Depression is one of the most common psychological and emotional problems American adults encounter. A study reports that about 13 to 20 percent of American adults have some form of depressive symptoms. Unfortunately, many severe cases of depression can ultimately lead to suicide.
Are there any solutions and treatments available to stem this unfortunate tide? Fortunately, the answer to this is yes. Many of these treatments involve a soup of medicines that may have side effects. Psychotherapy is another solution that is gaining popularity due to the favorable results they have exhibited.
For some people, the question is there any “natural” depression treatments available that do not involve some cocktail of hard-to-spell medications that can be taken as a preventive and beneficial alternative to mainstream treatments? The answer is yes. Although it is recommended that any form of depression should be consulted with a doctor let’s take a look at a list of natural supplements that may help alleviate symptoms of depression.
Vitamins & Minerals
Depression can be treated with better nutrition. Studies have shown that such treatment not only has a beneficial effect on the person’s physical health, but also a favorable effect on the person’s mental and emotional health. This nutritional treatment includes modification of diet, vitamins and minerals, and the addition of some amino acid supplements.
The amino acid supplements are essential elements that are precursors to neurotransmitters. The amino acids D, L-phenylalanine and L-tyrosine are a viable alternative to antidepressant drugs.
A deficiency in vitamins and minerals in the body can also cause depression. If this condition is corrected, depression owing to this cause can be alleviated. Even if you are not sure if you lack vitamins and minerals, supplementing your diet with them will often improve symptoms related to depression and will contribute to better overall health.
Some Very Useful Herbs
The herb St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) in an extracted standardized form is being used in Germany and other European countries to treat depression in its mild and moderate forms. It is also known to alleviate anxiety and sleep disorders.
The Ginkgo (Ginkgo Biloba) extract, while not a primary treatment for major cases of depression, is an excellent supplement to any depression-related syndrome. Studies are beginning to show that Ginkgo can be used to treat some forms of depression that are not responsive to antidepressant agents. In cases of resistant depression, Ginkgo Biloba is beginning to appear attractive to the medical world.
It Starts with the Diet
Many practitioners advocate a nutrition oriented approach to treating depression. They believe that the answer to the depression question can be found in the diet of a person. Studies show that a decrease in the intake of sugars and refined carbohydrates can produce relief from symptoms of depression.
This diet will entail cutting out sugary drinks, pasta, white bread, and other processed foods. For your carbohydrate needs, it would be better to stick to grains, whole wheat, and other natural plant based carbohydrates. Also, cutting down on these kinds of food can do wonders for one’s overall health.
This treatment is recommended for those who feel depressed and languid during the late hours of the morning and the afternoon. For these people, eating sugary foods will induce a temporary feeling of alleviation from depression. However, this is only for a few minutes, and the body automatically reverts to languid depression.
Depression is one serious disorder that should not be taken for granted. Some people will equate depression with other natural feelings such as anger, happiness, and sadness. However, depression is much more complicated than that. It is a disorder and an ailment that can be treated by natural or medical means. It would do well to consult your doctor for more information on dealing with depression.