Natural Remedies for Depression

Depression is a mental illness most notable for causing a persistent feeling of sadness and/or loss of interest in activities that normally make a person feel good. Physical symptoms are also possible, depending upon the degree of depression. Major depression leads to a variety of problems if left untreated, and has adverse effects on daily activities and lust for life. Sometimes, depression requires continual treatment, sometimes life-long, but is very treatable and over time may depreciate to a negligible level.

How can I prevent depression?

  • Depression is treatable and in many cases treatment is successful, but some types of depression are not preventable because of chemical problems in the brain. The types that are preventable can usually be prevented with a good diet, lots of exercise, and relaxation/vacations that allow you to enjoy and appreciate life.

What are the symptoms of depression?

  • Constant sadness, pessimism, helplessness, hopelessness, guilt, shame.
  • Loss of interest in activities that are otherwise enjoyed.
  • Insomnia or oversleeping, weight gain or loss.
  • Fatigue or lack of drive, anxiety, irritability.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, headache, digestive problems.

How do I get rid of depression?

  • Depression may never fully disappear, but can be treated with a healthy diet, exercise, and plenty of time for relaxation.
  • Some types of depression are due to short, dark days of winter, which causes seasonal affective disorder. The answer here is light therapy, which uses a brightly lit box that mimics outdoor light for up to two hours per day.
  • Keeping a mood diary trains people to keep track of positive things in their lives rather than focusing on negatives, which keeps events in perspective and serves as a reminder that there are a lot of good things that happen in life.
  • Some small bits of research suggest that many of those with major depressive disorders end up functioning at much higher levels after acupuncture treatments.
  • For mild to moderate depression, certain forms of therapy have been shown to be as effective as medication. One of those is cognitive behavioral therapy, which makes people aware of their thoughts and learning to change the patterns that could alter the way the brain works. Some forms of meditation also operate as cognitive behavioral therapy, and can be used in self-treatment.
  • For a pill that is as effective as antidepressants in mild cases (without the nasty side effects), try St. John’s wort. It has long been used in folk medicine for sadness, worry, nervousness, and poor sleep.
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