Don’t Suffer In Silence: Non-Pharmaceutical Remedies For Mild Depression

Depression is an illness that can strike anyone at any time. It has the power to render life almost unlivable, as you constantly struggle for motivation. Everything in life feels worthless, and any way out of the pit it creates seems impossible. It’s been estimated that one in four people will suffer a period of depression at some point in their lives – a terrifying statistic.

You can supplement 5-HTP or make dietary changes increase your intake naturally. The nutritional benefits of Tryptophan can be added to your diet with an intake of fowl – particularly duck – and red meat. If you have stomach issues, this may be less effective than supplements, but they’re good foods to eat anyway.

Image Credit: Porsche Brosseau
Image Credit: Porsche Brosseau

St John’s Wort

No one – including the medical community – is sure how St John’s Wort benefits depression. It’s one of those wives;’ tales that has spread through the generations, and many people and even doctors believe in its benefits. It is believed to, again, up the serotonin uptake in the body, though the mechanism by which it does this is not quite understood. You can take it in capsule form or just the oil from the flower as a body lotion. Be warned: do not take St John’s Wort with conventional antidepressant medications, as there is a strong risk of interaction.

Exercise

When depression strikes, The illness comes in many forms. For some, the depression is chronic and requires medical intervention. It never goes away and is more managed than ever cured. For others, it is a more acute depression often caused by circumstance. That is not to limit the impact it has, but to state that sometimes different approaches can be beneficial. There is no silver bullet, but that doesn’t mean nothing makes it better.

If you go through a period of acute depression, conventional pharmaceutical medication is not always the answer. For a start, SSRIs and similar drugs tend to take up to eight weeks to start working. With acute depression, you may already be improving by that point anyway. If you want to find ways to up your mood in other, less medicinal ways, then there are nutritional supplements that can help.

5-HTP

5-HTP is the new kid on the block when it comes to reducing depressive symptoms, but it packs quite a bunch. It’s based on the amino acid Tryptophan, which has been proven to help serotonin uptake throughout your system. A depletion of serotonin is what leads to depression, so anything that increases your reserves is going to help.

you are less likely to want to exercise. Every movement feels like an effort, and slumping on the couch and waiting for it to pass seems more useful. In actual fact, you need to get up and get moving as much as possible. Exercise creates endorphins, which are the body’s way of boosting your mood. Research has shown exercise can be as effective as antidepressant medications for mild depression. It doesn’t need to be high-impact cardio either; a gentle walk around the neighbourhood should give you the boost you need.