We all have those days. The mornings you just don’t want to get out of bed. You have no motivation and nothing sounds like fun. But when that one day turns into multiple days and then weeks, you may have depression. If this is the case, you are certainly not alone. Depression affects 8 percent of women and 4 percent of men in the U.S.One solution is to take a medication prescribed by a doctor, however, many of these are addictive and have side effects, such as insomnia, nausea or emotional numbness. So, you may want to try a natural treatment first to see if your symptoms subside.
Check out these natural treatments to stave off the blues.
St. John’s Wort
Herbal medicine has been used for hundreds of years to treat depression and recent research is proving it to be clinically effective. St. John’s Wort, for example, has been shown to be better than a placebo and is widely prescribed in Europe for depression. In 2009, a review based on 29 international studies showed that St. John’s Wort provides fewer side effects than prescription antidepressant medications when taken by those with moderate depression.
Caution is advised with St. John’s Wort, however, as it can have negative interactions with antidepressant and antianxiety medications. So if you are already taking prescription medication, check with your doctor before taking St. John’s Wort.
The body naturally produces a chemical called SAMe (S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine) that has been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression. It is produced from methionine, an amino acid that is found in every cell of the body.
In Europe, SAM-e is a prescription drug to combat depression, osteoarthritis and liver disease. In the U.S., you can find it with other over-the-counter herbal supplements. In cases of bipolar disorder (manic depression), SAMe should not be taken because it may increase episodes of mania.
Also known as Indian Cherry, Ashwagandha is an herb that has been used for centuries by Ayurvedic practitioners in India to address a variety of conditions. The key benefits of Ashwagandha are to support the thyroid and adrenal glands, which can help you adapt to stress. When used to improve symptoms of depression, this ancient herb helps to calm the central nervous system and reduce anxiety. Since it is a mild sedative, many take this supplement before going to sleep to help with depression-related insomnia.
If your depression is rooted in anxiety, yoga can help. Yoga has shown to reduce the stress hormone cortisol and increase feelings of peace and well-being. Through the yoga postures and breathing techniques, awareness is increased and your mind is brought into the present moment. This helps to calm the worrying mind and create a feeling of ease with whatever situation is causing the anxiety. Yoga also increases the connection between mind and body, leaving you feeling more in control of your thoughts through controlling the breath.
Fisher Wallace Stimulator
The Fisher Wallace Stimulator uses patented waveforms to gently stimulate the brain to produce serotonin and other neurochemicals responsible for healthy mood and sleep. Unlike antidepressant medication that inhibits neuronal receptors from absorbing serotonin, the Fisher Wallace Stimulator enables the brain to produce serotonin naturally while improving the brain’s ability to regulate the limbic system. Proven in multiple published studies, the device is cleared by the FDA to treat depression, anxiety and insomnia. During each 20-minute treatment session (once or twice a day), the device stimulates the brain to produce serotonin and norepinephrine while lowering cortisol (the stress hormone).
I have seen and read several authentic reviews on these treatments, as well as my own experience in using all to help combat my own experiences with depression with great success.
Perhaps one or a combination of these treatments can help you to feel like yourself again. Good Luck!