Four Natural Ways to Treat Depression

Depression is a common medical illness that affects people both mentally and physically; it affects the way you act and think on a daily basis, as well as how you feel overall. Depression symptoms can range from mild to severe, such as feeling sad, loss of interest in activities that you once enjoyed, trouble sleeping, increased fatigue, and difficulty thinking. There are numerous ways to treat depression with natural antidepressants.

Four Natural Ways to Treat Depression

Depression can be treated through medication, though there are people who are resistant to the medications or they simply do not want to take prescription medication; therefore, they seek alternative treatments. Fortunately, there are natural antidepressants, such as the following:

1. St. John’s Wort is an herb that has been taken by people for centuries and today it is commonly taken to treat depression. Research studies have shown that St. John’s wort is an effective way to treat mild to moderate depression. The way that St. John’s Wort treats depression is by increasing serotonin in the body and serotonin is a feel-good chemical in the brain because people who are depressed are usually low in serotonin. Be sure to consult with your doctor before taking St. John’s Wort as it may interact with other medications.

2. Zinc deficiency is tied to depression because it is a key nutrient linked with mental functions, such as behavior. The supplementation of zinc has been shown to have an antidepressant effect. A study in Japan found that taking daily zinc supplements improved mood and reduced anger in women. The supplementation of zinc should be limited to 7 to 30 mg per day under the advisement of a medical professional.

3. SAM-e has a proven track record for treating depression. It acts as an antidepressant by increasing the brain’s levels of dopamine and norepinephrine. Dopamine can play a role in how we feel pleasure and norepinephrine is thought to play a role in the body’s stress response. SAM-e has been approved as a prescription antidepressant in several European countries, though in the United States it is available over-the-counter.

4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids play an important role in brain function and it has shown to treat mild to moderate depression. There are certain levels of brain chemicals that may be low in depressed individuals and some of these brain chemicals are found in fish oil. Eating fish high in omega-3 fatty acids several times per week is a good way to provide your body with these essential oils. Fish high in omega-3’s are sardines, salmon, and trout. Though some people opt for fish oil supplements because of the possibility of high mercury levels in fish meat. As always, this supplement should be taken under the advisement of a doctor.

Precautions

There are medical conditions that can mimic the symptoms of depression, like thyroid disorders and vitamin deficiencies, so it is important to rule out any medical conditions first. Before taking any new supplementation it is important to consult with a medical professional in order to ensure that there are no interactions with other supplements or medications that you are taking, as well a doctor will advise you on a daily dosage that is right for you.

Sources: Very Well Mind, Psychology Today, Psychiatry.org, Everyday Health, Medical News Today
Photo: Pexels

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