Can I treat my depression without medication?

Depression is one of the most common conditions worldwide. People may experience depression for various reasons and at different intervals in their life. Generally, the tendency to develop depression is inherited but environment, circumstances and life experiences contribute to individual expression. There are several lifestyle changes that can improve mood and an individual’s coping ability.

Diet

Sometimes nutritional deficits are partly the cause of a person’s depression. Deficits can be due to poor dietary choices, but is often related to poor absorption of nutrients. Low vitamin levels can be detected through laboratory analysis of a blood sample. Some people have problems with glucose metabolism, insulin sensitivity, or inflammation. Systemic inflammation is can affect the brain, contributing to mood changes, anxiety and depression. A number of people also have sensitivities to certain foods—a food sensitivity, not a food allergy.
Exercise
Exercise causes the release of feel-good brain chemicals that can ease depression (neurotransmitters, endorphins and endocannabinoids) and reduces immune system chemicals that can worsen depression. Regular exercise has many psychological and emotional benefits, too.
Exercise can help improve self-confidence through meeting exercise goals and challenges. Also, regular exercise can help you feel better about your appearance and take your mind off worries. Exercise is a distraction that can get you away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed anxiety and depression.

Sleep
It is important that we give our body time to rest and recover daily. Sleep is the body’s time to replenish and repair. Adequate rest equips us to handle stress, make better decisions and manage our reaction to situations. The average adult
Medication Shouldn’t Be the Default: Dr. Henry Emmons on Non-Pharmaceutical Ways to Treat Depression and Anxiety

Interview with Henry C Emmons MD Interview by David Rakel MD, FAAFP

Published in Primary Care Expert Opinion / Interview · July 12, 2016

http://www.practiceupdate.com/expertinsight/39?WebView=1&rid=MTI5MzQ2NDU4NTU5S0&lid=10332481
Depression and anxiety:exercise eases symptoms. From Mayoclinic.com. Oct. 10, 2014.

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