Home Medications and Treatments for Depression
Depression is one of the most common emotional disorders. Depression is when a person is unable to cope with emotional or physical stress. Depression is a normal reaction when coping with a sense of loss, disappointment, rejection, and life struggles. Most people recover from this, but for some people these feelings are lifelong and life-altering.
Alternative names - Blues; Dejection; Discouragement; Gloom; Mood changes; Sadness; down in the dumps
Jump to - symptoms, causes , Treatment, Other suggestions
Common symptoms of depression:
- Depressed mood most of the day
- Notably decline interest in all or most of the activities, which used to be fun
- Increased or decreased appetite leading to weight gain or loss
- Sleep disorders, typically insomnia and oversleeping, better known as Hypersomnia
- Psychomotor agitation or impediment
- Decreased energy or tiredness
- Feelings of inefficiency, loss of enthusiasm
- Inability to concentrate or limited attention span
- Thoughts of death, suicide, or self-mutilation
- Impotency or decreased libido
- Recurring thought of death or suicide, with the expressed desire to be dead is a very serious symptom of depression.
Most feelings of depression are a reaction to an unhappy event. It is natural to have some feelings of sadness after a loss such as the death of a relative, or after a major disappointment at home or at work. Depression is more prevalent in women than men and is especially common among adolescents.
Mild depression comes and goes and is characterized by downheartedness, sadness, and dejection. Short-term episodes of depression or other mood changes can occur with hormone changes, including those that accompany pregnancy or premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and those occurring shortly after the birth of a baby (postpartum "blues"). Sleep disruption and lack of sunlight during the winter months are other biological factors that can precipitate depressive symptoms.
Common causes of Depression:
- Family history of depression
- Loss of a friend or relative
- Substantial disappointment, marital or relationship,financial strain, unemployment or underemployment
- Prolonged or chronic illness or pain
- Medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism, cancer, or hepatitis
- Drugs such as tranquilizers, high blood pressure medications, steroids (prednisone), codeine, and indomethacin
- Alcohol intoxication or withdrawal
- Drug intoxication or withdrawal
- Inadequate social assistance
For mild depressive symptoms, improving health habits to provide adequate and regular sleep and good nutrition may bring relief. Regular exercise is also helpful. Decreasing the use of alcohol and other drugs is also recommended, since these can aggravate depressive symptoms. Involvement in healthy pleasures such as recreation and creative activities, and staying involved with family and friends helps to lift a person's mood.
If you recognize that you are chronically pessimistic and self-critical, self-help workbooks to combat depressive thinking may be helpful. These usually involve a program of exercises to identify distorted perceptions and substitute more realistic ones. But when you or a loved one cannot shake these feelings within a few weeks or with help from sources above mentioned, you may need to contact your doctor, because you may be suffering from major depression.
Apple is one of the most valuable remedies for mental depression. The various chemical substances present in this fruit such as vitamin B1, phosphorus, and potassium help the synthesis of glutamic acid, which controls the wear and tear of nerve cells. The fruit should be taken with milk and honey. This remedy will act as a very effective nerve tonic and recharge the nerves with new energy and life.
The cashewnut is another valuable remedy for general depression and nervous weakness. It is rich in vitamins of the B group, especially thiamine, and is therefore useful in stimulating the appetite and the nervous system. It is also rich in riboflavin, which keeps the body active, cheerful, and energetic.
The root of asparagus has been found beneficial in the treatment of depression. It is highly nutritious and is used as an herbal medicine for mental disorders. It is a good tonic for the brain and nerves. One or two grams of the powder of the dry root of the plant can be taken once daily.
The use of cardamom has proved valuable in depression. Powdered seeds should be boiled in water and tea prepared in the usual way. A very pleasing aroma is added to the tea, which can be used as a medicine in the treatment of this condition.
The herb lemon balm has been used successfully in the treatment of mental depression. It alleviates brain fatigue, lifts the heart from depression, and rises the spirits. A cold infusion of the balm taken freely is reputed to be excellent for its calming influence on the nerves. About thirty grams of the herb should be placed in half a liter of cold water and allowed to stand for twelve hours. The infusion should then be strained and taken in small doses throughout the day.
An infusion of rose petals should be prepared by mixing 15 gm of rose petals in 250 ml of boiling water. If drunk occasionally, instead of the usual tea and coffee, it is beneficial for treating this condition.
Diet has a profound effect on the mental health of a person. Even a single nutritional deficiency can cause depression in susceptible people. Nutritional therapy builds up brain chemicals, such as serotonin and norepinephrine that affect the mood and are often lacking in depressed people. Eating foods rich in vitamin B, such as wholegrains, green vegetables, eggs, and fish helps restore vitality and cheer in an individual.
1. Eliminating food allergies. Certain foods seem to be more likely to aggravate depression. Removing these foods from the diet is a good way to determine if one or several of them are responsible for the problem. The main problem foods are dairy products (including milk, cheese, ice cream), eggs, wheat, corn, and sugar.
After eliminating all of those foods from the diet, and the symptoms have gone away, one food at a time can be reintroduced to see if the symptoms reoccur. A new food would be introduced each week. If you need more information, refer to the article on Food sensitivities.
2. Caffeine can bring on anxiety, nervousness, and irritability as well as depression. Decrease or eliminate consumption of caffeine, found mostly in coffee, black tea, chocolate, and some over-the-counter medications.
3. As much as possible, avoid sugar foods such as candy, cake, cookies, and refined carbohydrates such as white flour products.
4. Be sure to get enough high-quality protein. Replace red meat with fish and chicken as much as possible, and include beans, nuts, and seeds in your diet.
A person suffering from depression can overcome it by being more active, turning away from himself, and diverting his attention towards other people and things. The pleasure of achieving something overcomes distress or misery. Exercise also plays an important role in the treatment of depression. It not only keeps the body physically and mentally fit, but also provides recreation and mental relaxation. It is nature's best tranquilizer. Exercise also tones up the body, provides a feeling of accomplishment, and reduces the sense of helplessness.
The patient must also learn the art of relaxation and meditation, which will go a long way in curing depression. He must gain control over his nervous system and channelise his mental and emotional energies into restful activities. This can be achieved by ensuring sufficient rest and sleep under quiet conditions. Meditation will help create a balance in the nervous system. This will enable the hormonal glands to return to a correct state of hormonal balance and thereby overcome the feeling of depression.
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