- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Fighting Depression Naturally
Depression Is A Serious and Usually Lifelong Battle!
I have battled with depression for most of my life and have been prescribed NUMEROUS different anti-depression medications by doctors and counselors in an effort to help me in controlling this mental illness.
Currently, there are MULTIPLE research articles on the internet as to what actually causes depression and it is one of the most researched illness underway. This is partly due to the fact that there is BIG money to be made from all those Anti-depression medications on the market.
According to the CDC, 11 percent of Americans aged 12 and older (3.7 percent of youth between 12 and 17) report taking antidepressants. Last year, antidepressants were the second most commonly prescribed medications, right after drugs to lower cholesterol. About 254 million prescriptions were written for them, resulting in nearly $10 billion in costs. (1) That's a whole lot of money to be had and in my humble opinion is why there are so many drugs currently on the market and in development.
Personally, I HATE to take drugs... I hate the cost to my family, I hate how it makes me feel, I hate the dependency it creates, and I hate what all those chemicals do to my body - Did I mention how much I HATE to take drugs??
This is why it was so important for me to find something different and all natural to battle my illness.
Fight the Good Fight!
Ultimately, it's all about how we FEEL and how well we can manage our depression with or without drugs. I have found that I feel better when I do not take the drugs and have learned to alter my lifestyle to continue to fight my depression without them. Please note, you should NEVER stop taking any prescribed medications without first consulting your physician.
1) Have a set morning routine: Self-Care is a MUST for controlling my depression, however for anyone struggling it can be difficult. I actually have a written list of my daily "Must Do's" taped to my bathroom mirror. These are simple self-care things such as "Brush My Teeth", "Get Dressed", "Brush My Hair", "Make My Bed" type items that I feel I need to do first thing, every day, without excuses in order to be taking care of myself before the day gets away from me.
2) Aroma Therapy: Scents can have a very powerful effect on our emotions and moods. Essential oils are volatile oils that contain aromatic molecules that are able to cross the blood/brain barrier. Hence their direct effect on the parts of our brain that control stress, anxiety, fear, and depression. Although severe cases of depression or anxiety cannot be cured through the use of essential oils alone, they can definitely help you on your way to reduce stress and relax body and mind. (2) I diffuse them, wear them in place of perfume, burn scented candles, and keep a bottle with me for fast sniffs when needed. Some of my favorites are Frankincense, Lavender, Jasmine, and Ylang-Ylang. These are just a FEW of the E.O.'s that are available that can help with depression, anxiety, and even fear. For information on the different Essential Oils available to help fight depression, Young Living is one of the best brands I have found. If you are interested in learning more about Young Living Essential Oils, please feel free to visit Young Living and if you see anything you want to order, please list my membership number 2297055 - I'll be more than happy to sponsor you so you can receive a discount on your orders.
3) Eat Right and Exercise: Diet and Exercise are a VITAL part of the battle in depression.
Nutrition: Personally, I love the nutrition I get from drinking or "juicing" raw fruits and vegetables every day. According to sources "...a person suffering with depression can show high blood levels of homocysteine, this amino acid can interfere with depression recovery and it is also endangers the heart. Folic acid helps minimize homocysteine levels, so eating enough folate rich foods may have an antidepressant effect. When a person is low in folate they can have an increased risk of depression, insomnia and mental fatigue. To get enough folic acid, eat or drink raw dark, green leafy and colorful vegetables and include nuts, seeds, sprouts and legumes." (3)
Exercise: Even if it's just a simple walk down the street with my fur babies or a stroll around the yard, I try to get outside for at LEAST half an hour every day just to get my blood circulating and to relieve stress. It is very important to get at LEAST 30 minutes of activity every day. Unfortunately, for those of us who suffer from depression it is very easy to skip movements of our bodies all together and just not do anything, which only leads to a deeper sense of isolation and depression. Once you do start moving, you will find that you have more energy and a larger desire to do other things too.
Sunshine: I try to get outside for at LEAST half an hour every day to let the sunshine on me. The fresh air, sights, and sounds help me to beat off the blues just about better than ANYTHING else does. "Over fifteen controlled studies have demonstrated that bright light is helpful for people suffering from non-seasonal depression." (4) So get outside and enjoy some fresh air and let the sun shine wash on you. There are also special lamps available for those days or winters when you just can't get enough sunshine or outdoor times. Just set it up, turn it on, and sit in front of it for about 30 minutes each morning. These lamps, known as SAD lamps, are specially made for those of us who need sunlight to affect our depression and are available on along with other such sites. Amazon
The Bottom Line:
For ME, in the end, it all comes down to "How do I feel about myself and my life?" and what has helped me to feel positive about those two areas.
Everyone copes and deals with things differently, so it is a true trial by fire and battle to find the right balance for YOUR life and situations. In my live, these basic tactics work and I hope that some of them might give you some ideas of alternative, all-natural ways to fight depression too.
© 2015 Laura Rash