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Guest Post - Alex Kerwin

Posted Nov 25 2012 12:00am
Natural Treatments for Depression

Depression can make a person feel hopeless and think that things will never get better. This not true, as the condition is easily treatable with medication and talk therapy. Lifestyle changes such as adding more exercise and avoiding negative thought patterns can make a big difference. Other natural methods of fighting depression are outlined below.

Create a Routine
The chaos of depression can take away the structure of days and give the feeling of being in a rut. Creating a simple, easy to follow routine may give a feeling of accomplishment and help a person regain a sense of control.

Meet Daily Goals
Setting goals with small tasks, such as making the bed or washing the dishes, can begin to push a person forward out of depression. If possible, it is best to continue with job responsibilities or do some volunteer work to keep the mind occupied.

Eat a Healthy Diet and Exercise
While there are no foods that will cure depression, eating healthier can help the body and mind cope with the condition. Spinach, tuna, avocado and salmon are high in folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids, both of which may ease the symptoms of depression. Short, brisk walks each day will release endorphins, which are natural mood-lifters.

Get Proper Sleep
Depression can interfere with a normal sleep cycle, making a person feel very tired and increasing the symptoms of the disorder. Going to sleep and awaking at the same time every day, along with removing all distractions from the bedroom, can improve sleep over time.

Have Fun New Experiences
Although it may be very difficult, going out and having new experiences can help lift depression. Volunteering, learning a new language, taking classes or even reading a book can change the dopamine level in the brain, leading to feelings of enjoyment and pleasure.

Change Thought Patterns
The biggest battle during depression is adjusting patterns of thought to be less negative. Logic is the best natural treatment, as it helps a person see a life situation in a more realistic light. It takes time and practice to defeat negative thought patterns, but it will eventually become second nature to not let them take over.

Use Caution with Supplements
Folic acid, fish oil and SAMe have been shown to improve depression symptoms in some people, but further research is required before declaring it a sure thing. It is always best to check with a doctor before starting a supplement to treat depression, especially if a person is already taking antidepressant medication.

Written By: Alex Kerwin is a freelance writer from Michigan. He works closely with drug rehab programs helping people struggling with addiction.
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