Many adults are living with depression, a disease with a variety of causes that affects each person differently. It can be caused by many different factors, and treated with different types of therapy, including natural depression remedies that may help address the root causes of the disease.
The root causes of depression in any individual can only be treated if they’re identified, which is why you should always contact a professional if you’re concerned about feelings of depression in yourself or someone you care about. As appropriate, a professional may include the following options as part of a treatment plan.
Stress is something we all live with, but chronic or poorly-managed stress can have a serious impact on overall health. It can cause a number of effects on body, mood or behavior including depression, headaches, irritability, or overeating.
Avoiding stress is impossible, but you can learn to manage it better. This can not only reduce the impact it has on your life, but it can make you more resilient so it’s easier for you to manage challenges that may contribute to feelings of depression.
Diet alone can’t get rid of depression but, as with stress management, adopting a healthy and nutritious diet can help address symptoms that may be diet related, and help you be more mentally and physically resilient.
For example, a vitamin imbalance can trigger a variety of mental health issues, including depression and anxiety. As in children, caffeine can trigger different responses like agitation, depression or anxiety.
If you’re not sure how to follow a healthy diet, start with Canada’s Food Guide. Be sure to include foods with omega-3 fatty acids (found in fish like tuna and salmon, olive oil, and different fruits and vegetables). Research indicates that they may help lower the risk of major depression.
A change in diet isn’t the only way to help both mind and body cope with feelings of depression. In addition to omega-3 fatty acids, research has indicated some nutritional supplements that may be beneficial in treating symptoms of depression.
St. John’s Wort is an herb that may be effective in cases of mild or moderate depression. In fact, for short term treatment, the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine says St. John’s Wort may be considered as an alternative to antidepressant medications. However, it comes with its share of warnings and should be used only after consultation with a professional. Among other risks, it can cause serious interactions with other medications.
Some studies have found low levels of folate (vitamin B9) and vitamin B12 in people with depression. While research into the connection is ongoing, including folate and B12 supplements may improve the effectiveness of treatment.
SAMe (pronounced “sammy”) is a nutritional supplement that occurs naturally in the body. Researchers are still unsure exactly how the molecule (S-adenosyl methionine) impacts the symptoms of depression. While research is also ongoing, a study done at Harvard found that it may be an alternative for people who don’t respond to antidepressant medications, or may lead to new types of treatment.
Exposure to light
One form of depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), is triggered by changes in exposure to natural light, usually in winter.
In addition to the natural treatment options listed above, light therapy is commonly used to treat the symptoms of SAD: A particularly bright light is used periodically to minimize the impact of shorter days.
Getting the right type of help
There are a growing number of natural depression remedies, and an increasing amount of research that consider which natural treatments actually work. To learn more about depression and the different treatment options available, please contact us or send us a message on Twitter.