According to the World Health Organization (WHO) by the year 2020, depression will be the number two cause of "lost years of healthy life" worldwide. However, the cost in human suffering cannot be estimated.
Depression is a problem that faces many of us, young or old; baby boomers or generation X. We have a fast lifestyle, weâ€™re working between sixty and eighty hours a week and we have long commutes into the office keeping us away from our families. Pressures, stress and anxiety can gang up on us to cause an uncontrolled depression. Depression can be a symptom of this stress, or it can have a physiological cause as well. If you have cancer, heart disease or chronic pain, you might know all about depression and how debilitating it can be in your life. If you are one of the millions of people suffering from depression, what can you do about it? Are you ready to jump into the world of antidepressants that your doctor so quickly prescribes? We all want the magic bullet, the answer to just make the pain go away.
If you really want answers, sometimes it isnâ€™t that easy. If you want to make the symptoms of depression go away; you have to first find the cause. Modalities through alternative medicine, can assist you with finding exactly why you have depression and give you ideas on how to ease the pain.
If you are someone that believes in mind-body experiences, you know that taking a placebo can have an effect on your body and what you are experiencing physically. The experts canâ€™t agree if an antidepressant works because of the medicine, or because of the placebo effect. There are so many complementary therapies out there for you to try and experiment with. They may not all be for you, but if you are honest with yourself and are patient; you may find something that works for you without taking pharmaceutical drugs. Some of the options available to you include:
â€˘ Bibliotherapy â€" reading self help books gives you a wealth of information to help you understand what may be happening to you and why. Knowledge is power.
â€˘ Ayurveda is the practice of knowing yourself and the 3 doshas of your body. If your body is out of balance, you may become depressed. You may not have a deep understanding of self. Medication and prayer are other ways to become tuned to the Universe giving you answers within. Spirituality and becoming closer to a higher power may be enough to have you feel connected and not so alone.
â€˘ Herbal treatments such as St. Johnâ€™s wort, Siberian ginseng, licorice, basil, clove, ginger, thyme increase serotonin in the brain and may help you with depression.
â€˘ Essential oils used in aromatherapy can scientifically help you to feel relaxed if you have anxiety or stimulate you if you feel lethargic. Sometimes when we smell a scent that we love, we just feel better too.
â€˘ Acupuncture or acupressure can touch the power points of the body and release blocked energy you are experiencing.
â€˘ Yoga, Pilates, or just moving to a type of exercise you enjoy can immediately make you feel better; lifting a depression. These are only a few of the options available to you.
Diet is a huge issue when it comes to depression. Do you drink too much caffeine, or consume too much sugar? Are you drinking too much alcohol? Do you have enough vitamins and minerals in your daily diet? You might have food allergies or are you lactose intolerant causing you to feel sluggish and depressed. A thorough examination by a doctor can tell you if you have a deficiency of some kind and what you can do about it. Imbalances of any kind can cause disease physically and emotionally. I have heard it said that if you put junk into your mouth you are digging your grave with your teeth. So what can you do to stop the progression of making poor choices when it comes to eating? Fresh fruits and vegetables or cereals and beans are a good place to start. Avoid the processed stuff because most of the nutrients have been removed. If you consume complex carbohydrates, such as pasta, pancakes, potatoes and oatmeal; you can increase the levels of serotonin in the brain as well. We often forget about vitamins and having the right balance in the body. Make sure you have enough thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, pantothenic acid, folic acid, vitamin B12 and C. Without the right amounts on a daily basis; you could experience irritability, depression, anxiety, restlessness, fatigue, forgetfulness, memory loss, confusion and more. Combine minerals such as calcium, magnesium, chromium, selenium, iron and zinc with your other vitamins in a daily regimen and you will feel better too.
The body and mind are very complex; and by giving yourself the right combinations of treatments, diet, information and medical attention, you will have a better chance of staying healthy and strong. Combine the modalities of alternative medicine with the care of your physician and you are well on your way to feeling better mentally, emotionally and physically.
Beverly Marshall is a successful freelance writer, certified Aromatherapist and Feng Shui consultant. Her many articles offer guidance, suggestions and common sense ideas to change your life. If you are interested in products and information regarding alternative medicine, vitamins, osteoporosis, menopause, essential oils, insomnia, anti aging, dry skin and more; her many articles can be found at http://www.alternative-medicine-4u.com