It is very important to make a distinction between situational depression, which is a normal reaction to events around us, and clinical depression, which is triggered from within and is not related to external situations. Situational depression is quite common and normally follows stressful situations or losses. Rather than suppress these feelings, it is best to work through these periods with help from psychotherapists or counselors. Clinical depression is a medical diagnosis and often requires other forms of depression treatment.
- Exercise. Exercise is proven to be one of the best natural ways to reduce depression. Numerous studies have demonstrated the efficacy of a daily workout for improving emotional health and boosting self confidence. Ideally, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise 5 days a week to help keep the blues at bay.
- Daily Meditation. Focusing within yourself and making time to care for yourself daily is very important. You can buy books and do a self-guided meditation, or choose a guided meditation. You can find some great guided meditations for free on YouTube. Taking time to center yourself and clear your head daily can help significantly in reducing depression and/or anxiety.
- Check your meds. This is a a great tip from Dr. Andrew Weil…Make sure you are not taking any over-the-counter or prescription medications that contribute to depression. Avoid all antihistamines, tranquilizers, sleeping pills and narcotics if you have any tendency toward depression. You should also be cautious about the use of recreational drugs, notably alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, downers, marijuana and ecstasy. These substances may provide a temporary sense of relief, but are likely to intensify depression to dangerous levels if used regularly.
- Eliminate Caffeine. Regular coffee and caffeine consumption can interfere with your moods. For a natural alternative to coffee, consider Dandy Blend or Teecino.
- Acupuncture. This treatment can be effective in reducing anxiety or depression without medication.
Nutrition and Supplements (as recommended by Dr. Andrew Weil, MD)
- B vitamins. The B vitamins, especially folic acid and vitamin B6, can be helpful in mild depression, and you should know that B vitamins can increase the efficacy of prescription anti-depressants.
- St. John’s wort. St. John’s wort is an herbal remedy that has long been used in Europe as a treatment for mood disorders. Standardized extracts have shown an effectiveness equaling Prozac in the treatment of mild to moderate forms of the disease. It should not be taken with anti-retroviral medications, birth control pills, or antidepressant medications, especially SSRIs like Prozac or Celexa. Try 300mg of an extract standardized to 0.3 percent hypericin, three times a day. It’s full effect will be felt in about eight weeks.
- SAMe (S-adenosy-L-methionine). Has the advantage of working more quickly than St John’s wort. Use only the butanedisulfonate form in enteric-coated tablets, or in capsules. Try 400-1,600 mg a day on an empty stomach.
- Fish oil. Recent preliminary studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil may be helpful in maintaining a healthy mind. I think that reasonable doses of fish-oil supplements (1,000 – 2,000 mg per day) might be useful in addressing mild depression. Fish oil is an excellent source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an essential fatty acid found in nerve and brain tissue.
- In addition, follow a well-balanced diet and include an antioxidant multi-vitamin/mineral supplement to ensure you are meeting your nutritional needs for all the essential nutrients.
DISCLAIMER: The information contained on this site is not provided by medical professionals and is provided for informational purposes only. The information on this site is not meant to substitute consulting with your podiatrist, doctor or other health care professional. The information available on or through this site is in no way intended to diagnose, influence treatment or cure any foot or other health problems nor is it a substitute for the services or advice of a podiatrist, physician, or health professional. You should always consult a physician licensed in your state in all matters relating to your health.