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Holistic Remedies for Depression

Updated on January 18, 2012

Depression--It's a Sad State of Affairs

Do you know that practically everyone has suffered depression at some point? The length of time experiencing it varies. The severity varies. Symptoms vary. Considering how vague depression is (meaning you just feel sad), can you really say you have depression?

Well, it doesn't really matter. If you feel that way, then you know something is wrong. Fatigue, irritability, disinterest, insomnia, over-eating, under-eating, and anxiety can be there when someone is feeling depressed. Even psychotic tendencies (such as hearing voices) can be involved in depression. And it doesn't help if you are genetically disposed to it.

Much like how alcoholism can be viewed as genetic, so can be depression. If your mom and dad have it, chances are you have it. But that is when you get into some problems and you start becoming used to the idea of popping pills. Pills are a way too common problem solver. There is a pill for weight-loss, depression, anxiety, anger, insomnia--the list goes on! It is so common just to take a pill that we forget that pills don't fix the problem but masks it instead.

There might be a pill for that . . .

Excessive cat stretches for cleaning purposes.  Must be something wrong there . . .
Excessive cat stretches for cleaning purposes. Must be something wrong there . . .

Why Take a Pill?

Anti-depressants are suppose to help you manage your depression so you can better improve your life and yourself. The goal is to get to a point where you do not need those pills to help you! You can do it because I know several people (myself included) who were able to do it. It just takes a little time and effort. But once you improve yourself and you are happy with who you are, then you can get off the pills.

The image you have of yourself is vital. If you think that there is something wrong with you every time something bad happens, then you have a poor self image. The same if you think you never do anything wrong. It's two sides of a pendulum swing--but we'll talk about that later.

Alright, What Can I Do?

If you are having suicidal thoughts or behaviors, you need to see a psychiatrist and get put on some medication. Of course, the goal is to get off of it eventually. But to remove those dangerous urges, a pill is necessary. Talking with a therapist should also be done. They will help you move through those aspects of your life that are giving you the depression.

But now, we have holistic remedies that we can use along with the aid of the pills. These range from an attitude change to vitamin supplements. They can be used together or separately. They can also be adjusted, but you know yourself better than anyone. For example, if you think that happy, peppy colors and too bright and--well--happy, then you can use colors that make you feel comfortable and happy at the same time. Don't let someone else tell you that yellow is the best energetic color in the world for everyone--you might not be there ever and instead will feel happier with green. You know yourself best.

OMG I Luv Yellow!

The yellow squad probably had a huge fight over who gets to be yellow . . .
The yellow squad probably had a huge fight over who gets to be yellow . . .

They Have a Secret

They aren't really Polar Bears.  They only pretend to be.
They aren't really Polar Bears. They only pretend to be.

Just a Few Techniques

  1. Hiding Any Secrets? I'm not talking about cheating on a diet or sneaking a smoke after you said "you quit". I'm talking about really big secrets that weigh down on you. Do you not believe in God in a household that is strictly Christian? Are you gay and still in the closet? Did you drop a baby on the head? I'm talking BIG SECRETS! They can give you guilt, anxiety, fear--a whole sha-bang of bad thoughts that can bring you down. Find someone to confide in or come clean to your family. Do what you need to do to get relief. It takes a lot of courage, but even if your confession ends in disaster, you can still feel better. And remember, it doesn't have to be a full-out confession. A close friend can help.
  2. When Are You Thinking? In the bathroom? Doing dishes? Driving? Well, I'm not talking about those things. There are three areas of time that your thoughts can be in--Past, Present, and Future. When you think in the past, you get depressed. When you think in the future, you get anxious. The present is where you should be. If you are unemployed, don't think about those bills coming at the beginning of next month. You can't do anything about them now. Think about getting a job today. Do your best to focus on the problems you can solve today. It helps you be more positive.
  3. What is Your Self-Image? I said above that I suffer from depression. It's genetic. All of my family members have been on pills at some point and half of us have contemplated suicide. My big issue to lead to my depression was my self-image. I thought I was fat, ugly, dumb, and worthless. I would sit in the back of classrooms or be the last to enter a room because I felt that I did not deserve to be first. I was looking at a picture that was xerox to be huge and fuzzy. You need to look at the smaller things. You have pretty eyes. Your friends rely on you because you're dependable. Your family loves you. You're good at your job. Find something small every day that is good and dwell on it. You will feel better about yourself.
  4. What Words Do You Use? Language is a powerful weapon. If you hear someone say something to you enough, you will believe it. People can convince you of anything if they do it right. You can do this to yourself. If you are always saying "I want to be normal", you are saying something pretty negative. What is normal? Why are you not normal? Who are you comparing yourself to? Are you holding the same value for your and that person's actions? Probably not. You need to rephrase it. People make fun of this all the time, but even thinking this will change your attitude and make you happy with yourself. Think "I am normal". Instead of "I am not good at sports", think "I have a lot of room to improve".
  5. When Do You Relax? I know, I know. Life is busy. You have work, kids, pets, friends, bills, and everything else under the sun. But you need at least a few moments to relax and just do nothing! This can be done through just closing your eyes and focusing on your breath. As soon as you start to think of something, catch yourself and just focus on your breath. Two minutes is a good amount of time for this. Your brain needs to stop working for a moment and your body needs to just relax. You may think that sleep with do this to you, but chances are that if you have depression, you're not getting the sleep that you need and not entering your REM cycle.
  6. What Colors Are Around You? I know I made fun of colors up above. Yellow, personally, makes me feel uncomfortable. But colors do affect your brain. Blue makes you calm, green makes you peaceful, red makes you anxious. So surround yourself with colors that make you feel calm and relaxed--but not sad. If white makes you feel sad, try not to have white around you too much. Pay attention to it.
  7. You Can Take Supplements? There are supplements that you can take to naturally help improve your mood. You can take Vitamin D, B-12, Niacin, and Folic Acid to help. Hops (not beer, but hops) can also improve your mood. These are natural mood boosters and if you feel like it, you can take it. Just be wary, you may have some reactions and should probably consult your doctor to make sure it won't interfere with any other medication.
  8. Do You Exercise? Exercising is a great way to reduce stress which helps to elevate your mood. Taking a short walk around your neighborhood at a medium to brisk pace can do wonders. You can make it a family affair or something to just get away from the house. Anything to get your body moving can help you out. You will also get added energy by working out.

Nows the Time to Start

Once you have your mood improved and a better self-image, you can work to getting off of the pills. Once you start to feel better, or on days you feel great, do the things that make you smile. Watch a movie, relax, listen to music--do anything to gain back your life in a fun way. Do research for other things to make you happy, as well! One little piece of info I learned was to smile, even if you're not happy! You will release endorphins into your bloodstream just from smiling and feel happy that way. Just keep thinking about today, remark to yourself about all your good qualities, say nice things, exercise, and relax. Things will get better. I believe in you.


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    • Cammiebar profile image

      Cammiebar 5 years ago from Upstate New York

      It's easier when you have someone to lean on. Writing can be very helpful, but you start to look inside yourself more, even if you don't realize it. I used to write all the time, but it was when I talked with my friends that I started to feel better.

      Thanks for you comment and all the best!

    • nishlaverz profile image

      nishlaverz 5 years ago from N.E England

      I find that my pen is my friend. I used to find it easier to write things down but over the past year I've come to realize that talking helps.

    • Cammiebar profile image

      Cammiebar 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      Thanks for your comment and for sharing! I just hope that I can help people with this.

    • Matthew Ryczko profile image

      Matthew Ryczko 6 years ago from Ohio

      I personally take an SSRI for depression but find that the combination of all of the things you mention here is vital to maintaining my emotional equilibrium as well. There is no single "fix". Good information. Thanks!

    • Cammiebar profile image

      Cammiebar 6 years ago from Upstate New York

      I completely understand that. I know people who have been on anti-depressants for 20+ years and it does a lot of weird stuff when someone has been on it that long. Thanks for your comment!

    • nityanandagaurang profile image

      nityanandagaurang 6 years ago

      your alternative tips to deal with dpression are very nice and should really avoid medicine when it can be cured by other means