Depression is a debilitating mental illness that can affect all aspects of your day-to-day life. Unlike feeling sad or low, which can happen occasionally and usually passes after a while, depression is a persistent, overwhelming feeling of sadness that interferes with an individual’s ability to function at home, work, or social gatherings.
Depression affects millions of people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. However, it is statistically more prevalent in females in their teens and early twenties.
Signs and symptoms of depression
The symptoms of depression differ between sufferers. You may experience all of them, a few, or just one, and they vary from mild to intense. Symptoms include:
- Loss of interest in activities that once gave you pleasure
- Changes in appetite causing you to overeat or eat very little
- Changes in sleep patterns like insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Lethargy throughout the day
- Purposeless movements such as pacing or hand-wringing
- Poor concentration and decision-making
- Thoughts of suicide or self-harm
- Extremely negative thoughtsWhile many doctors prescribe medications that can be effective in treating the symptoms, many sufferers find that antidepressants don’t work for them and prefer to try natural treatments instead.
Natural treatments for depression
- Herbs and supplements — Natural herbs and supplements can help to balance the hormones and neurochemicals responsible for depression. Some effective supplements include St. John’s Wort, SAMe (S-adenosyl-L-methionine), Omega-3 fatty acids, 5-HTP, and Vitamin D.
- Dietary changes — Eating a diet high in foods that boost serotonin production can help to treat depression. Foods like oily fish, nuts, and seeds contain Omega-3. A diet high in protein, especially tryptophan from turkey and dairy products, can help balance hormone levels.
- Exercise — Exercise causes your body to produce endorphins which are naturally occurring antidepressants. Try to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, incorporating light cardio and resistance exercises.
- Light therapy — If you can, try to exercise outside. Exposure to the sun boosts Vitamin D production which is an essential part of regulating your mood. If you don’t live somewhere sunny, invest in a light box, a device that imitates outdoor light. A light box can be especially effective for those with seasonal affective disorder, whose symptoms worsen during the winter.
- Meditation — Studies into meditation have shown it to be highly effective for treating depression as it encourages mindfulness and calm. Try beginning with guided meditation until you feel confident to meditate on your own.
- Bioresonance therapy — Bioresonance therapy is becoming a popular natural treatment option for depression. It uses small electrodes placed on the skin which emit short electromagnetic pulses, stimulating and changing the aspects of the brain’s neurochemistry that affect your mood.
- Talk to someone — Talking to a counselor, psychiatrist, or even a friend can help you work through your feelings. Acknowledging the illness and gaining control of it is the first step on the road to recovery. If you are unsure who to talk to, there are several free hotlines you can call.
Overcoming depression can be challenging, but it is possible, and you don’t have to make the journey alone. Talk to your pastor, family, friends or a support group, and try some of these natural therapies to help treat your depression.
There are providers of bioresonance therapy for depression in Garden City, MI. Take the first step and begin your journey on the road to wellness.