Treating depression naturally. Depression can be caused by chemical imbalances. With hormone or nutritional deficiencies, you may have feelings of sadness or depression.
Do you feel like there is more sadness in your life than there should be? Are you overall happy with the levels you’ve been able to achieve in your career, yet feel as if something is missing or lacking? Like there is this void that you just can’t seem to fill, no matter how hard you try?
Having feelings of depression is an unfortunate part of life. When we experience not-so-pleasant events, such as the loss of a spouse or parent (or, unimaginably, a child), divorce, disease, a natural disaster, or any other negative event, it is only natural that you would feel sad and blue.
Depression can also be caused by chemical imbalances. If you’re lacking in certain hormones or nutrients, you may feel a sadness toward life even if there really is no true cause for it. For example, low levels of vitamin D or depleted levels of vitamin B6 may be to blame. And if your thyroid, estrogen, or other hormones aren’t at a certain level, they could be the cause of your sadness as well.
Clinical Depression Requires 5 Criteria
The problem exists when these feelings of depression persist over a period of time (two weeks or more), causing you to no longer find excitement in things you used to enjoy and affecting your ability to “live.” When every day seems like the day before and you feel almost dead inside, then something needs to change.
In order to be considered clinically depressed according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), you have to meet five out of nine specific criteria. These criteria include daily feelings of:
- Depression or irritability
- Lack of interest or pleasure in life
- Gaining or losing weight/changes in appetite
- Sleeping all the time or not sleeping at all
- Being suddenly over- or underactive
- Feeling tired and out of energy
- Feeling as if you are worthless or having guilt when you shouldn’t
- Inability to focus
- Thoughts of harming yourself
Well, how many did you connect with? If you were able to meet at least five of these, then a visit with a health professional may be in order. Depression isn’t something that you have to fight alone and sometimes it helps to just have someone to talk to as you work to become re-energized about life.
Natural Depression Treatment Options
However, if fewer than five applied to you or you’re waiting for that first appointment with an expert, there are still things you can do right now to begin to change your outlook on life. There is no quick and easy fix, but every positive step you take is a step in the right direction.
One of the first things you should do is find out whether or not you have a deficiency in any key vitamins and minerals or hormones. This is perhaps the easiest depression fix as once your levels return to normal, so do your feelings of happiness. It may take a little bit of time for this to occur, but it helps to know that better days are ahead as long as you continue on your treatment regimen.
Another all-natural depression cure is exercise. Yes, it can be hard to think about being physically active when you barely have enough energy to get through the day, but exercise is the gift that gives back. When you engage in physical activity, your body releases a variety of feel-good hormones. This means that you will begin to feel better without having to rely on anti-depressants or any other prescription medications that often have unwanted side effects.
Also, if your depression isn’t related to your hormones or nutrient levels, it can help to talk to someone about what is bothering you. Find a trusted friend, family member, clergy, or healthcare professional to share your feelings. Sometimes just getting things off your chest is enough to make you feel better instantly.
In addition to checking your hormone levels, exercising, and talking out your problems, there are some things that you are going to want to avoid so that your depression doesn’t get worse. The most important of these are drugs and alcohol. They may help numb the pain or make you feel better in the moment, but they won’t help you heal, which is the only way that the depression will go away for good.
Depression may be a normal part of life, but it doesn’t have to be an everyday part of life. If you feel depressed, remember that you can get out of it. All you have to do is take the first step.