Depression Alternatives

What is depression? For many decades it carried a stigma along with the diagnosis. If you had depression, then you couldn’t manage your life properly - or you were one of the “mentally ill” who belonged in an institution. That is not so.

Depression is a clinical illness and just like other illnesses, it needs a proper course of treatment to allow the sufferer to recover. Imbalances of certain neurotransmitters in the brain that are responsible for helping to maintain your mental wellbeing contribute to the problem of depression. To find out exactly what type and severity of depression you are suffering from, see a doctor. They can also discuss with you alternative treatments if prescription drugs are not the route you want to take right now. Here are some of the alternative treatments available:

* St. John’s Wort – This herb has been used for years by people who have mild depression or even seasonal affective disorder (SAD). The properties are said to help soothe the mind and create a feeling much like when endorphins are released in the brain. Before you use it, ask your doctor about dosage and if taking it will interfere with any of your current medications.

* Massage therapy – The basis behind many massage techniques is that there is a blocked chi, or life force. This can occur because of stress, lack of sleep and other environmental factors. When the site of the blockage is discovered, the use of pressure and gentle movement can unblock the flow of life energy to help the body restore itself to health. A massage therapist can recommend the best type for you depending on your overall health and your depressive symptoms.

* Physical activity – There are many benefits to exercise besides simply weight loss. When you get moving, you increase your intake of oxygen and also learn to utilize it more efficiently. Exercise doesn’t have to be hard or boring. There are many activities that you can do to increase the release of endorphins, the body’s “feel good” pill. More oxygen helps you to think clearly about your problems and come up with a useful solution.

* Acupuncture – This operates on the same principle as massage therapy. Using a map of the body’s energy junctions, these sterile needles can be used at certain points to restore balance to the body.

* Yoga – A mind-body connection is built and maintained when you start this spiritual practice of ancient India. You can exercise control over your feelings and how you respond to stress, which can decrease incidence of depression.