Whether you suffer with depression yourself or you are wanting to help a loved one to overcome this life-consuming illness, there are lots of alternative treatments to taking antidepressants.
Furthermore, even if you do want to continue taking prescribed medication, there is no reason why you can’t also try other natural remedies to complement your current treatment.
From practicing mindfulness to looking after your physical health, keep reading to discover five natural treatments that are known for helping relieve the symptoms of depression.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavioral therapy, CBT, is a form of talking therapy and can be highly effective in helping people to overcome depression, anxiety, and many other mental health disorders.
This treatment involves talking to a therapist to help recognize negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones. In terms of success, research suggests that people who get CBT are half as likely as those on only medication to have depression again within a year.
CBT can be used to treat both mild and severe depression and you can find teenage depression treatment centers and adult-focused ones that offer this type of therapy.
Studies indicate that mindfulness can be effective in treating depression and certain mindfulness-based therapies have been used in treatment centers to treat a wide range of mental health problems.
Mindfulness can help you to deal with problems or issues that you may normally avoid and can include MBCT, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy or MBSR, mindfulness-based stress reduction. The former is usually recommended for people suffering with depression.
- Art & Music Therapies
Both art and music are forms of creative expression which can help someone to process and cope with their emotions. If you or a loved one struggles with talking therapies, you may find these types of expressive therapies are more effective.
Art and music therapy are known for helping people to explore a wide range of issues in their lives including emotional social, spiritual, and cultural.
- Physical Exercise
Although being physically active may be the last thing you want to do when you are feeling depressed, numerous studies have shown that exercise can be highly successful in boosting your mood and combatting the symptoms of depression.
Any type of exercise can be useful, but you should try and focus on an activity that you enjoy and one that you will be willing to keep up on a regular basis. Aim to do 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week for optimal results.
There is promising evidence to suggest that certain supplements can help people struggling with depression. These include fish oil supplements, folic acid, and SAMe which works by increasing the effectiveness of neurotransmitters such as serotonin (the happy hormone) in your body.
Always talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement regime, especially if you are on prescribed medication for your depression or for another medical condition.
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment plan when it comes to overcoming depression, and what works for one might not necessarily be effective for another. Try and be open to a wide selection of alternative therapies and treatments, even if you have been skeptical in the past, as you never know what might be successful for you or your loved one.