Do you consistently feel sad and hopeless? Are you not able to control your anger and have lost interest in activities you liked most? Usual mood fluctuations and sadness are normal, but if you start to feel helpless most of the time or all the time, you might be suffering from depression. It is a fairly common mental disorder that may affect your overall well being. A few natural remedies and lifestyle changes may help you know how to deal with depression in an excellent way.In this article, Read in detail our 10 Proven Natural Ways To Deal With Depression , but before that let’s understand what is depression and what are its symptoms?
If you are having consistent sad and depressed feelings, you are not alone. And fortunately, this mental disorder is treatable. According to WHO (World Health Organization) over 264 million people around the world falling under all age groups suffer from depression and there are effective treatment options available for both moderate and severe cases [ https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/depression ].
What is Depression?
Depression is a common mood disorder that may make you feel sad, anxious, angry, or helpless most of the time. It may affect your day to day life and drastically interfere with your overall health. It may have a distressing effect on how you feel and think. Moreover, depression may also interfere with your sleep and eating habits. The most common type of depression experienced by individuals are:
In this type of depression, you might feel depressed for most of the day for more than two weeks.
Persistent depressive disorder–
Here are the symptoms which may last for almost two years. A person may experience periods of major depression with gaps of less severe symptoms in between.
Other forms of this mental disorder include Perinatal Depression (postpartum depression), seasonal effective disorder(depression that comes and goes with season) and psychotic depression (delusions and hallucinations). Health conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, asthma, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer may get worse with depression.
Symptoms of Depression
A person may experience a wide range of symptoms starting for physiological changes to mental changes. If you are experiencing more than five of the under mentioned symptoms for more than two weeks, you may be suffering from depression.
However, it is important to get diagnosed by a trained and experienced mental health professional before reaching any conclusions.
The major symptoms of depression includes :
- A constant feeling of sadness
- Decrease in self-esteem and self-confidence
- A feeling of guilt or unworthiness
- Losing interest in enjoyable activities
- Inability in completing daily activities
- Overeating or loss of appetite
- Inadequate or excessive sleep
- Difficulty in making decisions
- Poor concentration
- A lack of energy that persists throughout the day
- Frequent body aches and headache
- Decreased level of sexual activity
- Thoughts of self-harm and even suicide.
Causes of Depression
There can be several causes for depression which could be due to biological, genetic, psychological, and environmental factors. Sometimes a combination of all these factors may trigger depression in individuals. It may also occur with other serious health issues such as Parkinson’s disease and cancer. The most common causes are:
1. A family history:
If someone in your family has a history of mood disorder or depression, you may be at a higher risk of developing the symptoms.
2. Medical conditions:
It includes such as insomnia, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, chronic illness, and pain may put you at a higher risk.
3. Structure of your brain:
The Less active frontal lobe of your brain may cause depression, however, more research is needed to understand it.
4. Early childhood trauma:
Their are some of the stressful events during childhood may affect how your body reacts to stressful situations.
5. Drug misuse:
If you have a history of misuse of alcohol or drug, you may develop depression symptoms.
How to deal with Depression
Treating your depressive feeling right away is the best way to fight depression. Fortunately, there are a few treatment options available that may bring a great amount of relief and help you get your life back to normalcy. The treatment options include:
Medicines that alter your state of mind may be helpful. These may include antianxiety medications, antidepressants, and antipsychotic medications.
A therapist may help you in coping with depression by making you generate positive thoughts through various sessions.
It is widely used to alter your mood as white light helps in lifting your mood, but this therapy is generally used for seasonal affective disorder.
Natural Remedies for Depression 🙂
Besides the above treatment options, which are used to treat severe disorders, natural remedies work as well to fight depression. The use of certain herbs, lifestyle changes, and relaxation methods may aid in eliminating depressive thoughts and help you cope with depression.
The best part is these natural remedies have rare or no side effects. Here are a few simple natural ways on how to deal with depression.
Top five Herbs and Supplements for Depression
1. Bacopa Monniera (Brahmi)
Bacopa Monniera, also known as Brahmi is an excellent ayurvedic remedy for stress and anxiety. According to research published in Pubmed, it has a high adaptogenic effect which increases your body’s resistance and helps you get rid of depression, stress, and anxiety [https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12957224/].
Brahmi is known to reduce the level of the stress hormone cortisol, resulting in an enhanced mood. It may help in reducing the symptoms of ADHD -Attention Deficit hyperactivity disorder which could be a probable cause for depression in children. Furthermore, Brahmi is known to boost the brain function by strengthening the nerve cells in the brain.
2. Withania somnifera (Ashwagandha)
It is another adaptogen herb that may help in managing stress, thereby treating depression in a natural way. Ashwagandha is being used in Ayurveda for more than 3000 years to deal with stress as well as increase energy levels. Besides exhibiting anti-cancerous properties, it may help in reducing the cortisol levels and help in reducing anxiety and depression naturally.
A study revealed that 300mg of high concentration extract from Ashwagandha roots taken twice daily for a specific period of time showed beneficial results in developing resistance against stress among the participants [ https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23439798/].
Turmeric is extensively used in Ayurveda to treat various illnesses. It is due to the presence of the curcumin- a phytochemical component present in Turmeric, it is highly beneficial in treating depression, immunity etc. According to a study, curcumin possesses anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antitumor, antidiabetic, antihypertensive, and antihepatotoxic properties in addition to other beneficial properties.
Curcumin is known to have neuroprotective properties which makes it one of the excellent natural remedies for depression [https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2929771/]. Turmeric may help in relieving anxiety as well as major depression possibly because of its property to boost serotonin and dopamine level in your brain.
4. St. John’s wort
This effective herb grows in North and South America, Europe, Eastern Asia, Australia, and New Zealand. St. John’s wort has commonly used in the treatment of depression, however, it may cause interactions with certain medications. Therefore, it is important to take medical advice before using it. It acts as an antidepressant and helps in relieving mild symptoms of depression.
If you are taking St John’s wort, avoid foods and drinks that may contain the chemical-tyramine. These foods may include, soy sauce, aged cheese, sauekraut, miso, tofu, cured meats, beer, and wine [ https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/st-johns-wort#2].
5. Omega-3 fatty acids
This is yet another natural way to fight depression. Omega-3 fatty acids are found naturally in fatty fishes such as salmon, sardines, and trouts. You may take them in supplement form also. The two omega-3 fatty acids which help in warding off the symptoms of depression are EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid).
According to an abstract published in Harvard Health Publishing, these fatty acids have the ability to enter into the cell membrane of brain cells and interact with the molecules related to your mood, thereby reducing the symptoms of depression.
In addition, the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids make them a great supplement to help you cope with depression [ https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/omega-3-fatty-acids-for-mood-disorders-2018080314414].
Top five Lifestyle changes to treat depression
Making small changes in your lifestyle can help you know how to deal with depression to a great extent. It is a simple yet very powerful way to deal with the condition. It has been observes that lifestyle changes along with natural remedies can help depression. So, incorporating the following five lifestyle changes may help you to get rid of depression.
Relieve stress with meditation
Anxiety and stress can trigger symptoms of depression and meditation is one way to deal with the situation. It helps to calm your brain and get rid of negative thoughts. Regular meditation sessions may even cause positive changes in certain regions of your brain. As little as 10 minutes of guided meditation on a regular basis could be an effective treatment for depression.
Go for Yoga
Yoga is yet another relaxation technique that has a great effect on the brain, and may significantly helps in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression.
According to Harvard Health Publishing, studies show that yoga is a self-soothing activity which shows results similar to meditation [https://www.health.harvard.edu/mind-and-mood/yoga-for-anxiety-and-depression]. Poses like Adho Mukha Vrikshasana (Handstand), Viparita Dandasana (Chair Backbend), Adho Mukha Shvanasana (Downward-facing Dog), Balasana (Child Pose), etc. is found to be very effective in treating stress, anxiety as well as depression.
A regular exercise not only benefits of your body by increasing your fitness, but also helps in relieving stress. Exercise helps in boosting the levels of endorphins in your brain making your feel good, almost instantly.
However high-intensity vigorous exercise may often lead to depression. Therefore, it is best to exercise in moderation to reap its maximum benefits. Light exercise like walking and jogging just a few times a week is enough for anyone to get rid of depression.
Having fresh food to fill your plate may bring much difference to your mental and physical health. Cut back on beverages that have artificial sweeteners, instead drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Probiotics may help in keeping your gut healthy and support digestion. Since caffeine is associates with anxiety, and it is best way to keep away from the caffeinated drinks.
Eat lots of fruits and vegetables to obtain essential vitamins and minerals for your body. Alcohol may make depression worse, hence cut back or completely stop drinking alcohol to fight depression.
Have adequate sleep
Poor sleep may cause stress and affect your mood. The neurotransmitters that are associates with mood are not able to replenish if you do not get adequate sleep.
Having a quality sleep may help in reducing the risk of depression. If you find it difficult to fall asleep, try maintain a bedtime routine by going to bed at the same time every night. Creating a calming environment in your bedroom may help you fall asleep faster.
The Conclusion :
If you are dealing with depression and finding it hard to escape the feeling, you are not alone, try the above natural remedies for a few days and note down the changes. If you are still don’t feel better, it has been recommended to see a trained mental health expert who may help you with how to deal with depression.
Remember, depression, stress and anxiety can be treated and you can have a normal life ahead.
Be Positive, Stay Happy ! 🙂