Depression affects more and more people every day, and many of them have no choice but to resort to antidepressants in the fight against depression.
While antidepressants can help those struggling with severe depression, they are generally less effective against mild depression. But it turns out that you can fight depression without drugs!
Physical activity can help reduce depression as it affects the production of norepinephrine and serotonin, which are responsible for good mood.
Experts recommend exercising three to five times a week for 20-30 minutes. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking on a treadmill, will be preferred. On the other hand, any kind of exercise is better than no exercise.
During short, cloudy winter days, some people are prone to this type of depression, also called seasonal affective disorder, or simply “winter depression.”
One way to relieve symptoms in this case is with light therapy . Treatment, as a rule, begins with daily exposure of the patient to light for 15 minutes, over time the session is increased to two hours. The duration of light therapy depends on the severity of the symptoms and the intensity of the light and is determined by the doctor. Of course, light therapy cannot completely cure depression, but it can relieve symptoms in just a few days.
Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. Research on fish oil is currently incomplete, but based on the available data, doctors are confident that the absence of these fatty acids at certain times (for example, during the postpartum period) can cause mood swings and depression.
In areas where consumption of omega-3 foods is traditionally high, people are much less likely to experience depression.
Doctors claim that meditation plays an important role in preventing relapse in depressive disorders. This confidence is based on the results of experiments in which a group of people were treated with antidepressants using cognitive therapy until symptoms subsided. Then one part of the patients continued to take medications, and the second took up meditation.
Surprisingly, the number of relapses in people who meditated was no higher than among those taking antidepressants (about a third of the total).
Some studies have found that saffron can increase serotonin levels in the brain. A small study over six weeks was conducted on a group of 38 volunteers. As a result, the researchers found that saffron is an effective replacement for fluoxetine.
Participants who took saffron also saw a reduction in the side effects they usually get from taking fluoxetine.
Yoga has the ability to reduce stress and symptoms of depression. Observations have shown that yoga reduces anxiety and improves sleep quality.
Although yoga has not been extensively researched, the material gathered to date on the topic suggests that yoga is a simple tool for reducing depression.
St. John’s wort
St. John’s wort is deservedly one of the most studied plants. At the pharmacy, you can easily find St. John’s wort in the form of tea, tablets and drops.
Long-term observations give no doubt that St. John’s wort in moderate depression is just as useful as antidepressants.
Important note: St. John’s wort may decrease the effectiveness of certain prescription drugs, including birth control pills, HIV medicines, blood clotting drugs, and some cancer drugs.