Do Natural Treatments For Depression Exist? Yes Indeed!
Are you struggling with depression?
Turn on your T.V.
You probably won’t have to wait for more than a few moments before the next ad for a psychiatric drug appears. But if you are one of the many who worry about the risks of taking these drugs, you are not alone. Many people are wary of anti depressant drugs and would feel safer taking a more natural approach.
Why are patients scared of taking anti depressant drugs?
Some want to avoid the increased risk of depression relapse that is associated with anti depressant drug use. Some have read research that describes how anti depressant drug use also increased the severity and duration of future depressive relapse.
Others want to avoid the suffering that comes when many patients stop using the drugs. In our field, we refer to this as “discontinuation syndrome.” Many of my patient have simply referred to it as “withdrawal”. This withdrawal can last for months or years and leave patient with suffering with a range of disturbing central nervous system symptoms that researchers believe is the the result of the brain being flooded with these drugs continually.
If that sounds like you, it’s important to remember that effective natural treatments for depression exist.
As a mental health professional, I’ve helped countless numbers of men and women beat their depression. I’ve helped everyone from the most severely depressed in inpatient psychiatric programs, to those who are just going through a bad patch and feeling a bit low.
Here are some tip’s I’d like to share.
Natural Treatment Depression Tip #1
Balance Your Sleep
If you are depressed, one of the first things to get out of whack is your sleep. So fixing your sleep is one of the most powerful changes you can make. If you are depressed it’s likely you:
- Oversleep (hypersomnia)
- Have trouble falling asleep (sleep onset insomnia)
- Sleep lightly and wake up in the night (trouble with sleep maintanaince)
Most people don’t need to take prescription or over the counter drugs to go to sleep. Untreated depression and anxiety are the biggest causes of sleep problems. Once they are treated, research shows that _____ percent of sleep problems can be treated though behavioral methods alone using the cognitive behavioral therapy protocol for insomnia. (CBT-I)
So an essential natural treatment for depression lies in treating insomnia. In my work with clients, I typically use a combination of CBT-I and neurofeedback brain training for insomnia. Generally, my clients have seen great results with these two natural approaches.
Natural Treatment Depression Tip # 2
Get some exercise…in the sunlight and fresh air if possible. As I like to tell my clients, depression is multi layered. The bottom layer is physical. Our bodies feel bad when we sit and lie around too much. Our moods sink. Lethargy builds and so does tension.
Some of my clients swear by the anti depressant effects of cardio. Others credit weight lifting.
Whether you go for walks, go swimming or do strength training, do something to get your body and your physiology activated.
Natural Treatment Depression Tip # 3
Be sure to learn skills in therapy.
Be careful of just sitting there in therapy and talking. Talking can be hugely beneficial and that’s why it’s called “the talking cure”. But, sometimes too much time spent talking about the wrong things can exacerbate the rumination that is a common part of depression. What can a good depression therapist help you learn? That’s where the other layers of depression come in.
Some people think therapy is just “talk therapy”. That’s not true. We are fortunate to live in time where we have access to a number of therapy modalities, and they all work a little differently. In depression therapy, you can learn skills to manage your moods and heal their roots such as:
- Mood regulation skills
- Relationship skills- so that you can connect well with loved ones and friends
- Thinking skills- so that your thinking supports your good moods and helps you exit a depression
Over the course of my career, I’ve seen clients recover from depression through getting support, receiving therapeutic guidance from a professional, by changing their behavior, and by healing the psychological roots of depression.
Natural Treatment Depression Tip # 4
Seriously consider Neurofeedback therapy as part of your depression treatment.
Commonly, people call Neurofeedback “brain training”. It’s called this because in essence it’s like a work out for your brain. In fact, one of my clients, who is a yoga teacher calls it her “brain yoga”. “I stretch, strengthen and balance my body, and that’s what neurofeedback does with my brain.”
This treatment method uses EEG brainwave training to help you train your brain to recover from depression. Our brainwaves effect our moods, our emotions and our ability to concentrate. When we use this modality as part of a depression treatment plan, we help your brain practice being in a calm, clear, energized state.
Our brains get good at doing whatever we practice. If we practice soccer, we get better at it. Playing the piano every day will get you to a point where the music feels like it’s in your fingers, you don’t have to stop and think much about where to put your hands because they just go there.
The same is true of our moods and emotions. If depression habitually grabs hold of you, your brain practices that state, and it become easier for the brain to repeat. That’s why depression treatment is so important.
Neurofeedback is an evidence based, natural treatment for depression….And the best part is it’s fun.
Read more If you would like to learn more about how I can help with depression.
Learn more about neurofeedback therapy here.