What are the most common treatments for depression nowadays is antidepressants. Prescribing antidepressants has become an epidemic in the United States, and most of the world is following suit. It seems like doctors are prescribing antidepressants for almost everything, including just being sad for a few days out of the month.
While antidepressants are definitely useful, and have their purposes, they are often over-prescribed, and carry some harsh side effects with them.
One great idea under the supervision of your doctor, is to try some herbal supplements and natural treatments before going down the road of prescription antidepressants.
It’s important to make sure that you inform your doctor, and talk through any supplements or herbs you are planning to take before using them, but many people often find success with natural remedies.
One of the first things to do is to figure out if there are any underlying causes of your depression that relate to your day-to-day life. For example some people may have an extremely stressful job, or an extremely stressful family life. Stress can definitely contribute to depression, especially when it feels like there is no end to the stressor.
Another thing to consider is whether or not you are eating enough. Caloric restriction can bring on mood swings and depression, this is especially true if you’re eating infrequently and allowing your blood sugar to drop.
It’s important to make sure you’re exercising enough and eating a good clean diet. Many times people are wondering why they feel so horrible and depressed, and don’t realize that the fast food they’re eating for every meal could be the culprit. This is especially true when you are not taking any multivitamin supplement.
Another thing which reduces serotonin levels is caffeine. Caffeine is responsible for many beneficial features, but with chronic usage, can deplete serotonin levels. Serotonin is responsible for helping us to be happy and upbeat as well as many other things, when this hormone gets low your mood will definitely suffer.
Some of the best supplements for depression are able to be purchased over the counter, these include supplements such as 5-HTP, st John’s wart, fish oil, and magnesium.
5-HTP is the precursor for serotonin. This means that by supplementing with 5-HTP in your body exactly what it needs to create more serotonin. This can help the balance out any low serotonin deficiencies you might have. It’s very important to make sure you don’t take 5-HTP you are using antidepressants, as this can create too much serotonin, and lead to some serious interactions. This is why it’s important to talk to your doctor about which supplements you take.
Fish oil has shown to boost DHA and EPA levels which help your brain function more efficiently, and produce feel-good hormones. Some people swear by it for treating depression, and anxiety.
St. John’s Wort helps to prevent the degradation of Serotonin, and work similar to an antidepressant. Some people find a lot of success with this herb, but other people seem to have some sensitivities to it, so it’s important to start slow and work your way up.
Magnesium is a supplement that most people have heard of before. There’s so many uses for magnesium and it is used by the body very frequently. It is the building block for many different hormones and neurotransmitters in your body. A deficiency of magnesium can impact your serotonin levels, and cause you to feel depressed, stressed out, tense, and can also cause insomnia.
Another thing that’s important to do is to get your blood tested by your doctor. In addition to the normal work up that he might do it’s important to get your vitamins, minerals, and other not often tested things checked.
Another thing to keep in mind is that even though your vitamin D might be in the normal range, a lot of people feel better when their vitamin D is towards the upper end of the range. For example: If your vitamin D level is 21, and the minimum vitamin D level is 20, even though you are normal, you are still very close to the low end of the range and can still have symptoms.
One of the last things that might be helpful a trained psychiatrist or counselor. These mental health professionals are extremely good at getting to the bottom of your issues, I can often help you reduce your stress levels enough to make a significant impact on your health.
Hopefully the above recomendations will help you in your quest for health!