Depression is a medical condition with multifactorial etiology, most patients, often feels helpless and hopeless for a prolonged period. There are different conservative treatments for combating these conditions. Antidepressants are the most common drugs of choice, while some people also take anti-anxiety, hypnotics, and sedatives. If you are reading this article, you are most likely asking the question, can I kick start the treatment of this depression without medication? Yes, you can naturally eliminate depression without taking Prozac or other drugs. There are different tips that help you to enhance your brain and combat depression non-conservatively and naturally.
Before we start talking about depression treatment, we need to understand the condition depression itself. Feeling and the emotional state can’t be classified, hence, the need for criteria to confirm the diagnosis of depression. A person is said to be depressed if they present with 5 or more of the following symptoms for a minimum of 2 weeks. One of the 5 symptoms exhibited has to be depressed mood or loss of pleasure and interest.The DSM-5(the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) for depression criteria includes:
- Depressed Mood( feeling of emptiness, hopelessness, and sadness)
- Los of interest in pleasurable activities
- Weight changes more than 5 percent in 1 month without dieting
- Inability to sleep or somnolence
- Psychomotor changes
- Fatigue or loss of energy
- Daily guilt or feeling of worthlessness
- Daily reduced concentration and indecisiveness
- Recurrent suicidal thought and suicide attempts
Depression can be treated with various types of medications but can be eliminated naturally without drugs.
Natural ways to treat depression without medications
Over 16 million Americans are diagnosed with depression and placed on anti-depressants. These medications are effective against moderate and severe depression. The bring s the question about a minority of people with mild depression. Mild depression can be treated with non-conservatory options; these natural ways can also benefit people suffering from moderate and severe depression. If you also fall into the category of anti-depressant resistant species, it is advisable to try non-medication therapy for depression. These therapies include:
- Exercise: Most people experience a sensational feeling after workout called “runner’s high,” this helps in fighting depression without the need for any drugs. Rigorous and consistent exercise helps us to eliminate stress, which is the leading cause of insomnia in depressed people. The release of endorphins (feel good Hormones) after exercise helps to alter our mood in the positive direction. Consistent Training for a duration of a minimum of 30 minutes for 3-5 times a week is the recommended exercise regimen to live healthily. The type of exercise performed, is not as important as the consistency in doing the exercise. Simple exercise such as brisk walking, dancing to your favorite song, yoga, swimming is also healthy options for the health. Fitness enthusiasts could even register in a gym and perform strength training, cross-fit exercises or aerobic training. The most important factor is to increase your activity level and is consistently doing it. You can decide to take a walk with your dog or skip the lift for the stairs. Just keep moving and avoid living a sedentary lifestyle.
- Light therapy: This is a non-drug therapy for treating the seasonal affective disorder. Have you ever had a friend that gets depressed during the dark winter? The person is suffering from this climate-specific disorder called seasonal affective disorder. This is very prevalent in most countries with harsh weather condition and cold climate. Light therapy is the natural solution to this dilemma. This therapy is performed by sitting near a brightly lit box that mimics outdoor light. The severity of the depression symptoms and degree of light illumination determines the duration of the light therapy. Most people start with 15 minutes daily and gradually increase it to 2 hours.
- Mood Diary: This works on the principle of positive thinking, most depressed patients focus more on the negative around them, rather than the positive things in their life. The moo dirt helps to keep a reminder of the good things and happenings in our life. This diary helps us to remember that we have good days and good things do happen. Depressed people often magnify their faults, weaknesses, and Mood diary reveals the positive sides of their lives to them.
- Acupuncture: According to a research carried out on 33 women in Arizona, Acupuncture helps in remitting depression symptoms compared to people without acupuncture.70 depressed patients combining antidepressant with acupuncture recover faster than those without acupuncture (Journal of Affective Disorders).
- Support Groups: Loneliness, guilt, and feeling of displeasure are the cardinal signs of depression. People feel better when they have people to talk to and share their problems; there is a famous saying that “a problem shared is half solved.” This support groups often share similar stories about themselves and their journey to overcoming depression. Some people are shy or just not interested n discussing depression; you can join any group that shares your interest such as sports clubs, book reading clubs, yoga groups, and fitness clubs/
- Cognitive Behavior Therapy: This is a short therapy that lasts for about 10-20 sessions, it helps I the treatment of mild depression and provides equal benefits when compared to meditation.
- Omega 3 Fatty Acid: Tuna, salmon, and herrings are nutritionally dense fishes that contain a high amount of omega 3 fatty acids. These nutrients have been linked to reduced incidence of depression. People that eat a lot of fish or take fish oil or omega-3- fatty acid supplements are less prone to depression.
- Meditation and Yoga: Most times, our thoughts are the backbone and foundation for our actions; meditation helps you to clear your mind, eliminate stressful and negative thoughts, and enables you to All the benefits reduce depressive symptoms. There is more to yoga than just staying in a particular pose for a prolonged period. Some specific yoga poses are used in treating and managing depression.
Depression is a prevalent disorder in America; it can be treated with medications and natural ways. Follow the tips above to treat your depression without drugs.
Griffin, M. (2012). 10 Natural Depression Treatments. WebMD. Retrieved 30 January 2018, from https://www.webmd.com/depression/features/natural-treatments#2
NIMH » Depression. (2018). Nimh.nih.gov. Retrieved 30 January 2018, from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml
Rankin, L. (2011). 11 Natural Treatments For Depression: An MD’s Tips For Skipping The Prozac. Psychology Today. Retrieved 30 January 2018, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/owning-pink/201103/11-natural-treatments-depression-md-s-tips-skipping-the-prozac