How to Treat Depression Naturally

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Mild depression, which includes symptoms of hopelessness, sadness and lack of motivation, can be naturally treated with various supplements or environmental and lifestyle changes.

Things You'll Need

  • Phototherapy light
  • St. John's Wort
  • Vitamin supplements

Instructions

  1. Get out of the house and get moving. Depression can often be caused or worsened by not getting enough physical exercise. Plan to spend time walking every day. Also consider riding a bike or joining a gym. Aim for 30 minutes of physical exercise 4 to 5 times a week. Exercise has been clinically proven to increase production of seratonin, a chemical in the brain that creates a sense of satisfaction and happiness.

  2. Try taking an herbal supplement. St John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum) is available at many drug stores over the counter and is fairly inexpensive. It has been clinically proven to treat mild forms of depression effectively. It may take up to 8 weeks to feel results. St John's Wort is taken orally once per day.

  3. Spend some time in the sun. Seasonal depression during the winter has been linked to lack of sunlight. There are lamps available for a modest cost at hardware stores that are about 5 times brighter than an office light. These lamps can simulate the sun's bright light during the winter. This type of treatment is known as phototherapy.

  4. Speak with your friends and family about how you are feeling. Loneliness is one of the symptoms of depression. While it may be difficult to open up your feelings at first, it gets easier the more that you talk about it. Therapists will help you discover the root of your depression so you can make natural adjustments to your lifestyle.

  5. Change your diet. Depression has been linked to vitamin deficiencies. Vitamin C, as well as vitamins B1, B6 and B12 are important for the body to naturally treat depression. Consider taking vitamin supplements, which can be inexpensive, or possibly changing your diet to include more vitamin-rich vegetables and fruits.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure to check the ingredients for any supplement you buy. Some natural medicines may contain ingredients that could cause an allergic reaction in some people.
  • A drastic change from an inactive lifestyle to one that incorporates daily exercise may make your body sore at first. Slowly implement an exercise schedule and don't be afraid to take a mild pain killer for muscle soreness during the first few weeks.
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