Depression is a common disorder that affects people of different genders and age ranges. It is more common in this generation, due to the high work ethic, diet and lifestyle choices we make. There are different types of treatment for this disease. It can be treated conservatively (medication), with surgery or with cognitive behavior therapy.
10 Best Ways to Help Depression without Medication
There are different ways to treat depression without medication or drugs. The most common ways include:
1. Accomplish Little Things
Depression can slip in when people are idle, just like the common saying which says “an idle man is the devil’s workshop”. It is highly important and recommended to have some little set of activities either to prevent depression or to combat depression. Setting a goal and achieving it is a good place to start in the healing of the mind. Simple tasks like making the bed or brushing the teeth can influence good vibes for the mind. Even when one does a kind act for someone else and experiences the joy it brings to them, it fills them up with such satisfaction and contentment.
What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Helen Keller said it and Kelly Clarkson sang it. Exercising regularly helps in circulating blood more, releasing toxins and getting good hormones to flow through the body. One does not have to train like professional athletes before benefitting from its healing processes or more specifically before one can combat depression. Simple regimens such as the ones that can be done at home, exercises that can be done on the couch, lifting empty wine bottles, doing simple sit-ups and many of other simple workouts are now available all over the internet.
At first, it is normal to feel tired but as one gets used to it, it starts being part of one’s life, and then the strength grows. One doesn’t just feel physical strength but also mental strength. The positivity surrounding overcoming such calculated stress makes things appear from a different perspective filled with positivity.
3. One’s Food is One’s Mood
Food is good for the soul, when one feeds well, one easily gets into a good mood and positive vibe is emitted. The common saying that “A hungry man is an angry man” puts this whole idea into perspective. When hungry one feels the depleted energy and unconsciously becomes threatened and starts searching for replenishment. As a human being, some authorities believe that we are what we eat, so if one consumes a meal rich in sugar then that person is likely to become more lively, compared to a person that consumes a meal with a lesser amount of sugar.
Living things generally are made up of energy and we require food to give the energy back and some other essential nutrients that are derived from food to survive and function effectively. For people going through depression, they may either neglect their proper diet or even go overboard with eating. Everything in life requires a good balance and moderation. Therefore, eating a balanced diet is always to key to the good health of body and mind.
4. Rest, Relax and Repeat
It is a general practice that when going through a tough situation or sad process or a total state of chaos, the go-to move is to worry and stay up worrying. But, try a little rest, try to shut yourself from all the worries and take a nap, this doesn’t mean the problem would have disappeared but the individual would have a fresher mind to access the situation. The mind needs constant resetting and that it what sleep gives. Proper rest and sleep help in easing stress, getting rid of stress hormones and getting your strength back. Rest, diet and exercises are very essential for good health.
5. Go into the Light
This is not like in the movies where a character is about to die and their loved ones are shouting and begging the character not to go into the light. This is different, and I’m not introducing a scheme to fight off vampires. But thinking of it, sunlight is good for the body, because generally without Sunlight people may suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D has been known to be vital for healthy bones but recent studies have found that it is connected with hormones such as serotonin which certain anti-depressant medications help in boosting.
Although, the explicit detail of the connection has not been found a link has been established. The mere fact one will leave their house to an environment with more light and warmth gives the body some comfort and if this is done more often and regularly, it could uplift the depressed mind with just the required spark needed.
6. Cut Away from Substance Dependence of Any Type
When talking about substance dependence here, I’m referring to coffee, energy drinks or even alcohol. Although, depression can be crazy in itself being dependent on caffeine-containing drinks or even alcoholic substances could easily complicate further the situation and the state of mind of that individual.
7. Meditation and Upliftment Works Wonders
From a personal experience, I was so depressed that I was already having suicidal thoughts. I was just waiting for the ultimate cue which was meant to be the final bad news in my situation. Then I went to an event sincerely just for the food because I did not want to die on an empty stomach. In summary, what the meditation and reflection did for me was that it helped me release the deepest sadness I had forgotten was lurking deep in the abyss of my mind. It brought me to tears and my chest and mind was free of the burden that had been upon me for years.
Then I got encouraged by fellow participants but I encouraged myself more because after realizing what had been drawing me back, I accepted the reality and moving forward was much easier. Not that my situation disappeared instantly but I could take a step forward with hope for the best without considering suicide again. Of course, I still get sad and angry but I’ve come to accept they are part of life and the faster you can accept them, the earlier they cease to be a hindrance. The reflection and meditation I got from the event termed “Gestalt Pedagogy” really saved me.
8. Define What The Problem Is
Often, depression is as a result of an event in your life, rather than biochemical imbalances. According to Dr. Lissa Rankin, there are suggested questions that one could be asked like; “Does your job require you to sell out your integrity every day? Have you been unable to admit that you need to end a relationship? Are you feeling spiritually disconnected or restless? Are you suffering from creative blocks? Is your body failing you? Are you facing financial ruin? Honestly get to the root problem requires being brave, but it is possible.
9. Try Something New
During this situation, one may feel alone and without friends, go out, join a language class, volunteer, or join a gym. These are some of the places that one can meet new people and create new relationships. This could make one receive positive feedback and compliments which could change the entire outlook of one’s situation and perspective.
10. Have Fun
They say all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. I guess they did not realize he was already getting depressed. A good laugh could be the beginning of the solution.
Depression is a common disorder that could be treated in different ways. If you hate medications or just want another treatment option; the methods listed above are the solutions to your problem.
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