Want To Beat Depression For Yourself Or A Friend
W. Nate Upshaw, MD
Dr. William Nathan Upshaw is the Medical Director of NeuroSpa TMS®. Since receiving training from the inventor of TMS Therapy nearly a decade ago, Dr. Upshaw has been a pioneer, champion and outspoken advocate of TMS Therapy. Dr. Upshaws holistic experience in the field has transformed him into Floridas leading advocate for widespread accessibility to TMS Therapy.
When it comes to depression treatment, individuals have a variety of options to choose from depending on what will best suit their personal needs. Oftentimes, medication is the first treatment type that comes to mind. But can depression be treated without medication? While traditional medications are a common and beneficial form of treatment for depression for many people, there are multiple ways to treat depression without drugs.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Treating depression with traditional psychotherapy
Psychotherapy is one effective form of treatment for depression. Research shows that the learning and practicing of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy techniques can help challenge the negative thoughts that depression is notorious for, improve motivation, and improve social skills. The creation and consistency of a relationship with an effective therapist or counselor, the coping skills learned, and the safe space to feel uncomfortable feelings are all great benefits in treating depression without drugs.
TMS therapy: remission is only a step away!
Connect With Your Spirituality
Religion can be a good support system when you are going through isolation-depression, but when we say connect with your spirituality, it doesn’t have to mean religion. You can incorporate simple practices like meditation into your daily routine. Meditation is known to be very beneficial for boosting mood and productivity. You can also start a journal and make note of the things you are grateful for each day.
Connecting with your spirituality can help to lower stress and help you to become more aware of your thoughts and how you react to different people and situations. This awareness of self can help you to overcome feelings of sadness, irritability, and an overall bad mood.
Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy combines mindfulness meditation and cognitive behavioral therapy to help treat depression and help to prevent relapse.
There are a number of different types of meditation but you can try this simple exercise at home and see how it makes you feel.
Find a comfortable place to sit
Close your eyes
Allow your breathing to be natural
As you are breathing, pay attention to how your body feels
If your mind wanders, redirect our attention to your breathing
The Inflammatory Model Of Depression
A growing number of doctors are looking at a new theory of depression that high levels of inflammation from infection or other stressors are to blame.
Depressed people have higher levels of inflammatory markers called pro-inflammatory cytokines in their blood and some research shows that inflammation slows down the growth of new brain cells.
Depressed people also show signs of extreme oxidative stress and lower overall antioxidants levels. When you have less antioxidant activity, you end up with more oxidative stress, and your brain is especially vulnerable to it. Ongoing oxidative stress leads to chronic inflammation, which is bad for your brain.
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Can Depression Be Treated Without Medication
Depression is a serious condition that can affect every aspect of your life. To treat depression, doctors often recommend therapy and antidepressants. But you may be wondering if is it possible to relieve the symptoms of depression without taking medication.
This really depends on a number of factors, like how severe your symptoms are, how long you have been depressed, and what may be causing the depression. Since depression can get worse if left untreated, it is important that you work with a mental health professional to create a treatment plan that is right for you. If you are interested in treating your depression without medication, here are some of the many options.
Working with a trusted therapist is usually one of the first steps on the road to recovery. Some of the most common therapeutic approaches are:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy With CBT, you address negative thinking patterns and behaviors and learn new, healthier approaches to deal with lifes challenges.
- Interpersonal therapyDuring these therapy sessions, you focus on your relationships with others and the roles that you play.
- Psychodynamic therapyWith this long-term therapy, the therapist helps you examine your childhood and confront challenging issues.
While many other herbs and supplements have been investigated, the evidence backing these is not as strong. Some examples include:
Types And Severity Of Depression
Depression is used as an umbrella term to describe a lot of different symptoms. There are actually several different types of depression. And depression can vary greatly in severity. People with mild depression may not even know theyre depressed and their friends and family may not recognize it either.
People who experience severe depression may struggle to function. Everyday tasks, like getting out of bed and taking a shower, can feel too overwhelming to tackle. Therefore, there isnt a one-size-fits-all treatment for depression. Depression treatments can range from self-help strategies all the way to inpatient hospitalization.
And while its unclear what type of depression you have or how severe it is based on your question, medication may not be the only way to feel better. There are other things you can try.
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How Does Neurofeedback Therapy For Depression Work
If lifestyle changes dont work, then you may want to consider neurofeedback therapy for depression. Research demonstrates that this treatment is often an effective and viable option for individuals who suffer from depression, as well as anxiety and other related symptoms, including sleep disorders and attention difficulties.
Neurofeedback therapy is a non-invasive way to regulate and measure your brain waves and to retrain them through conditioning. This is one way to treat depression without medication. This program enables you to retrain your brain to overcome depression and start living life to the fullest.
During a neurofeedback therapy session, electroencephalogram sensors will be attached to your scalp to monitor your brain wave activity. In a session, with the sensors still on, you watch a TV show, and whenever you produce healthy brain activity, the TV screen becomes bigger, and the audio, clearer. These are considered a reward for your brain.
Throughout your neurofeedback therapy sessions, you start to be able to independently control your thoughts and emotions to move away from depressive thoughts. Once your therapy sessions are completed, you will be better equipped to process your emotions.
Do you suffer from depression? If so, what treatments do you use ? Have you ever considered neurofeedback therapy for depression? Let us know your thoughts and any additional insights in the comments below.
Add Greenery To Your Home Or Office
You may also find it helpful to add indoor plants to your home or office environment. Natural settings are associated with improved mental well-being, so it makes sense that “bringing the outdoors in” might help improve your mood.
Studies have shown that adding indoor plants to your home or office can help in a variety of ways, including:
- Improving the workplace: Research has shown that office spaces enhanced with indoor plants improve worker concentration and workplace satisfaction.
- Reducing stress levels: Another study found that actively interacting with indoor plans by caring for them can reduce both physiological and psychological stress.
- : Research has found that students who spent most of their time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic had better mental health if they were exposed to more green plants. While about a third of the participants reported symptoms of moderate depression, those exposed to more greenery had lower levels of depression and anxiety.
Choosing certain plants may provide additional benefits. For example, research suggests that the scent of a lavender plant can help people feel calmer and more relaxed. No matter what type of plants you choose, greenery can be a great way to beautify your surroundings and potentially improve your mood.
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How To Fight Depression Without Medication
Verywell / Bailey Mariner
For many people living with depression, prescription medications can be life-saving drugs. Antidepressants, such as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like Prozac and Zoloft , are the most widely prescribed medication for depression, and while they are often effective, they can have side effects and be expensive depending on your health insurance coverage.
There are many ways to counter some of the symptoms of depression that don’t involve prescription medications. If you have depression, you might like to try managing it naturally without medication or supplement your antidepressant with other options. If so, check out these natural alternatives and then talk to your doctor about which might make sense as part of your treatment regimen.
This article discusses some natural treatments that may help fight depression including lifestyle changes and supplements. It also covers other strategies you might try such as practicing mindfulness or enhancing your home environment.
Reco Intensive Can Put You On The Path To Sobriety And Happiness
How you think, feel, act, and eat can all have strong impacts on your mood, but so can choosing to get help if you have been struggling with substance use. Depression and anxiety do not have to take over your life. If drugs and alcohol have been the answer and have led you to addiction, our Florida rehab can help address your struggles, including your mental health.
If youre looking for advice, diagnosis, or more information on drug addiction help and professional guidance on dealing with co-occurring mental issues, read more about the RECO Intensives comprehensive treatment program online or call 844-955-3042. With the help of our unique individualized approach, professional staff, and lively community of alumi, youll have everything you need to help you get back to a brighter future.
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How To Deal With Depression Without Medication
In this article, youll find advice and tips on how to treat depression naturally and effectively.
But, I would really like you to try and figure out if there could be any underlying cause of your depression. Unless you know whats wrong, youll have a much harder job of making it right again and healing!
So, whats is going on for you? What has happened and what is happening to you now?
Are you unhappy in your relationship, or unfulfilled at work?
Are previous unresolved difficulties in any area of your life rising to the surface again?
Do you have money worries, or are you stressed about the children?
Are you feeling anxious about something or everything?
Do you have relationship problems? Are you in need of relationship advice?
If you can identify the root cause of your worries and troubles, you can start taking practical steps to address them.
Cant seem to put your finger on whats making you feel depressed? Think most of your life is fine?
In that case, too, I can really recommend you talk to a therapist or even a trusted friend. An outside perspective can really help you to figure out whats going on for you right now.
How To Treat Depression Without Meds
Treating depression without medication isnt the go-to approach by medical professionals. In fact, if your doctor finds one type of medication not working, theyre likely to switch to another. With this in mind, its important to be aware that depression medication has shown to be the most effective in helping people manage symptoms. While there is some research proving that alternative medication is effective, its lacking in comparison.
In order to treat depression without meds, there are three different approaches you must take:
- Dietary supplements
- Holistic therapies
- Lifestyle changes
Like traditional treatment, its likely youll need to incorporate all three into your life in order to garner the best effects. Furthermore, you may find that a specific combination of these natural alternatives works most effectively in comparison to others. With that, it may take some trial and error before you find the best combination for you.
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Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are the most-prescribed medications for depression today. Prozac , Paxil , Zoloft , Celexa , and Luvox are commonly prescribed brand names.
SSRIs have been found helpful for both severe and non-severe depression. They also tend to have fewer side effects compared to other antidepressant types.
Note that SSRIs should not be prescribed together with some monoamine oxidase inhibitors . This is due to the potential for a dangerously high serotonin buildup, which can cause serotonin syndrome.
Lifestyle Changes To Treat Depression
Exercise.Regular exercise can be as effective at treating depression as medication. Not only does exercise boost serotonin, endorphins, and other feel-good brain chemicals, it triggers the growth of new brain cells and connections, just like antidepressants do. Best of all, you dont have to train for a marathon in order to reap the benefits. Even a half-hour daily walk can make a big difference. For maximum results, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic activity on most days.
Social support. Strong social networks reduce isolation, a key risk factor for depression. Keep in regular contact with friends and family, or consider joining a class or group. Volunteering is a wonderful way to get social support and help others while also helping yourself.
Nutrition. Eating well is important for both your physical and mental health. Eating small, well-balanced meals throughout the day will help you keep your energy up and minimize mood swings. While you may be drawn to sugary foods for the quick boost they provide, complex carbohydrates are a better choice. Theyll get you going without the all-too-soon sugar crash.
Sleep. Sleep has a strong effect on mood. When you dont get enough sleep, your depression symptoms will be worse. Sleep deprivation exacerbates irritability, moodiness, sadness, and fatigue. Make sure youre getting enough sleep each night. Very few people do well on less than seven hours a night. Aim for somewhere between seven to nine hours each night.
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Addiction Treatment And Co
There is no easy way to overcome drug addiction. Recognizing the problem is the first step. Living a sober life requires looking at how you deal with stress and finding new, healthy ways to cope with it so you do not have to resort to illicit drug use as a treatment for depression. The people you associate with, activities you pursue during your free time, and being able to improve your self-image will all impact your recovery potential as well. Detoxification, behavioral counseling, and medication will only go so far if you dont focus on coping with lifes stressors rather than running away from them through drug abuse.
Treatment for depression and any other underlying mental health issues will give you your best chance at achieving lasting sobriety. An outpatient program provides support around your schedule, so that you can still go to school or work while in treatment for depression and substance abuse. Even in this format, the treatment protocol can and should also address co-occurring mental health problems. Coping with stress is one reason people turn to drugs, so therapy and counseling to help handle stressful situations is definitely worth considering.
If you are receiving drug addiction therapy, its important to focus on finding dependable methods of stress relief that work for you as well, so that anxiety and/or depression dont become overwhelming. Remember, you can try:
- Watching a movie
- Going out with friends
Tips For Treating Your Depression Without Medication
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Serotonin And Norepinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors
Serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors are a newer type of antidepressant that work similarly to SSRIs. The main difference is that they also block the body’s reuptake of norepinephrine, another neurotransmitter involved in mood.
Common medications in this class are Effexor , Cymbalta , and Pristiq . Like with SSRIs, the Food and Drug Administration indicates that SNRIs should not be taken with MAOIs, and care should be followed if you have liver or kidney issues or narrow-angle glaucoma.
Learn To Recognize Negative Thinking
Sometimes these thoughts can be obvious, such as times when you berate or criticize yourself. Other times, they can be more subtle. You might find yourself engaging in things like catastrophizing or all-or-nothing thinking.
Catastrophizing involves always anticipating negative outcomes. All-or-nothing thinking means that you think of things as either successes or failures with no in-between. Once you get better at recognizing these cognitive patterns, you can start working on some healthier replacements.
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What Should You Do If Youre Depressed
- Firstly, if youre feeling suicidal, please go straight to my page: Help with emotional problems to find where you can turn to right now.
- Secondly, there are numerous medical conditions . So, do have a health checkup if you havent had one yet.
- Thirdly, check the side effects of any medications youve been prescribed. Drugs prescribed for high blood pressure, hot flushes , prostate enlargement, pain, digestive system or lung problems, epilepsy, and would you believe it depression and anxiety, are linked to depression.
Ways To Treat Your Mild Depression Without Meds
If you suffer from depression, antidepressants can be a lifesaver in the truest sense of the word. But certain depression medications can cause some pretty unpleasant side effects, so if your condition isn’t that severe, you may wonder if it’s worth the riskespecially since experts believe antidepressants may be less effective for people with mild depression.
Luckily, there are a number of natural remedies that may help you manage your symptoms without medication. Of course, before you try these, you should talk to your doctor to evaluate your condition and discuss treatment optionsbut once you get the go-ahead, here are a few to consider.
More accurately, if you’re dealing with depression, you need to make sure you’re getting enough sleepand most of us aren’t. According to the CDC, 1 in 3 Americans aren’t getting the 7 hours most of us need to function properly. This can work both wayssleep problems are a common symptom of depression, but research has also shown that sleep deprivation may actually lead to depression.
Depression can sap your motivation, so getting to the gym isn’t always the easiest thing in the worldbut it’s worth pushing yourself. Exercise can boost your level of endorphins, mood-boosting chemicals in your brain, says Ashwini Nadkarni, MD, a psychiatrist and director of digital care at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Along with the endorphin rush, exercise can get you out of the house and get your mind off of negative thoughts.
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