Dealing With Depression Naturally

Disclaimer: The following information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or
prescribe. It
is simply given to educate one on natural choices for taking more responsibility
for your
own body. Seek proper care when needed.

Depression reflects disorders in the mood, which dominates a person's outlook
and ability
to handle emotions. Some emotions that may dominate daily living, might be
grief, sadness,
guilt, pessimism, hopelessness and despair to varying degrees. Some of the
symptoms
may be lack of interest in ordinary activities, withdrawal from social settings,
fatigue or
lethargy, irritability or excessive anger, low self-esteem or lack of confidence, or
even
difficulty concentrating. While to degree of severity may range from mild to
severe, for the
purpose of this article we will discuss natural therapies for mild to moderate
depression.
Severe depression needs immediate medical attention.

Approximately 17 million people suffer from clinical depression each year, and
over 28
million Americans take anti-depressant drugs or anti-anxiety medication.
Finding the
underlying cause can be tricky since a variety of factors come in to play. Low
levels of
serotonin may contribute, as well as nutrient deficiencies, drugs (prescription,
recreational,
alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, etc.), hypoglycemia, hormonal imbalances,
environmental
factors, allergies, microbial factors, or thyroid disease.

Medicating with an anti-depressant drug, while keeping symptoms at bay, will
not reverse
the underlying imbalance and may create more imbalances and symptoms.
There are many
theories regarding why it is such a major problem in the United States, but I
will focus here
on the natural therapies that are proving to be very helpful in allowing people
to naturally
get their lives back to normal with manageable emotions and feelings.

The elimination of sugar and caffeine has been shown to produce significant
benefits in
reducing depression. Increased exercise and participation in physical activities
naturally
decreases symptoms because of the immediate oxygenation of the blood, which
renews
your vitality and improves mood, and also has an alkalizing effect reducing
over-acidity and
irritation in the body.

A deficiency of any single nutrient can alter brain function and ability - so
using good, plant
based vitamins and minerals, especially trace minerals, may help reverse the
problem.
Insufficiency in Omega-3 oils in the diet has been linked to depression. Flax
Seed oil or
Vitamin E can be taken daily to help. Folic acid, Vitamins B-6 and B-12 are often
low in
depressed patients. Toxicity in the body, especially the liver, may not only
contribute to
sluggish or foggy thinking and alter mood or increase anger, but also will reduce
the body's
natural ability to produce necessary hormones, which can throw the
homeostasis off.
Depression is often a symptom of hormonal imbalance in women. Cleansing the
body of
toxic build-up is very important and essential to improve any health condition.

For optimal levels of serotonin there are several natural products which have
been proven
to be very effective. The first is the popular herb St. Johnswort. Taken as a full
strength,
whole plant extract can be very effective with less side-effects than the
standardized
extracts for hypericin (the active ingredient in St. Johnswort plant). St.
Johnswort
oxygenates the cells and increases zest for life. It also improves vitality and
resistance to
illnesses. Kava Kava is often used in Europe for treating anxiety, depression,
insomnia and
restlessness. Ginkgo Biloba extract is used with good results in people over 50 to
improve
mood as it increases cerebral circulation.

Anxiety, irritability, and insomnia can also be addressed by using nervine
relaxing herbs
such as Passion Flower or Skullcap. Since low adrenal gland function is
associated with
depression, you could include extracts of Siberian Ginseng and/or Licorice root
to help
build the natural energy supplies.

5-HTP is an amino acid which was also proven in numerous double-blind studies
to
increase serotonin levels as effectively as drugs like Prozac, Paxil, and Zoloft. It
is less
expensive, better tolerated, and has fewer and much milder side effects if any.
This is a
safer version of l-tryptophan because it is extracted from the seeds of an
African plant
called Griffonia simplicifolia rather than being synthesized with the help of
bacteria, and is
much more effective at increasing serotonin levels safely. It is also proven to be
very
helpful for excess weight and obesity since the increased serotonin levels help
the body
feel full and satiated easily when eating so food consumption naturally
decreases. The
body will no longer crave carbohydrates as an attempt to increase serotonin in
the brain.
Weight loss can become natural and effortless. Insomnia and sleep disturbances
are also
quickly relieved with 5-HTP.

According to Dr. Michael Murray in 'Encyclopedia for Natural Medicine', "One of
the most
powerful techniques for producing the necessary biochemical changes in the
brains of
depressed individuals is to teach them to be more optimistic." We can learn to
look for and
see the positive in any situation just by becoming more flexible and seeing
things from
other viewpoints! Even in the most devastating or difficult situations we can
look for the
lesson we need to learn, or the values we have received as a result that have
made us a
better person.

I believe that many Americans have become depressed because they are
dissatisfied and
unfulfilled in their work and normal activities. We have become a society who
is always
looking for a quick 'fix' to mask, not solve, our problems including our health.
We have been
operating too often from our minds and ego, being logical and practical, but
missing out on
what our 'Soul' is trying accomplish or most enjoys being or doing. Learning to
come from
our 'heart and soul' in our work and activities can help us feel fulfilled and
excited about life
again. What are your passions, your dreams and desires? What beliefs are
keeping you
from achieving them?

We have to get very honest with ourselves and ask ourselves these questions to
help
motivate us enough to seek some help or attend workshops or support groups
that speak
to our inner, 'authentic' self, help us to listen, feel more empowered, and learn
to operate
from that forgotten but happy space. In the meantime, we can take good
vitamins, natural
supplements, herbs, cleanse our bodies, and improve our lifestyles to support
our healing
and bring our bodies and minds back into a healthy balance.

Natural Herbal Depression Formula:

‘Mood Elevator – Helps to renew zest for life and relieve mild depression, while
relaxing
tension and anxiety and increasing energy. Great alternative to Prozac.  
This is a Chinese combination of herbs from Nature's Sunshine.
Cudweed is an herb from Pure Herbs that is an organic, natural form of lithium.
These are just a few of the natural products that can alter balance of our moods
Article: Dealing with Depression Naturally