5 Little-Known Natural Alternatives to Anti-Depressants

6604542_sDepression is one of the most common medical conditions that Americans medicate for. Unfortunately, mental health is an often confusing and depressing subject (pun intended).

There has been a proliferation of advice from the medical community that says the only way to rectify mild to severe depression is through the use of medicines. But that’s not at all the case.

Depression is certainly a chemical problem, but that doesn’t mean you need to add artificial chemicals into your body to rid yourself of the symptoms. Rather, you should understand that in many cases depression can be alleviated simply through vitamin supplementation, light therapy, and any combination of several different treatments.

Treatment 1: Massage

Massage has long been a form of depression therapy as it is known to increase feelings of well-being. Massage is able to make this happen as physical touch and the transference of energy from one person to another can produce chemical changes in the brain. These changes will help you feel relaxed and calm and can also reduce the levels of stress hormone (cortisol) in the body. In fact, some research has shown that just using massage can help lower cortisol levels by an average of 30%.

Treatment 2: Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT is helpful in treating depression as it helps your brain to begin operating in new paths. Essentially, CBT allows people to rewire how they think so they begin to focus less on negative patterns of thought and think more positively. There is a significant amount of research that supports the claim that CBT can help improve mental condition and get rid of depression. Clinical studies have shown that CBT is as effective as antidepressant medications with approximately 75% of patients seeing a huge decrease in the severity of their symptoms.

Treatment 3: Vitamin B Supplementation

The B vitamins play a huge role in the proper function of certain neurotransmitters. It has been determined that when people are lacking in vital vitamins such as Folic acid, Vitamin B6 ad Vitamin B12, the incidence for depression is higher. Many of the B vitamins work synergistically to convert L-tryptophan to serotonin. Serotonin is one of the chemicals in the brain that helps to promote an increase in happiness.

Treatment 4: Light Therapy

Many depression sufferers happen to suffer during the long, gray winter months. The absence of light during short winter days has been known to keep people locked in a form of depression known as seasonal affective disorder (SAD). When the body does not get the right amount of sunlight, it can lessen the overall amount of serotonin in the body and this can lead to lethargy as well as feelings of depression. Light therapy works to alleviate these feelings by helping the body to produce melatonin without natural sunlight. Light therapy can be used for both seasonal affective disorder as well as non-seasonal depression as well.

Treatment 5: Yoga

Yoga is one of the better ways to mix physical activity into a prescriptive means of fighting depression. The way Yoga works to fight depression is through deep breathing and body positions. This helps to release endorphins while reducing the level of cortisol. In some research, yoga postures have been shown to increase levels of the neurotransmitter GABA, which may alleviate depression as well.

One last thing…

Depression can also be treated naturally by making sure you get the full spectrum of amino acids in your diet. With that in mind, you may want to try SunWarrior protein, which includes ALL essential amino acids in a single serving. It’s perfect for making smoothies, and it tastes great too.