, and whether you’re letting your Inner Pilot Light shine.
Volunteering Can Be A Great Way To Do Both
Knock out a few birds with one stone spending time with other people and doing something new by volunteering and giving your time to someone or something else.
You may be used to receiving help from friends, but reaching out and providing help may actually improve your mental health more.
Bonus: People who volunteer experience physical benefits, too. This includes a
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Natural Treatments For Depression
May 24, 2022
Is there a natural treatment for depression? One that actually works? The Internet certainly seems to think so.
You have no doubt noticed that the web is practically riddled with well-intentioned advice and at-home remedies for how to improve your mental health without pills. But which of these natural cures actually cures?
What natural depression treatments rest calmly on a bed of scientific evidence?
Actually, there are quite a few. And they work very well to combine.
Lets start with a classic.
Data Extraction And Analysis
Two reviewers independently reviewed the articles to be included. Any discrepancies were identified and resolved by additional deliberation. Details of herbs evaluated in multiple studies are summarized in Table 2, and include study design, sample population, intervention, control, treatment length, outcomes, and adverse events. Study details of herbs for which there is currently only 1 RCT available are described in Table 3.
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Natural Relief For Depression
The lows of depressiondark moods, lack of energy, loss of joyaffect many people at some point in their lifetime. Now a Johns Hopkins review of research suggests meditation deserves a place among the therapies shown to lift mild to moderate depression symptoms.
Meditation has been studied for decades, but we wanted to know if it was really better than the placebo effect, says Johns Hopkins expert Madhav Goyal, M.D., M.P.H. So he and a team of researchers reviewed 47 meditation studies, involving 3,515 volunteers, most of whom were not suffering from clinical depression or clinical anxiety.
Their conclusion: Meditation appeared to provide as much relief from some depression symptoms as other studies have found with antidepressants, Goyal says. Volunteers who took an eight-week meditation course experienced a 10 percent to 20 percent improvement in depression symptoms and a 5 percent to 10 percent improvement in anxiety symptoms. Meditation also showed similar promise to reduce pain.
Connecting With Others As A Natural Depression Treatment
Meeting friends and family, going to parties or other social gatherings and engaging in the community is a big challenge when depressed. But it is important. Very important.
In fact, connecting with others can act as a natural treatment for depression.
Close personal relationships give you a sense of belonging. They can improve your sense of self-worth and offer you emotional support. Additionally, they give you the opportunity to support others, which is also antidepressant.
If you can, try to spend time with your family or a friend every day. It doesnt have to be a huge arrangement, just try to have a meal together with your family or take a short walk with a friend. Ask them about whats going on in their lives. Maybe today is a good time to visit that relative or acquaintance who needs company or support?
If you live far away from friends or family, use video calls as often as you can.
For more information about how to treat depression when isolated, check out: How to prevent depression during covid-19 lockdown Dealing with social isolation and depression
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Inclusion And Exclusion Criteria
Only randomized controlled trials were included in this review. Meeting abstracts, comments, review articles and case reports were excluded. Studies involving St. Johns Wort were also excluded because it has been extensively researched, revealing many potential interactions with drugs that are P-glycoprotein and/or CYP3A substrates . Also, the large body of literature merits a separate review.
Details of our screening selection process are provided in Figure 1.
Overview of study selection
Set Small Goals For Yourself
The thing about depression is that some days, you cannot seem to get out of bed or even brush your hair. Tasks that are more complex seem impossible to undertake. Do not fret. Set goals each day. Some day it might be I will wash my hair today, whereas some other day it can be I will complete the unfinished project today. Meeting the goals will give you a lot of satisfaction and happiness.
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Ways To Treat Depression Naturally
Depression can make you feel terrible. It is like a never-ending black hole and you might feel like it is constantly sucking you in. Along with therapy and medicines , you can make positive changes at home and combat depression. There are quite a few natural remedies for depression. They can be subdivided into two parts:
Try To Ward Off Negative Thoughts
All of us have negative thoughts. The important thing is not to let them linger for too long. A lot of mental work has to be done for depression treatment at home. Try to use logic to get rid of baseless negative thoughts. Think everybody hates you? Do you have proof? Forget it if you dont. With practice, you can master this art and feel better with every passing day.
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Meditation As A Natural Treatment For Depression
Meditating on a regular basis is an effective way to treat and prevent depression naturally.
Mental health and meditation researcher Dr. Julia Basso and her colleagues found that only 13 minutes of daily meditation for 8 weeks improved peoples mood, attention, memory and ability to regulate emotions . And a Brazilian study by Dr. Carpena and colleagues showed that only 6 weeks of daily meditation significantly reduced depression and anxiety. The research participants who continued to meditate still reported lower levels of depression and anxiety 6 months after the initial meditation treatment.
So, if youre looking for an evidence-based and natural treatment for depression, regular meditation is definitely worth trying. Youll find millions of guided meditations on Youtube and Spotify. All you need to do is to take the time and find a place where you can be undisturbed for 10-20 minutes.
If you dont know where to start, try the free depression app from Flow Neuroscience, including a meditation module for beginners.