Depression is often referred to as a secret illness. Although it is reported be one of the most common mental health disorders for both men and women, it is often misunderstood and downplayed. A condition which can leave you feeling incredibly low, tired and desolate, it is indiscriminate.
It is an illness that doesn’t care how old you are, what job you do, how much you earn or how seemingly perfect your life may be on the outside. Rather like any other sickness it can strike at any time and there is no simple answer to easing the feelings that come along with it.
One of the most important things about helping to prevent depression becoming debilitating is to open-up a dialogue about how commonplace it is and how there are several ways of easing the symptoms.
As with any physical or mental illness the most important step is to let somebody, a friend, colleague or health professional you know that you are feeling this way. There is no need to suffer in silence and there are many different approaches to help deal with the way you are feeling.
Alongside the more conventional treatment of using antidepressants there are a number of natural treatments that can help tackle depression. We would always suggest that if you think you might be depressed, you should see your doctor. At the same time, you can explore methods of dealing with your symptoms naturally.
Often using several different treatment methods may be advised which include:
- Paying closer attention to diet, including checking for any inflammation caused by sensitivities to food as well as establishing the state of your gut microbiome. The gut is considered to be a ‘second brain’ and it has been suggested that inflammation in the gut can affect the brain as well.
- Checking for vitamin deficiency. Very low levels of certain B vitamins can often manifest in depression-like symptoms where you feel drained and lacking in energy.
- Complementary therapy such as meditation and yoga may help you feel more in tune with your body and enable you to experience deeper levels of relaxation. Both have been proven to actually alter the brainwaves during and after practice, helping create a greater sense of calm.
- Light therapy can be beneficial for those who suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), where a lack of sunlight leaves you feeling very low and lethargic. Specialist lightboxes can be a great way of feeling more energised and centred.
- Talk therapy is often a great way of exploring the possible reasons behind the feelings of depression. Often feeling low brings with it a sense of guilt, with many sufferers downplaying their feelings as they don’t consider themselves having a ‘reason’ to feel as terrible as they do. Being able to speak openly and confidentially can often uncover underlying anxieties or sadness which has had to be buried up until this point.
- Exercise is a well-documented alleviant for the symptoms of depression as it gets the body’s heart rate up and releases mood enhancing endorphins. It can however, when you are in a very low mood, be difficult to motivate yourself to get out and about. Every little counts though and just getting out of the house for a short walk and fresh air can sometimes make the world of difference and is a fantastic step in the right direction.
Here at The Health Lodge Practice we do all we can to help our patients along the road to wellness. We offer a number of treatments and services that may be able to help reduce the symptoms of depression and help you get back on track. Click to find out more about our services.