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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Anxiety

  
Worried that you worry too much? Everyone worries or gets scared sometimes. But feeling extremely worried or afraid much of the time, or repeatedly feel panicky, may be signs of an anxiety disorder.

Anxiety disorders include panic attacks, post-traumatic stress disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. They are among the most common mental illnesses, affecting roughly 40 million American adults. A person has an anxiety disorder if she or he has persistent worry for more days than not, for at least several months. Some people with anxiety feel they have always been worriers, even since childhood or adolescence. In other people, anxiety comes on suddenly, triggered by a crisis or a period of stress, such as the loss of a job, a family illness, the death of a relative, or other tragedy.

Numerous therapies can help control anxiety. These include psychotherapy and medication, ideally supported by good nutrition, sleep, and regular exercise. People who are anxious tend to reach for unhealthy “comfort” food—and then worry about it. Or they completely avoid food, skipping meals or even fasting—and worry that something is wrong, such as an undiagnosed cancer. Healthy eating can avoid these anxiety triggers.

Not getting enough sleep can boost a person’s anxiety level. On the flip side, getting enough sleep can help control stress and anxiety. So can getting regular exercise—aim for 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five days a week.

Taken from http://www.health.harvard.edu/topics/anxiety

Try this to decrease stress and improve well being

Try Mindfulness to Improve Your Well-being (Slideshow)

Bev Knox Video Commentary on Stress. How to Identify, Categorize, Cope and/or Eliminate Stress in YOUR Life before it Turns into Depression!

Listening to music is helpful for me!

Stress is a normal physical response to events that make you feel threatened or upset your balance in some way. One common reaction is the fight or flight reaction.

The cognitive symptoms include memory lapse, inability to concentrate, poor judgment, seeing only negatively view, having anxious or racing thoughts, and constant worrying. The emotional symptoms include moodiness, irritability, agitation, overwhelmed feelings, senses of loneliness and isolation, depression or general unhappiness.  Physical symptoms include aches and pains, diarrhea or constipation and a decrease in sex drive.  The behavioral symptoms include eating more or less, sleeping too much or little, isolating you from others, procrastinating or neglecting responsibility, abusing alcohol, cigarettes, or drugs to relax and creating nervous habits (Feldman, 2006).

The relationship between stress and depressed mood go hand in hand because a lot of stress whether it’s a good stress or bad stress can create depression.  The acts of neglecting…

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