Tools That Can Help To Deal With Depression Naturally, By Dr. Stuart Garber
Today we will focus on depression. The unstable economy has created a pervasive low grade depression throughout our society.
So many of my patients feel overwhelmed and helpless which blocks them from moving forward in their life. Advising you on how to comfortably uplift that sense of helplessness and sadness will positively give you the strength to think creatively.
It is exactly for this reason that I formulated my Depression formula, which actually is a body and mind anti-stress formula as much as it is anti-depression formula. The faster the positive mood spreads, the sooner we will move through this recession.
According to a recent USA Today article, the number of Americans using antidepressants doubled in only a decade, while the number seeing psychiatrists continued to fall.
About 10 percent of Americans — or 27 million people — were taking antidepressants in 2005, the last year for which data were available at the time the study was written.
That’s about twice the number in 1996, according to the study of nearly 50,000 children and adults in today’s Archives of General Psychiatry.
Yet the majority weren’t being treated for depression. Half of those taking antidepressants used them for back pain, nerve pain, fatigue, sleep difficulties or other problems, the study says.
Common Symptoms of Depression
Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook — nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in or ability to enjoy former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex.
Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5 percent of body weight in a month.
Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
Psychomotor agitation or retardation. Either feeling “keyed up” and restless or sluggish and physically slowed down.
Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued and physically drained. Even small tasks are exhausting or take longer.
Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. Harsh criticism of perceived faults and mistakes.
Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
Tools That Can Help Naturally
Lifestyle changes are not always easy to make, but they can have a big impact on depression. Self-help strategies that can be very effective include:
Eat a healthy diet. Don't skip meals. When possible, make meal time a social time. Avoid sugars and refined carbohydrates (think white - white bread, white rice, etc.) and concentrate on complex carbohydrates (whole grains, beans, legumes) and fresh fruits and vegetables.
Exercise. It's amazing how a little exercise can improve your mood. Start slowly if you haven't exercised in a while and gradually increase. Even a ten minute walk will help. The key is consistency - do some for of exercise every day.
Challenge negative thought patterns. When you catch yourself thinking negatively, whether it's about yourself or another, write it down. Then write down a positive replacement. Just telling yourself not to be so negative won't do it. You need to see the positive side in order to change the negative.
Get an adequate amount of sleep. Whether you’re sleeping too little or too much, your mood suffers. Get on a better sleep schedule by learning healthy sleep habits.
Expose yourself to a little sunlight every day. Lack of sunlight can make depression worse. Make sure you’re getting enough. Take a short walk outdoors, have your coffee outside, enjoy an al fresco meal, people-watch on a park bench, or sit out in the garden.
Practice relaxation techniques. A daily relaxation practice can help relieve symptoms of depression, reduce stress, and boost feelings of joy and well-being. Try yoga, deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, or meditation.
Fight depression by managing stress. Not only does stress prolong and worsen depression, but it can also trigger it. In order to get over depression and stay well, it’s essential to learn how to minimize and cope with stress.
Nutritional supplementation such as a natural source, food based (non-synthetic) multivitamin/mineral, omega-3 fatty acids as found in fish oil and a good quality probiotic, and Homeopathic remedies such as Dr. Garber's Natural Solutions for Sleep, Anxiety and Depression will all be helpful.