Clinical depression also known as major depression or major depressive disorder is the more severe form of depression caused by an imbalance in chemicals that regulate mood. The two most common chemicals that need to be regulated are serotonin and dopamine. Doctors generally prescribe medicines that increase or decrease the production of these chemicals as needed. Like any other medicine, however, depression medicines have numerous side effects, some of which can be severe. Before trying such a medical treatment, try these 7 natural depression treatments:
Meditation originated in Asia and has been used for centuries to help calm the mind and body. More than ever, our hectic lifestyles leave us very little time to reflect on life or even calm down. When combined with the lack of sleep most of us get, this can lead to racing thoughts and anxiety. For those with depression, not having tim to reflect on thoughts can quickly cause your moods to spin out of control. Meditation focuses on regulating breathing and relaxing, allowing you to calm down and regulate your mood.
Although caffeine can give you a quick “pick me up” when its effects wear off, you will “crash” and become exhausted which can increase depression. This behavior also makes it more difficult for your body to synthesize serotonin, the “happy” neurotransmitter that regulates mood.
Another Asian technique for relaxation, acupuncture involves inserting needles into various “acupuncture points” located throughout the body. These needles don’t hurt; they actually stimulate your body to release mood stabilizing endorphins. Endorphins make you feel happy, relaxed, and calm. A word of warning: make sure that you use a licensed acupuncturist in order to ensure that you get safe and effective treatment.
Kratom is an Asian plant that has been used for centuries to alleviate depression. Kratom helps improve your mood and sometimes even causes a feeling of euphoria. Kratom is usually distributed in powder form, although you can also chew Kratom plant leafs.
See a therapist
Although depression is caused by chemical imbalances, certain problems can cause “situational depression” to develop. Situational depression can be caused by things such as money, work, or relationship troubles, and can exacerbate the symptoms of depression. Since no one’s life is stress-free, it’s important to develop coping mechanisms to deal with these issues. While most people naturally develop coping mechanisms on their own, it can be a bit more difficult for people with depressive disorders. Therapists are trained to help people find and develop habits that will help them deal with stress.
Exercise helps improve your overall health, including helping regulate the chemicals in the brain that lead to depression. In addition, working out also stimulates mood enhancing endorphins. You don’t have to become a marathon runner or body builder to increase your mood; simply take a walk around the neighborhood.
Green tea is a healthy way to boost your mood and give you energy. Although it contains caffeine, the presence of the chemical L-theanine helps regulate the effect caffeine has on your body; meaning that you don’t have to worry about a mood destabilizing “crash.” Green tea also reduces stress and boosts dopamine levels, both of which increase mood.