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Overcome Depression Without Medication

Updated on August 14, 2014

What is Depression?

Starting with the Ancient Greeks, depression is a mental health topic that has been studied for many centuries. The term "depression" began to appear during the 19th century. Before that time, depression was only known as Melancholia. Hippocrates, the father of western medicine, began studying this ailment and concluded that it is a distinct mental disease with physical and emotional symptoms. Depression is curable.

Depression is a medical mental illness that alters the way a person thinks, behaves, and feels on a daily basis. Prolonged depression can lead to emotional and physical problems if left untreated. Feelings of sadness are normal for any person to have from time to time, but normally those feelings subside after a short period of time has passed. Depression occurs when feelings of sadness and a low mood are consistent and only seem to increase, instead of decrease, while also interfering with a person's daily life. Many people suffer from depression and don't even realize it. There are many details about depression that many people may not know about, but is important because this mental illness is an increasing epidemic in many teens and young adults. An estimated 19 million Americans currently live with depression and don't know they have it. Depression involves the production of certain chemicals within the brain and the effects of lacking certain necessary chemicals within the brain and body. Only a physician can diagnose a person with having depression.

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Types of Depression

There are several different types of depression and not all types are the same. Each type of depression contains it's own cause and symptoms. Some types of depression are more common than others. The major types of depression are:

  • Clinical Depression (Major Depressive Disorder) interferes with a person's eating, sleeping, and daily life schedules. It can prevent a person from functioning normally by reoccurring multiple times throughout a person's life. Symptoms occur daily or most of the day for at least two weeks consistently without subsiding. The symptoms can cause clinically significant distress or impairment in functioning.
  • Atypical Depression (DSM) is a unique form of depression because it responds to positive events by improving mood, which makes it more chronic with partial remission between episodes. This type of depression is two to three times more common in women than men.
  • Chronic Depression (Dysthymia) is long term depression that lasts longer than two years or more. This type of depression has less severe effects than major depression because it does not disable a person's functionality. Experiencing one or more episodes of major depression occurs throughout a person's lifetime.
  • Manic Depression is a type of depression that is accompanied by a complex genetic mood disorder that alternates between clinical depression and extreme mania. It is a major affective depression that is characterized by mood swings and is the most serious type of depression.
  • Seasonal Depression (SAD) occurs during the same time each year, usually beginning during the fall or winter season and ending in the spring or summer season. This type of depression is more than just the "winter blues" or "cabin fever". In some rare instances, seasonal depression can occur during the summer season and ending in the fall season. At least 5% of Americans have SAD.
  • Psychotic Depression causes delusional thoughts and hallucinations with a break in reality. This is a major depression that should be diagnosed and treated immediately.
  • Postpartum Depression (PPD) happens to one out of 10 new moms who can't seem to get over the "baby blues". This occurs within one month of delivery, where major depressive episodes develop. Physical, emotional, and behavioral changes happen that are directly linked to the chemical, social, and psychological changes of having a baby.

Common Causes of Depression

There many events and circumstances that can cause depression to happen to anyone. Lifestyle choices and daily life can cause or increase depression, along with other reasons. Some of the most common and surprising causes of depression include:

  • Thyroid disease or cancer
  • Smoking (affects brain chemicals)
  • Too much Facebook or an Internet addiction (loss of reality and/or real-life interaction)
  • Living in an urban setting (city life increases stress)
  • Too many choices (from lifestyle choices to shopping choices)
  • Unhappy relationships
  • Birth control pills
  • Poor nutrition

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Symptoms of Depression

Depression is usually very easy to notice because the symptoms are mental and physical. Symptoms of depression consist of having at least five of the following for longer than two weeks consistently:

  • Persistent sadness
  • Feelings of guilt, regret, worthlessness, or hopelessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
  • Fatigue or lack of energy
  • Insomnia or oversleeping
  • Weight gain or loss
  • Anxiety or irritability or agitation

Ways to Overcome Depression Without Medication

There are multiple ways to overcome any depression without the use of medications. They are considered natural home remedies and are always best for any person who does not want to take any medications. The best ways to overcome depression are listed below, with illustrations and examples for a better understanding of these methods and how they can help anyone to overcome depression.

1. Have Sex Often.

There are certain chemicals that are released in the brain during and after sex, including adrenaline, endorphins, serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and phenylethylamine. These chemicals can help a person to feel better, emotionally and physically, but can also help a person to have a better outlook on life. Not having sex often can increase depression. Having sex can raise a person's mood by 14%!

2. Eat Your Way to Happiness.

Certain foods that are high in nutrients, vitamins, protein, antioxidants, and omega 3's are great for improving health, but can also help to improve a person's mood and mental wellness. When healthy foods are consumed daily, depression can lessen and a person can start to feel better. Some examples of foods that are best to cure depression are:

  • Certain treats like dark chocolate.
  • Fruits like blueberries, oranges, apricots, cantaloupe, kiwis, and grapefruit.
  • Vegetables like sweet potatoes, peppers, pumpkin, carrots, and broccoli.
  • Nuts and seeds like sunflower seeds and Brazilian nuts.
  • Oils like fish oil and vegetable oils.
  • Protein like red beef, eggs, and salmon.

3. Take a Multivitamin Everyday.

A multivitamin can provide a body with essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it may be lacking. Even though a person maintains a healthy diet, sometimes it is difficult to get everything a body needs all in one day. A multivitamin contains certain ingredients that only a vitamin can provide, like the proper amounts of certain vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Always take a multivitamin with plenty of water shortly after eating a healthy meal to avoid nausea. Multivitamins can also avoid sickness and certain diseases from developing. There a multivitamins specifically designed for men and women and for certain age groups.

4. Exercise Depression Away.

Staying active is healthy for the heart and the body, but also can reduce depression in many different ways. Exercising daily can reduce stress, which can decrease depression. This can also help a person to get a more restful sleep and can boost self-esteem. This way to overcome depression is underused and often ignored but is shown to treat mild to moderate depression in a matter of only a few days.Exercise in any form is helpful because endorphins and serotonin are released into the brain which can stabilize a more positive mood. Some examples of moderate exercising include:

  • Biking, walking, or jogging
  • Dancing
  • Gardening
  • Housework or yardwork
  • Yoga or Pilates

5. Enjoy Rays of Sunshine.

The sun and it's shiny rays contain high amounts of vitamin D, which is mood booster that can reduce depression. This method is best for seasonal depression, but works well for curring any type of depression. Spending just a few minutes each day in the sunshine can help a person's body and mind to feel more happy, hopeful, and energetic about life.

6. Spend Time With Family and Friends.

Being alone can only increase depression and can cause thoughts of suicide to appear. Spending some good quality time with family and friends can heighten a person's mood and allow some time to not think about depressing things. A nice picnic or playing games with loved ones can make any depressed person smile, laugh, and enjoy themselves in ways that nothing else can. Family and friends are also a great support system for confiding in and talking with for sound advice and uplifting spirits. Avoid being alone, especially during the holidays when depression can increase.

7. Create a Hobby.

A person is more depressed when they are just sitting around and doing nothing at all. Creating a hobby is a great way to overcome depression because it can keep the mind and the body entertained for long periods of time. Certain hobbies like writing, reading, or researching are great for the extending the mind. Other hobbies such as biking, swimming, and golfing are great exercise with an entertainment value. Creating a hobby that is enjoyable is a wonderful first start to enjoying life again. Taking up a hobby with family and or friends is a great way to spend quality time.

8. Avoid Sadness.

This final way to overcome depression is an obvious one. Avoiding anything that is sad can reduce stress and depression at the same time. Sadness can only bring people down, but happiness can change a person's life. Focus only on happy movies or uplifting music to help get each the day. Smiling more often while including happy words and phrases throughout the day can also help to improve a person's way of thinking and mentality. Being more positive and optimistic is a much more happier way to live than always being down and depressed.

The Truth About Depression

Remember, You Have to Want to Overcome Depression

Depression can happen to anyone, at anytime, and for any reason. There is always hope for recovering with effective ways to beat depression, with or without the use of medications. Natural ways to overcome depression are always best for a healthier and more improved self. The best ways to overcome depression are ones that involve being more healthy, more active, and more aware. Depression can be temporary, but only you can overcome depression by making some changes and having the motivation to do so. A person must want to overcome depression in order to recover. Always visit your physician for a proper diagnosis and medical treatment. Never ignore signs and symptoms of depression in yourself or other people as serious effects could happen.

Beat Depression Without Drugs!

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    • Kate Mc Bride profile image

      Kate McBride 2 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      This is a really good hub. Thanks for sharing it.