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11 Natural Treatments For Depression

  • a Care2 favorite by Lissa Rankin
11 Natural Treatments For Depression

As an MD, Iíve watched too many of my colleagues yank out anti-depressant samples every time a patient starts to cry. So on behalf of physicians everywhere, let me apologize for our trigger-happy prescription-writing behavior. I donít mean to diminish the pain someone who is depressed might experience. But tears are healthy. Sadness doesnít always need treatment. And itís important to remember that the pain muscle and the joy muscle are the same. If you canít feel one, you wonít feel the other.

That said, clinical depression sucks, and if youíre someone who suffers from it, my heart goes out to you. Iím in no way intending to diss anti-depressants or suggest you ignore your doctorís advice. I know anti-depressants can be life-saving for people. But unless youíre suicidal or otherwise in dire need of urgent medication, before you dose up on side-effect laden pharmaceuticals, itís worth considering some natural treatments that might help lift your mood.

How To Treat Depression Naturally

1.† Consider why you might feel depressed. Sometimes depression is a symptom of something circumstantial in your life, rather than biochemical imbalances. Does your job require you to sell out your integrity every day? Have you been unable to admit that you need to end your marriage? Are you feeling spiritually disconnected or sexually restless? Are you suffering from creative blocks? Is your body failing you? Are you facing financial ruin? Be honest with yourself about what might be off-kilter in your life, and make an effort to get to the root of why you might be feeling depressed.

2.† Move your body. Exercise releases happy-making endorphins, which act like natural anti-depressants. Runnerís high, anyone?

3.† Never skip a meal. Keeping your blood sugar stable reduces mood swings.

4.† Eat a serotonin-enhancing diet. Many anti-depressants like Prozac act by inhibiting the reuptake of serotonin by receptors in the brain, thereby increasing serotonin levels. But you can increase your brainís serotonin levels by eating foods that boost your serotonin levels naturally.

Serotonin-enhancing foods include:

  • Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (such as wild salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, and anchovies, which are even higher in omega-3 fatty acids than other fish)
  • Healthy fats like coconut oil
  • Eat a high protein diet, especially proteins high in tryptophan, like free range turkey

5 Best Snacks to Boost Your Mood

5.† Avoid caffeine, which reduces serotonin levels. If you need an energy boost, supplement with L-Tyrosine (500 Ė 1000 mg).

6.† Expose yourself to sunlight, which can boost mood and increase Vitamin D levels. If you live somewhere that gets little sun, invest in a therapeutic light box.

7.† Try mood-enhancing supplements: (DISCLAIMER: Although you can get these supplements over the counter, I always recommend doing this under the care of a physician, since supplements can have side effects and risks and can interact with other medications.)

  • 5-HTP 50-300 mg up to three times/day — start at 50mg in the morning. Converts directly into serotonin. If you are taking too much, you will feel sleepy or have runny stools. Also usually helps with anxiety, although sometimes it can paradoxically cause anxiety. Must use with great caution if youíre taking an anti-depressant.
  • St. Johnís Wort 300mg three times/day. If you donít feel better within a week, slowly increase your dose to a max of 600mg three times/day. May decrease the effectiveness of birth control pills.
  • SAMe 200mg on an empty stomach twice/day. Increase your dose every two weeks to a maximum dose of 600mg twice daily. This can be a very effective antidepressant, but it can also be expensive. Side effects at higher doses include GI upset, nausea, agitation, and insomnia.
  • L-Theanine 100-600mg daily. Reduce if you feel sleepy. Found in green tea.
  • Fish oil (DHA/EPA) 1-3 g/day with food.

8. Meditate or try guided imagery. Meditationís effects on mood are well documented. Settling your mind can lift your mood, in addition to a whole host of other health benefits.

9. Get your hormones balanced. If your thyroid, adrenal or sex hormones are out of whack, your mood can get all wonky. See a good integrative medicine doctor and ask them to order and interpret the following tests:

  • Thyroid gland tests – TSH, free T4, free T3, total T3, thyroid antibodies
  • Adrenal gland tests – cortisol, DHEA-S, pregnenolone
  • Sex hormone tests – estradiol, progesterone, free and total testosterone

10. Make efforts to bolster your mental health by being more authentic in all aspects of your life. Too often, we walk around wearing masks, pretending to be something weíre not. We fake it at the schoolyard, in the boardroom, in the bedroom, at church — and then we wonder why we wind up depressed.†Practice letting your authentic freak flag fly and watch how your mood lifts.

11. Talk it out. See a therapist, psychiatrist, or life coach and express how you feel. Sometimes just finding someone you trust who will help you work through your feelings can make all the difference in the world.

If all else fails and you need anti-depressants, donít beat yourself up. Sometimes you can do everything right, and if your imbalance is biochemical, you may need the drugs. But donít forget to nurture the rest of you too. Depression, like most physical and mental illnesses, is multifactorial and requires a global investigation of your whole health — not just your mind and body, but your relationships, your work, your financial picture, how you express yourself creatively, how you satisfy yourself sexually, your environment, and whether youíre letting your Inner Pilot Light (aka authentic self) shine.

Unsure whether you’re really depressed or just in need of a vitality boost? Read this!

Related:
4 Yoga Poses to Improve Your Mood
9 Physical Signs of Depression
7 Flower Remedies for Depression

Read more: Alternative Therapies, Depression, Eating for Health, Exercises, Food, General Health, Guidance, Health, Inspiration, Mental Wellness, Self-Help, Spirit, Yoga, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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Lissa Rankin

Lissa Rankin, MD is a mind-body medicine physician, founder of the†Whole Health Medicine Institute training program for physicians and other health care providers, and the New York Times bestselling author of†Mind Over Medicine: Scientific Proof That You Can Heal Yourself.† She is on a grassroots mission to heal health care, while empowering you to heal yourself.† Lissa blogs at†LissaRankin.com and also created two online communities -†HealHealthCareNow.com and†OwningPink.com. She is also the author of two other books, a professional artist, an amateur ski bum, and an avid hiker. Lissa lives in the San Francisco Bay area with her husband and daughter.

846 comments

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2:17AM PDT on Aug 29, 2015

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8:53PM PDT on Aug 28, 2015

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4:41AM PDT on Aug 28, 2015

I was ever going to be herpes Negative again,DR Agumagu has given me reasons to be happy, i was HERPES positive for 2years and all the means i tried for treatment was not helpful to me, but when i came on the Internet i saw great testimony about DR Agumagu on how he was able to cure someone from HERPES, this person said great things about this man, and advice we contact him for any Disease problem that DR Agumagu can be of help, well i decided to give him a try, he requested for my information which i sent to him, and he told me he was going to prepare for me a healing portion, which he wanted me to take for days, and after which i should go back to the hospital for check up, well after taking all the treatment sent to me by DR Agumagu i went back to the Hospital for check up, and now i have been confirmed HERPES Negative, friends you can reach DR Agumagu on any treatment for any Disease he is the one only i can show you all up to, reach him on agumaguspelltemple@outlook.com or agumaguspelltemple@gmail.com or whatsapp or call his number +2348158847627. He's waiting to help you....

2:46AM PDT on Aug 28, 2015

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2:45AM PDT on Aug 28, 2015

I can’t believe this. A great testimony that i must share to all HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS patient in the world i never believed that their could be any complete cure for Herpes or any cure for herpes,i saw people’s testimony on blog sites of how Dr SUKU prepare herbal cure and brought them back to life again. i had to try it too and you can,t believe that in just few weeks i started using it all my pains stop gradually and i had to leave without the herpes the doctor gave to me. Right now i can tell you that few months now i have not had any pain, and i have just went for text last week and the doctor confirmed that there is no trace of any herpes system on my body. Glory be to God for leading me to this genuine to Dr SUKU I am so happy as i am sharing this testimony. My advice to you all who thinks that their is no cure for herpes that is Not true ,just contact him and get cure from Dr SUKU for your HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS and you will be free and free forever, Try it and you will not regret it because it truly works. One thing i have come to realize is that you never know how true it is until you try. There is no harm in trying. Remember, delay in treatment leads to death. Here is his email: greatsukusolutiontemple@hotmail.com Contact him and be free from herpes!thank you for you help me to cure my (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) am so grateful to you Dr SUKU make god bless you for you work done.i advice you contact him and get cure on time is real to help you to cure you herpes

2:44AM PDT on Aug 28, 2015

I can’t believe this. A great testimony that i must share to all HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS patient in the world i never believed that their could be any complete cure for Herpes or any cure for herpes,i saw people’s testimony on blog sites of how Dr SUKU prepare herbal cure and brought them back to life again. i had to try it too and you can,t believe that in just few weeks i started using it all my pains stop gradually and i had to leave without the herpes the doctor gave to me. Right now i can tell you that few months now i have not had any pain, and i have just went for text last week and the doctor confirmed that there is no trace of any herpes system on my body. Glory be to God for leading me to this genuine to Dr SUKU I am so happy as i am sharing this testimony. My advice to you all who thinks that their is no cure for herpes that is Not true ,just contact him and get cure from Dr SUKU for your HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS and you will be free and free forever, Try it and you will not regret it because it truly works. One thing i have come to realize is that you never know how true it is until you try. There is no harm in trying. Remember, delay in treatment leads to death. Here is his email: greatsukusolutiontemple@hotmail.com Contact him and be free from herpes!thank you for you help me to cure my (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) am so grateful to you Dr SUKU make god bless you for you work done.i advice you contact him and get cure on time is real to help you to cure you herpes

2:42AM PDT on Aug 28, 2015

I can’t believe this. A great testimony that i must share to all HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS patient in the world i never believed that their could be any complete cure for Herpes or any cure for herpes,i saw people’s testimony on blog sites of how Dr SUKU prepare herbal cure and brought them back to life again. i had to try it too and you can,t believe that in just few weeks i started using it all my pains stop gradually and i had to leave without the herpes the doctor gave to me. Right now i can tell you that few months now i have not had any pain, and i have just went for text last week and the doctor confirmed that there is no trace of any herpes system on my body. Glory be to God for leading me to this genuine to Dr SUKU I am so happy as i am sharing this testimony. My advice to you all who thinks that their is no cure for herpes that is Not true ,just contact him and get cure from Dr SUKU for your HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS and you will be free and free forever, Try it and you will not regret it because it truly works. One thing i have come to realize is that you never know how true it is until you try. There is no harm in trying. Remember, delay in treatment leads to death. Here is his email: greatsukusolutiontemple@hotmail.com Contact him and be free from herpes!thank you for you help me to cure my (HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS) am so grateful to you Dr SUKU make god bless you for you work done.i advice you contact him and get cure on time is real to help you to cure you herpes

1:24PM PDT on Aug 27, 2015

TESTIMONY OF HOW I GOT CURED FROM HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS hello everybody i am faith zulier from uk my email address is FAITHZULIER23@GMAIL.COM, this is real, take it serious, who will believe that a herb can cure herpes, i never believe that this will work, i have spend a lot getting drugs from the hospital to keep me healthy, it got to a time that i was waiting for is death to come because i was broke, one day i hard about this great man called Dr. Ehi who is well know for Herpes, HIV, and Cancer cure, i decided to email him I didn't believe him that much, I just wanted to give him a try, he replied my mail and Needed some Information about me, then I sent them to him, he prepared a herbal medicine (CURE) and sent it through Online Courier Service for delivery, he gave my details to the Courier Office. they told me that 3-5 days I will receive the package and after receiving it, i took the medicine as prescribed by him at the end of the one week, he told me to go to the hospital for a check up, and i went, surprisingly after the test the doctor confirm me Herpes simplex virus negative, i thought it was a joke, i went to other hospital and was also negative, thank you for saving my life, I promise I will always testify of your good works. if you are herpes simplex virus patient, contact him and I am so much sure you will get cured, contact him via: ehigraceherbalhivcure@gmail. com,,,, or ,,,,,,,,,,ehigraceherpescure@gmail.com..... THESE ARE THE THINGS Dr. Ehi DO. . HERPES . HIV

1:02PM PDT on Aug 27, 2015

TESTIMONY OF HOW I GOT CURED FROM HERPES SIMPLEX VIRUS hello everybody i am faith zulier from uk my email address is FAITHZULIER23@GMAIL.COM, this is real, take it serious, who will believe that a herb can cure herpes, i never believe that this will work, i have spend a lot getting drugs from the hospital to keep me healthy, it got to a time that i was waiting for is death to come because i was broke, one day i hard about this great man called Dr. Ehi who is well know for Herpes, HIV, and Cancer cure, i decided to email him I didn't believe him that much, I just wanted to give him a try, he replied my mail and Needed some Information about me, then I sent them to him, he prepared a herbal medicine (CURE) and sent it through Online Courier Service for delivery, he gave my details to the Courier Office. they told me that 3-5 days I will receive the package and after receiving it, i took the medicine as prescribed by him at the end of the one week, he told me to go to the hospital for a check up, and i went, surprisingly after the test the doctor confirm me Herpes simplex virus negative, i thought it was a joke, i went to other hospital and was also negative, thank you for saving my life, I promise I will always testify of your good works. if you are herpes simplex virus patient, contact him and I am so much sure you will get cured, contact him via: ehigraceherbalhivcure@gmail. com,,,, or ,,,,,,,,,,ehigraceherpescure@gmail.com..... THESE ARE THE THINGS Dr. Ehi DO. . HERPES . HIV

9:02PM PDT on Aug 26, 2015

I never knew people still have powers and make things happened this way. My name is Brianna Lynn am from Florida. My Husband Lynn left me for another woman for Six months' ever since then my life have been filled with pains sorrow and heart break because he was my first love who dis-virgin me when i was 21 years old about Five years ago, A friend of mine Cynthia Wilson told me she saw some testimonies of this great Dr Shekiri that he can bring back lover within some few days, i laugh it out and said i am not interested but because of the love my friend had for me, she consulted the great priest on my behalf and to my greatest surprise after three days my husband Lynn is going to call me for the very first time after six months that he is missing me and that he is so sorry for every thing he made me went through. I still can't believe it, because it highly unbelievable it just too real to be real. Thank you Dr Shekiri for bringing back my husband Lynn and also to my lovely friend who interceded on my behalf, for any one who might need the help of this great priest here is the email address: drshekirispellhome@gmail.com OR you can call the great man on +2348058260257.,.

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