Shining a Light on Depression
Are you feeling depressed? If not, there’s a good chance you know someone who is, since about 7% of the American populations has a major depressive episode each year. That’s over 17 million people. To look at the problem differently, about 10% of all doctor and hospital visits are about depression. Many cases of depression require professional help and medical attention, however depression natural treatments do exist.
Being depressed is nothing to be ashamed of. Just about everyone will become depressed at one time in their lives. It’s perfectly natural to feel depressed if you’ve lost a loved one or have suffered a major setback in life, such as the loss of a job or home. Most of the time this depression is temporary and you’ll get over it naturally without any intervention, medical or otherwise.
However, in recent years there has been a dramatic increase in the use of antidepressant drugs to treat people with depression. Drug prescriptions for depression have increased by over 400% in the last two decades. That means that about 12% of the population are taking antidepressant each month. That’s a big change because only a few decades ago, only one person in 50 or 2% of the population were on antidepressant drugs.
Why the change? Are we becoming more depressed or are they just prescribing too many antidepressants. Read more SSRI’s and links to depression links it in this month’s Sunshine Sharing.
What is Depression and What are its Symptoms
According to the American Psychiatric Association, depression causes feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in activities. It can be a serious problem for some.
Below is a list of signs and symptoms of depression. Depression is more common for women than men and can also affect children and teens.
Keep in mind, that depression is not the same as the sadness or grief one feels when dealing with the loss of a job, loved one, or relationship. This type of sadness or grief usually comes in waves and goes. Some of the symptoms of depression are listed below.
- Continually having a depressed mood or feeling sad
- A lack of interest or joy in doing activities that you used to like to do
- A lack of energy or feeling fatigued
- Feeling agitated or restless, like you are pacing
- Feeling guilty or worthless
- Unusual changes in appetite or weight
- Agitation, restlessness, and pacing up and down
- Difficulty making decisions and focusing
- Thinking of taking your own life
By the symptoms above, depression can be serious, especially with thoughts of suicide. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline is available at 800-273-8255 if you know someone who would benefit from their help.
Depression Natural Treatments – Things you can do to help
Since depression is linked with inflammation, nutrition, and stress there are some things you can do naturally with lifestyle changes and supplementation that can help.
- Even though your tendency is to reach for junk food or go through a drive-through. Try to eat fruits, vegetables, lean meats, healthy fats, whole grains giving your body the nutrients it needs to stay strong.
- A healthy diet is twofold. It gives your body the nutrients it needs to sustain strength and vitality and when whole foods help to reduce inflammation throughout the body which is linked with depression.
- Try to Manage your Stress – Talk to someone, practice a form of meditation, listen to relaxing music, practice deep breathing. Do whatever you enjoy doing that helps you relax.
- There are also supplements you can add for nutritional support. St. John’s Wort, 5 HTP, or SAM-e are often used to support emotional balance and well-being. Nutri Calm, Nervous Fatigue, Ashwagandha, and Mood Elevator help to support your nervous system, relieve stress and promote feelings of well-being. Turmeric, IF-Relief and Super Omega-3 can help with inflammation.
- My favorite SOQI Wellness Products for helping you to relax is the Chi Machine. Its rhythmic back and forth motion is very beneficial for the nervous system and in helping you to relax.