You’re depressed. You’re on medication but you really don’t want to add another ten milligrams because who knows? This could just be a bad week for you. No need to swallow an even bigger pill, right? Even so, this week is bad and you want to do something about it. Luckily, there are a few natural remedies for depression symptoms that can help you get over the depressive episode.
Yes, food. You would think that eating would be something to avoid considering depression has a bad rep for causing emotional over-eating. Sure, you shouldn’t go out and eat a bunch of cupcakes but certain foods can fight the slump. Turkey, for instance, suggests Robin H-C, life coach, behaviorist and author. It’s loaded with tryptophan, a chemical that stimulates serotonin production, just like many depression medications. He also suggests foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids to fight the blues, such as walnuts or salmon.
Dr. Shawn Talbott, PhD, nutritional biochemist, suggests green tea, due to an amino acid called thiamine and a spice called turmeric, found in many curry dishes. So if you’re a fan of Asian or Indian food, go get yourself a bowl of curry soup.
And remember that comment about not eating cupcakes? Well, don’t be too upset because another remedy is dark chocolate. It may be heavy in calories but the smallest piece can release serotonin and relax the blood vessels says Debbie Mendel, stress management expert and author. So for you chocolate lovers, there is hope!
One of the last things you probably want to do when experiencing a depressive episode is exercise. A crowded gym and anything remotely fast-paced sounds horrific, right? But there is one form of exercise that can actually be very enjoyable and fight depression symptoms: Yoga.
Yoga has been around for thousands of years and is revered for its holistic approach to health. A 2008 study of LifeForce Yoga, in collaboration with UCLA and Harvard researchers suggests that regular yoga practice can relieve symptoms of depression. Yoga works with the mind and the body and helps to recover a sense of purpose says psychiatrist James Gordon, M.D. So get out your yoga mat and do some downward dogs and you just might find your depression symptoms going down, too.
3. Vitamins and Minerals and Herbs
While many of these vitamins and minerals can be found in foods, sometimes it’s more appealing to take a magnesium supplement than stuff your face with raw spinach all day. Magnesium deficiencies are rare, but upping your intake can provide you with an emotional boost. A study at the George Eby Research Institute found that patients who were given an average of about 200 milligrams of magnesium saw significant improvements in their depression symptoms in one week. Vitamins C and B can also relieve symptoms while fighting other issues like colds.
Certain herbs can also aid your mental health. St. John’s Wort can help despite its unpleasant name. The herb, similar to the most-commonly prescribed depression medications, inhibits serotonin reuptake. It can be taken in tablet form or as a tea but can sometimes have mild side effects like dizziness and dry mouth, so you should consult a doctor before adding it to your regimen. Another herb that can relieve symptoms is Gingko Biloba.
Many people choose to fight depression symptoms with smell-goods. Aromatherapy has been used for centuries to fight mental and physical health issues, from muscle pain to anxiety, and also depression.
It’s not completely clear how aromatherapy works, but it is likely that smell receptors in the nose are connected to the chunk of your brain that relates to mood. Some aromas used to ease depressive slumps include jasmine, basil, rose, geranium, neroli, sandalwood and sage. You can purchase aromatherapy oils at many natural grocery and health stores like Whole Foods. There are also many places online like www.auracacia.com that sell these oils.
Another way to reap the benefits of aromatherapy is to use the oils in a room spray by mixing water and oil in a spray bottle or adding the oil to your bath. You can ease your depression symptoms and smell good all day!
So when depression attacks you hard and your medication isn’t cutting it, don’t ask the doctor to up your dosage just yet. Wait a week or two, try some of these natural remedies for depression symptoms and see what Mother Nature can do for you.