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How to Treat Depression Naturally

Updated on June 17, 2011

How to Treat Depression Naturally - Methods

How to Treat Depression Naturally

You turn on the television and you’re inundated with the latest prescription drugs for depression, erectile dysfunction and a bevy of other medical issues. Each commercial ends with a nice little warning regarding the side effects such as, “may cause suicidal thoughts, nausea, weight gain, blurred vision, fatigue, etc.” Many of us want to be happy, but would rather not mess with our body chemistry. There are many alternatives to prescription antidepressants and some of them don’t even involve popping a pill!

How to Treat Depression Naturally – Pill Form

St. Johns Wort

Many researchers claim that St. Johns Wort is the most effective way to treat depression naturally. It works like an SSRI and a mild MAO inhibitor. Many studies have shown that it is actually very successful in treating mild to moderate depression with much less side effects than popular pharmaceutical drugs. Although studies have shown that it is effective in treating mild to moderate depression, it is ineffective in treating severe depression. Common side effects for St. Johns Wort are fatigue, dizziness, and upset stomach.


Over the last decade Sam-e has grown in popularity as one of the most (if not the most) natural antidepressants. Studies have shown that it actually improves cognitive function and is very effective in combating depression in addition to other psychiatric issues. Well controlled studies have shown that Sam-e is most beneficial when combined with fish oil and vitamin B.


Depleted serotonin levels are known to cause changes in mood, sleep, apetite, and behavior. 5-HTP converts serotonin in the brain and is known to help with depression and mood disorders. 5-HTP is relatively new in comparison to St. Johns Wort and Sam-e and if you decide to take it, you should start off on a low dose to see how your body reacts.

How to Treat Depression Naturally – Non-pill Form


If you can afford it or you have insurance that will cover it, psychotherapy can work wonders. It is not healthy to bottle things up and many adults don’t have friends they can talk to about EVERYTHING. A psychotherapist can offer you an ear and an unbiased opinion and possible solutions to help curb your anxiety and depression. Bottling up anger and depression will only make it worse, and psychotherapy can help to alleviate your stress.


I know it can be tough to get motivated but exercise can have a tremendous impact on your mood! You should choose an activity that you enjoy doing and take up a routine of doing 20 to 30 minutes each day. Exercise releases endorphins which are natural mood elevators. You won’t notice the results immediately but if you engage in regular physical activity and commit to it, the benefits are long lasting.


Stress can wreak havoc on your body and your emotional state. You might be asking yourself, where am I going to learn how to meditate? You might say that you don’t have the time but you can incorporate mediation into your daily routine and even 10 minutes daily can help to improve your mood and health. You can find a class in your area by using a local resource like Craigslist or a local online directory. If you don’t have the time to go to a class, buy a book, a DVD, or an audio tape online.

Get Social

Most individuals suffering from depression tend to isolate themselves and block out the outside world. As uncomfortable as it is at first, get out there! It will help to lift your spirits and you won’t feel so alone. If you just moved to a new area or you don’t have any kind of social circle, find one, there are plenty! You can volunteer, join a crafts group, take up a sport, or join a class.

If you have wondered about how to treat depression naturally, the methods above are great alternatives to experimenting with risky pharmaceuticals. My best advice is to give them a try, what do you have to lose?

Have you Tried Any of the Treatments Above? Which Worked Best for You?

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    • Ben Zoltak profile image

      Ben Zoltak 8 years ago from Lake Mills, Jefferson County, Wisconsin USA

      Never heard of some of these like Sam-e, interesting. I agree with you about exercise, even just getting outside helps on those down side kinds of days. Good advice ER!

    • EngagementRing profile image

      EngagementRing 8 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thank you for your comment! You can actually find Sam-e online or at your local vitamin store. I have seen it at a couple markets near my home as well. I haven't tried any of these but I have been on pharmaceutical antidepressants and I can't stand the side effects. I am going to try Sam-e or possibly a combination of two of these this week so wish me luck!

      I am also starting to workout regularly and I am hoping that I see a positive change from that as well.

    • Highvoltagewriter profile image

      William Benner 8 years ago from Savannah GA.

      Sam-e? Never heard of it, but it sounds interesting! Were can find it? Thanks for a great Hub!

    • elayne001 profile image

      Elayne 8 years ago from Rocky Mountains

      It is best to use natural ways to get over depressions, but sometimes it is not quite enough. I have tried Sam-e and it is great. Thanks for the advice. Aloha!

    • Healthyminds profile image

      Healthyminds 8 years ago

      nice tips and advice.....i think the most important advice is not to surrender to sadness....the first step is the hardest just need to get out of all the bad feelings.

      thanks alot