In a given year, about 16.2 million Americans—or 6.7% of the population—have experienced at least one major depressive episode. The majority of people who suffer from depression do not seek treatment even though treatment is available and can be effective. If you experience depression symptoms such as persistent feelings of sadness, difficulty concentrating, and lack of motivation, seek professional assistance as soon as possible.
Some natural remedies
According to many studies, there are a variety of natural remedies that can be useful for alleviating depression. Talk to a physician before using natural remedies and supplements. Bear in mind that depression is best treated by a mental care professional and delaying or avoiding standard care can lead to severe health consequences.
Here’s a list of natural options.
1. St. John’s Wort
Scientifically referred to as Hypericum perforatum, the St. John’s Wort herb is a long-established folk remedy for worry, sadness, poor sleep, and nervousness. Many clinical trials show that the herb works for mild to moderate depression. It is, however, ineffective for major depressive disorder.
Full effects are noticed after four to six weeks. Side effects of the St. John’s Wort include a dry mouth, dizziness, fatigue, and indigestion. It also increases photosensitivity so make sure your eyes and skin are well-protected from sunlight when using the herb.
Furthermore, the herb can inhibit the effectiveness of over-the-counter and prescription medication such as anti-retroviral drugs, antidepressants, oral contraceptives, and drugs aimed at preventing organ rejection for patients waiting to receive a transplant. St. John’s is discouraged for children, pregnant women and people suffering from kidney disease, liver disease, and bipolar disorder.
2. Cannabidiol (CBD)
CBD can be an effective remedy for depression. Even though it doesn’t cure the depression, it’s been associated with an improvement in the symptoms.
Endocannabinoids (the cannabinoids produced in our body) help to regulate many bodily functions, including appetite, sleep, pain sensation, and mood. The substances work by binding to specific receptors in brain cells, which in turn enhances the function of serotonin, itself a brain chemical that helps reduce stress and improve your mood.
Like endocannabinoids, serotonin works by binding to certain receptors that launch a chain reaction in the brain, which in turn stimulates the mechanisms for stress control and improvement of mood.
It’s been found that CBD helps improve depressive symptoms by regulating the effects of endocannabinoids and enhancing serotonin function by facilitating the activity of the serotonin receptors.
Among the most effective and affordable ways of improving your mood is exercise, which can be easily incorporated into your treatment plan. Aerobic exercises in particular result in the reduction of stress hormones and the release of mood-uplifting chemicals.
When deciding which type of exercise to do, give preference to exercise that you enjoy and can commit to, be it purchasing membership at a gym, going for salsa classes, gardening, playing a sport, or even taking a brisk walk around your neighborhood every evening or morning for at least 30 minutes.