Alternative Depression Treatments to Consider
Whether you are someone newly diagnosed with depression or someone who has been struggling with it for years, it's important to know what treatment options are available to you so that you can find a method that works for you and your lifestyle.
Antidepressants are often the first response and have successfully provided relief for a lot of people. Depression medication isn't for everyone though, as some people have adverse reactions or have difficulty finding a dose or medication that works for them.
Others simply don't like the idea of being on medication and that's okay, because there are so many other alternative depression treatments that may meet your needs instead.
Therapy and Counseling
Therapy and counseling are other popular choices among those who are affected by depression. Depending on the source of the depression, it may be something that can be worked through by talking it out.
It's always a relief having someone to talk to about what you're feeling, especially when speaking to those who have a deep understanding of what you're experiencing and can assist you through it.
If you're put off by the typical representation of therapy, it may excite you to know that therapy and counseling don't have to mean sitting on a couch in an office. There are support groups and group therapy where you can connect with people in similar situations that may be able to add some personal experience and support as well as some additional outside perspective.
If you like the idea of a group session but aren't keen on talking about your feelings - try looking up local music therapy options like drum circles or instrumental therapy that you can get involved within a hands-on environment.
Music therapy has been shown to have an incredible effect on those suffering from depression. When you listen to good music, your brain reacts to the experience in the same way it would react to pleasures such as an orgasm. t tells the body that it's a good thing and sends out happy hormones that help the body relax and lift your mood.
If you're in a hands-on environment and are immersed in creating the sounds that you're hearing, I can only imagine that this reaction would be intensified. Who knows, you could find a new and exciting hobby or passion!
Meditation is an incredible way to re-connect with yourself and reflect on your feelings and emotions. There are many forms of meditation as it can be practiced individually, in a group, or even through a moving meditation such as yoga.
Taking the time to pause your thoughts and focus on your breath has been shown to assist in mood stabilization and can encourage healing.
Exercise is another good outlet for those with depression, as it's been known to increase the natural happy-hormones called "endorphins". Exercise doesn't have to be an intense workout – even a light walk or jog around your neighborhood to get your blood moving could be of great benefit.
If you are looking for a more relaxing form of exercise, yoga may be a great fit. Some variations of yoga could be a form of moving meditation, which would increase the benefits even more.
Light Therapy (Phototherapy)
Light therapy is typically associated with those who suffer from seasonal depression but can provide great relief to others as well.
During light therapy, a person sits in front of an artificial light source that mimics natural, outdoor light. The exposure to this kind of light is said to modify the amount of melatonin in our systems, this will then increase serotonin levels in the brain, acting as an antidepressant.
It does require consistency and there are a few different kinds of light boxes, so it's best to do some research before purchasing one.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy is a way of re-training your brain to think and believe more positive thoughts. The belief behind it is that words and thoughts can create either a negative or positive energy and that this negative energy can make you sick, weak, and heavy whereas the positive energy can leave you energized, healthy, and radiant.
The Law of Attraction is an example of this, as well as Dr. Masaru Emoto's research on ‘Water and Resonance.’ By practicing cognitive behavioral therapy we can teach ourselves to change our instinctual thoughts to be of a more positive nature and can, therefore, bring light and radiance back into how we feel which would encourage healing.
Reiki and Acupuncture
Similar to the energy work mentioned above, Reiki is a form of energy healing through healing touch. Reiki isn't a spiritual or religious practice and is becoming more common in modern medicine as it has shown great benefits for a wide variety of ailments.
It's been shown to assist with those suffering from depression as it reinstates a more positive energy into the affected parts of the body.
Acupuncture is a form of ancient Chinese medicine that works by stimulating certain pressure points throughout the body to promote healing by balancing the body's natural energy.
Energy work has often been questioned by modern medicine but is becoming more popular. Acupuncture focuses on the organs and pressure points associated with depression and its side effects to promote healing.
Change of Diet
Many people have found that a change in diet can greatly affect how they feel, not only physically but also mentally and emotionally as well. By eating healthy, whole foods instead of processed or hard to digest foods, we get a higher intake of natural vitamins and nutrients. This feeds our bodies and our brains encouraging a natural balance in chemicals and reactions within the body.
There are many different lifestyle and diet choices so it's important to talk to a nutritionist or naturopath so you can find a meal plan that's best suited to your needs.
Vitamins & Supplements, and Hormone Balance
If a dramatic change in diet and lifestyle doesn't seem like something that would work for you, perhaps finding relief through vitamins and supplements would be better suited for your routine.
Vitamins and herbs are some of the best supplements for depression and energy. Supplements are becoming more common in the treatment of depression as they are known to increase mood, health, and support the body's natural function. They are popular as well because they are seen as a healthier alternative to antidepressants. Some of the popular options are:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B
- Fish Oil
These are still considered to be medications and therefore should be discussed with your physician before you take them to ensure that they won't interact with current medications or conditions and you can be prescribed an appropriate dose for your needs.
Modern medicine has had a great impact on the treatment of depression and it's symptoms but many people are starting to look for more natural options or alternative therapies that may be less aggressive than antidepressants.
In addition to a supportive environment, finding a combination of treatments that work for you can promote a natural healing and help bring your livelihood back. It's important to speak with your physician before engaging in any dramatic lifestyle changes but many of the above options should encourage more positivity and mood stabilization.