Depression affects everyone at one time or another in his/her lifetime. For some of us, it is a situational condition having its roots in the death of a loved one, divorce, a health issue, or a job we hate getting up and going to everyday. For others, it’s an on and off condition, maybe seasonal (Seasonal Affective Disorder, SAD) or an unexplainable melancholy that drifts in. For others, it’s a constant battle, a hereditary, chemical imbalance that drains their life force and will to go on.
Anti-depressants are meant to be a temporary fix. They are not meant to be taken long term. We still don’t know how much damage they do to the liver or other organs over the course of a person’s lifetime. In 2011, Harvard Health published an article on its website titled “Astounding Increase in Antidepressant Use by Americans”; it stated “the federal government’s health statisticians figured that about one in every 10 Americans takes an antidepressant. And by their reckoning, antidepressants were the third most common prescription medication taken by Americans in 2005–2008.” In 2013, Researcher at the Mayo Clinic reported “the second most common prescription was for antidepressants — that suggests mental health is a huge issue and is something we should focus on.”
The fact that its a huge issue is no secret, especially with the poor diets of many adults and children and the dysfunctional downturn of American society. So what can we do to stay mentally balanced? What is in our realm of influence?
We’ve heard a lot of these solutions before, but maybe, this time, consider really incorporating one or more into your day to day living. If you are already on an antidepressant, see your physician or a naturopath about slowly weaning yourself off your anti-depressant. Some of the supplements listed below may not mix well with the medication you are on, so get your naturopath’s approval before taking them:
Take natural supplements to support the brain.
1. Amino acids boost the mood. How? There are certain amino acids that the body uses to create neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, and noradrenaline. Taking an amino complex creates the perfect environment in the brain for the production of these happy chemicals. Aminos are the building blocks of protein, so an additional benefit is that it helps you muscles rebuild themselves should you decide to take on a new exercise routine.
2. SAMe is a natural antidepressant and GABA is a natural anti-anxiety. SAMe is a synthetic form of a compound formed naturally in the body from the essential amino acid methionine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP). It is also used to treat chronic pain and liver issues. GABA is a naturally occurring amino acid in the brain that acts as a neurotransmitter. It reduces anxiety and nervousness and produces a feeling of calmness.
3. Tryptophan and 5HTP–The majority of our serotonin is a byproduct of these two amino acids.
4. B-Complex— Most depressed people are vitamin B deficient. A sublingual could be most beneficial in getting the vitamins into your body ASAP.
1. Craft a well-balanced diet and take nutritional supplements specific to your bodies needs. If you need help, invest in your health and see a naturopath, nutritionist, or a health coach.
2. Exercise. It releases endorphins, the feel-good chemicals
3. Laugh. I don’t mean those fake titters; deep, belly laughs are the real thing.
4. Have Sex–Contrary to the Puritanical view many Americans have about sex, it NATURAL and HEALTHY for you! So get busy!
5. Do either Yoga and Meditation or BOTH–A regular Yoga practice center us and puts life in perspective. If you mind races like a rat on a wheel, try meditation and begin training it to calm down. The same way we need to be the master to our pets, we need to work on mastering our own mind, or it will rule our lives and make us miserable.
6. Relax and HAVE FUN–Make time, at least a few hours per week, to do the things that bring you joy and make you feel most like yourself.
7. Stay away from sugar and refined carbs. They have no nutritional value and exacerbate depression.
Depression Free for Life–by Dr. Gabriel Cousens
Dealing with Depression Naturally : Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Restoring Emotional Health —by Syd Baumel
Depression-Free, Naturally: 7 Weeks to Eliminating Anxiety, Despair, Fatigue, and Anger from Your Life –by Joan Matthew Larsen
The Natural Depression Cure: How To Naturally Overcome Depression Forever–by Stephanie Hall
Chill Pills & Mood Food – Natural, drug-free treatments for anxiety & depression– by James Lee