The conventional treatment for depression that most doctors use is prescription antidepressants; drugs which are effective for many people.
For others, little to no difference is made with conventional treatment. Some researchers even claim that SSRI medication is no more effective than placebo, although this point of view is wide open for debate.
Regardless, for people who are skeptical about taking medication or want to explore other options, the following five natural remedies are worth considering. Of course, you should always consult your doctor. The best class of doctor to consult regarding natural remedies for depression is an integrative psychiatrist.
Vitamin D is said to be one of the most underrated nutrients of all time. Vitamin D is a steroid hormone precursor. Vitamin D deficiency is linked to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disease, osteoporosis, and cancer. This is an essential vitamin the body needs to stay healthy.
In 2006 the CDC concluded that one fourth of the population is Vitamin D deficient. Canadian researchers have done 14 studies with 31,424 participants that all prove the strong correlation to low Vitamin D and depression.
In 2006, a study on 80 elderly people showed that those who lacked Vitamin D were 11 times more prone to depression – a number that is shocking, considering most people would never link this vitamin to such a serious disorder.
Safe sun exposure may help raise Vitamin D levels. Being outside with no sunscreen (without allowing yourself to burn) can actually be good for your body. Of course, supplements can also be taken and are proven to help as well.
Researchers have noticed that a sharp rise in depression occurred as people consume less omega 3 fatty acids and more processed foods.
A Columbus University study analyzed 59 patients diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder, 18 of which also suffered from Cormobid Anxiety Disorder. Low levels of omega 3 prevailed among the study group, but were most pronounced in those suffering from anxiety and depression. Although is it not on the front line for treating depression, it is a way to attack it from another angle.
Sam-e is a naturally occurring compound found in almost every element of the body. It helps the immune system, maintains cell membranes, and supports chemicals in the brain such as serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine.
Research indicates that Sam-e treatment is more effective than placebo in treating mild to moderate depression. It works more quickly and can be just as effective as prescribed medications without the headaches, sleepiness, sexual dysfunction, and other side effects that occur.
Unfortunately. Sam-e can not be found in food, but it can be prescribed in capsules if you consult with your healthcare provider.
Heavy metal toxicity can disturb brain chemistry, which may cause anxiety and depression, and can also weaken your immunity.
Heavy metals, such as mercury, lead, cadmium, arsenic, mad aluminum interfere with various chemicals in your brain that are associated with depression. Examples of these would be GABA, which contributes to anxiety and a dull intelligence, dopamine, which gives the brain energy and motivation, and acetylcholine, which makes the brain sharp and have good memory.
Ridding the body of the excess heavy metals that harm vital brain chemistry involves balancing mineral antagonists. This dislodges the metals from the tissues into the blood with cheating agents that bind the metals in the blood and prevent them from being re-deposited elsewhere, so the kidneys can properly excrete them.
It is best to work with an experienced health practitioner on a detox plan.
Depression and anxiety can occur when there is an imbalance of neurotransmitters in the brain. Amino acids are the building blocks of neurotransmitters.
By giving the body specific therapeutic doses of amino acids, we are giving the body the raw materials it needs to feed the pathway of neurotransmitter production and balance brain chemistry.
For serotonin, 5-HTP or tryptophan can be used. For GABA, doses of GABA can be used. Both of these help soothe and calm the brain, which is helpful with depression, anxiety, and also insomnia.
Amino acid therapy is a method that was discovered in the early 1900’s and used up until the 1980’s when other methods, such as SSRI’s became more popular. Amino acids are often used in place of antidepressants and don’t have the harsh side effects. With a doctor’s supervision, it is proven to be a powerful method in overcoming depression.
Depression is serious. Treating depression should be a matter of personal research and consultation with experts. It is worth learning all you can about how depression works!
The good news is, many healthcare providers offer labs tests that reveal the status of Vitamin D, amino acids, heavy metals, etc.. in your blood. This eliminates the guesswork when it comes to assessing your risk factors.
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Last reviewed: 11 Nov 2013