10 Nondrug Remedies for Depression

ImageIf you don’t respond to antidepressants (or even if you do), you may want to explore non-drug remedies to lift your depression. here are some health tips to reduce your depression

Exercise
Exercise can relieve depression, possibly by altering the mood-regulating brain chemicals norepinephrine and serotonin.

It may also release the endorphins responsible for the “runner’s high” that some experience.

P. Murali Doraiswamy, MD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University School of Medicine, in Durham, N.C., recommends exercising three to five times a week for 20 to 30 minutes. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking on a treadmill, is best, but “any degree of exercise is better than none,” he says.

Light therapy
During the short, dark days of winter, some people are prone to a type of depression called seasonal affective disorder.

One way to ease symptoms may be light therapy, in which you sit near a brightly lit box that mimics outdoor light. The therapy generally starts with daily sessions of about 15 minutes and increases to up to two hours daily. The timing depends upon the severity of symptoms and the intensity of the light, which a doctor can determine. Although the therapy doesn’t cure depression, it can ease symptoms, sometimes after only a couple days.

Fish oil
This supplement contains omega-3 fatty acids, which are found in fish, including salmon, albacore tuna, and herring.

Studies on fish oil are inconclusive, but it is thought that being deficient in this fatty acid at certain times (like during the postpartum period) can cause mood swings and depression.

In areas where consumption of foods with omega-3 is high, people tend to have lower rates of depression.

Meditation
Promising research suggests that meditation may play a role in preventing depression relapse. The research focused on mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, which combines traditional meditation with cognitive behavioral approaches.

In two studies, people were treated with antidepressants until their symptoms subsided. Then one group continued taking the medication while another went on a regimen of meditation therapy.

Relapse rates for people using meditation were the same as those taking antidepressants (about 30%), and lower than those on a placebo (about 70%) in one study.

The second study found that 47% of the meditation group relapsed, compared to 60% of the people on antidepressants alone.

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source: health

 

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