Doctors Reveal 10 Natural Treatments for Depression

By Power Of Positivity

 

“300 million people (globally) have depression, according to the World Health Organization. 16.2 million adults in the United States – (or) 6.7 percent of all adults in the country – have experienced a major depressive episode in the past year.” – Amy Morin, LCSW

We’re nearing the year 2019, yet ignorance surrounding anxiety and depression doesn’t seem to be dissipating. It’s not uncommon for someone suffering from anxiety to hear one or more of the following:


  • “Be grateful for what you have.”
  • “Pray about it.”
  • “It will go away.”
  • “Stop being so dramatic.”
  • “Stop worrying so much.”
  • “You don’t need medication.”

And so forth.

The Truth About Depression

“If what I feel were equally distributed to the whole human family, there would not be one cheerful face on the earth. Whether I shall ever be better, I cannot tell.” – Abraham Lincoln

Depression is a mental health disorder resulting from chemical imbalances of the brain. It is not a personal defect, failure, or weakness. Rather, it is a medical issue, plain and simple. And, as with any other medical condition, depression requires diagnosis and treatment.

In this article, we’ll discuss a number of things about depression, including symptoms and types, risk factors, and treatment (modern and complementary), and how to get help if needed. Our primary focus will be on the treatment of symptoms and underlying causes.

The Prevalence of Depression

Anxiety and depression disorders are the most common medical conditions in the United States and possibly the world. Here are the latest depression numbers per the World Health Organization:

  • 300 million people globally have depression.
  • Over 16 million U.S. adults experience a major depressive episode each year.
  • Half of the individuals with clinical depression are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
  • Around 20 percent of adults will experience some depressive condition at some point in their lifetime.

Signs and symptoms

The degree to which one experiences depressive symptoms varies by person. That said, nearly every person diagnosed with depression contends with at least a few symptoms. A condition called subsyndromal symptomatic depression also exists, whereby the person’s symptoms don’t meet the defined criteria for a major depressive episode – a requirement for diagnosis.

While the signs and symptoms of depression vary by type (see below), most cases include one or more of the following symptoms:


  • Feelings of anxiety, emptiness, hopelessness, pessimism, or sadness
  • Low energy or fatigue
  • Loss of interest in activities that were once pleasurable
  • Inhibited movement and flexibility
  • Problems thinking; including with concentration, decision-making, and remembering
  • Changes to appetite
  • Difficulties falling and staying asleep (insomnia)
  • Manifestation of body aches and pains (psychosomatic symptoms)
  • Thoughts of harming or killing oneself (1)

Risk Factors for Depression

The risk factors are numerous and varied:

Abuse: Previous or current emotional, physical, and/or sexual abuse.

Grief: In particular, grieving over the death of a loved one.

Family history: Genetics is partially responsible for the onset of depressive symptoms in some cases.

Illness: A secondary medical condition may increase risk. Known conditions include:

  • Anxiety
  • ADHD
  • Chronic pain
  • Insomnia

Life changes: Events that significantly alter your day-to-day living – even “good” events – may increase risk, including:

  • A new job
  • Childbirth (see ‘Post-partum depression’ below)
  • Divorce
  • Loss of a job
  • Marriage
  • Relationship difficulties (including those involving your immediate family)

Medications: One-third of Americans are taking a prescription drug that lists depression as a potential side effect. It’s estimated that over 200 medicines can cause these side effects, including:

  • Acid reflux treatments
  • Anti-seizure medications
  • Beta-blockers (for high blood pressure)
  • Birth control
  • Corticosteroids
  • Emergency contraceptives
  • Proton pump inhibitors

Substance abuse: 3 out of every 10 people with a substance abuse disorder have depression. Substances like alcohol and opioids are often used as a coping mechanism; a means of numbing depressive symptoms – behavior that can lead to substance abuse or addiction. (2)

Natural Treatments

Fortunately, there are many effective treatments available for depression. Unfortunately, many conventional treatments are both expensive and cause an array of side effects. Generally, depression treatment involves the use of prescription medication.

Here are 10 natural depression treatments according to doctors:

1.      Have a simple routine:

Depression can make someone feel as if they’re better off lying in bed all day. Eventually, the depressed person may just renounce all structure altogether – which doesn’t help. Having a flexible schedule can help keep one’s life on track.

2.      Set small goals:

We’re not the biggest advocates of setting far-reaching goals – but having a small goal here and there can help with motivation. With depression, it’s often productive to have small daily tasks to achieve.

3.      Exercise:

Working out is an awesome antidote to depression. Exercise releases “feel-good” hormones called endorphins. Further, neuroplasticity research finds that regular exercise may help adjust some of the chemical imbalances surrounding these conditions. Moderate workouts five times a week should do the trick.

 

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