Recently, I read an October 2011 report from the CDC showing the use of antidepressants from the years 2005 – 2008.
“Antidepressants were the third most common prescription drug taken by Americans of all ages in 2005–2008 and the most frequently used by persons aged 18–44 years. From 1988–1994 through 2005–2008, the rate of antidepressant use in the United States among all ages increased nearly 400%,” according to the report.
I don’t know about you, but this concerns me. Has our society turned to taking medication to avoid being depressed? Are our lifestyles causing the rise in depression? There are so many factors to consider when discussing this topic. My father dealt with depression, and it is so hard to watch a loved one going through this. My heart goes out to those struggling with this situation. I hope is that I can share with you a couple of suggestions to help you or a loved one take a natural approach to dealing with depression.
Look at your diet
The first suggestion I have is to evaluate your own diet or that of the person you want to help. Depression is a known symptom of food allergies. Have you heard the term, “you are what you eat”? Consuming too many processed foods results in vitamin and mineral deficiencies that, in turn, lead to depression. Ask your doctor to test for food allergies, or try eliminating certain foods from your diet to see if this helps.
Change your tune
Music therapy can improve your mood. When you’re stressed, listening to music can relax you and help alleviate muscle tension. This has the added benefit of lowering blood pressure. Music with a strong beat can stimulate the brain waves, and a slower tempo can calm and relax a person. Music can also increase the levels of creativity and optimism. Choose a type of music you enjoy listening to and play it softly while going about your day either at home, in the car, or at work if possible.
Nothing like fresh air
Fresh air and sunshine are two more things to help improve your mood. Exposure to sunlight allows the body to process vitamin D, and deep breathing increases the oxygen levels in the brain. So, take a walk and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine while getting exercise. These will definitely help you control depression.
To a person suffering from depression, all these suggestions may seem difficult, if not impossible. Encouraging and supporting a loved one struggling with depression is the best thing you can do. Avoid criticizing, badgering, or speaking negatively to someone in this state. Encouraging words are the best form of love you can show them. I truly hope these suggestions can help you or someone you love beat depression.