DIET AND FITNESS:

Depression --- Top 8 Remedies
That Help
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November 30, 2012

By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist




Everyone has a bad day once in a while, but when you are
suffering from depression it’s more than just a passing
problem – depression is more than feeling sad and
miserable, or suffering from a dose of the blues for a few
days.  Depression is not a personality flaw or a sign of your
weakness - depression is a medical illness and its symptoms
may last for weeks or months.

Are you feeling so sad you can’t face your normal activities?
Have you stopped eating properly or are eating too much?
Do you feel worthless or helpless? If so, you could be among
the 6.7 percent of Americans who suffer from major
depression (National Institute of Mental Health). Read on for
the signs of major depression and how to tell if you are
depressed. The good news is, depression is treatable. What
are the natural remedies that help treat depression? How can
you lift depression and function normally again?

Not All Depression Is the Same

We often say we are depressed when we have a boring day
at the office, or when we can’t go on a trip we planned. But
clinical depression is different from feelings of sadness,
disappointment or fatigue that come and go over time. Major
depression, also known as clinical depression and serious
depression, and chronic depression, also known as
dysthymia, are the most common types of depression and
they differ from mild depression and from “the blues”. There
are other types of depression to take into account too.

Major depression or clinical depression is categorized by the
National Institute of Mental Health as a combination of
symptoms that interfere with your ability to sleep, eat, work,
study and enjoy activities you once found pleasurable.
Clinical depression can be disabling and stops you from
functioning normally. Your mood remains depressed
throughout the day and you can’t enjoy life like you once
did. Many people can’t even get out of bed.

Chronic depression is a long-term (two years or more)
change of mood where you feel depressed but you are
generally able to function on a day-to-day basis. Bipolar
disorder or manic depression is a mood disorder that is
characterized by alternating periods of clinical depression
and extreme mania or elation. Seasonal depression (SAD) is
a form of depression that starts at the same time, in the fall
or winter, each year. Postpartum depression is experienced
by some new moms and is characterized by the development
of a major depressive episode within one month of having a
baby.

There will be times when you feel sad, lonely, miserable or
hopeless and they are often due to life’s unexpected changes
– breaking up with a partner, losing a job etc. These feelings
are a natural way of dealing with life’s lemons and most
people get through the bad times and are back on track
within a few days or weeks. But if your feelings of sadness
persist for two weeks or more, and you also have some of
the symptoms discussed below, you may have the more
serious form of clinical depression, which can only be dealt
with by medication, counseling or other alternative remedies.

What are the Symptoms of Depression?



























How do you know if you are suffering from clinical
depression or you’re just unhappy at the moment? When
your feelings of depression last for a long period of time, are
not relieved by activities that were once pleasurable, or
prevent you from leading a normal life, it is time to seek
medical help.

Clinical depression may include the following symptoms,
according to the National Institute of Mental Health:

Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, worthlessness, or
helplessness
Increased fatigue and feeling sleepy all the time
Difficulty concentrating and making decisions
Problems sleeping (either waking too early or sleeping too
much)
Loss of interest in activities you previously enjoyed,
including sex
Overeating or losing your appetite – weight gain or weight
loss
Physical aches and pains like headaches, digestive problems,
nausea or cramps
Thoughts of suicide

If you have many of these symptoms for more than a few
days you may have clinical depression. It is important to visit
a health professional because depression can and must be
treated.

As well as medication and psychotherapy there are a number
of alternative and natural remedies you can try. We have
looked at the scientific evidence to see what works to help
treat depression. Here are the Top 8 tips.

Top 8 Remedies for Depression


1. Massage Therapy to Treat Serious Depression

The soothing and relaxing effects of massage could lower
more than your stress levels, according to experts - massage
has been shown to help depression. A 2009 study from the
University of Miami Medical School demonstrated that
massage therapy for pregnant depressed women reduced
postpartum depression, and a 2008 study from Imperial
College Faculty of Medicine, London, UK showed baby
massage classes after the birth were beneficial for improving
maternal postpartum depression and also mother-baby
interaction. (
Massage also helps to reduce blood pressure-
read more.)

2.
Yoga as a Depression Remedy

Pregnant women with major depression can also benefit
from yoga therapy, according to a 2012 study from the
University of Michigan Health System. Women at high risk of
depression who were 12 to 26 weeks pregnant took part in
90-minute mindfulness yoga sessions for 10 weeks. The
women experienced great reductions in symptoms of
depression after the treatment, which included both
meditation and physical postures and wasn’t simply
“exercise” but more of a practice of being fully in the
moment. (Read more about the
Top 10 health benefits of
yoga.)

3.
St. John's Wort for Depression

One of the most well-known remedies for depression is St.
John’s Wort, a herbal supplement that has been shown to
treat mild to moderate major depression according to many
experts. A lot of studies have found St. John’s Wort to be
better than placebo at treating symptoms of depression, and
many have found the supplement to be as effective as
standard antidepressant medication.

For example, a 2008 review by the Centre for
Complementary Medicine Research, Technische Universitaet
Muenchen, Munich, Germany showed that in 29 trials St.
John’s Wort was equal to standard antidepressant
treatment. St. John’s Wort also shows promise for severe
major depression, according to a 2005 study from Charité-
Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Germany.

A warning - St. John’s Wort may interact badly with
antidepressant medication and other drugs. If you are taking
any medication you must check with your healthcare
provider before you start a course of St. John’s Wort.

4.
Does Folate Help Treat Major Depression?

Do you know whether you have folate deficiency? One clue
may be recurring bouts of depression. Experts have
suggested that people with depression may have lowered
levels of folate and that folate supplementation could help
treat symptoms of the condition, especially when the patient
hasn’t responded well to antidepressants.

A 2000 study from MRC Neuropsychiatry Laboratory, West
Park Hospital, UK looked at a combination of folate and
antidepressants and found 500 mcg of folate a day
significantly improved the effectiveness of fluoxetine
(Prozac) in female patients. Folate may also be beneficial
when taken with vitamin B12.

Foods high in folate include spinach and other dark green
leafy vegetables, pate and other liver products, the spread
called "Marmite" and sunflower seeds. (Read more about
foods that help fight depression.)

5.
Take Ginkgo as a Remedy for Depression

While gingko is mainly used to treat mental decline such as
that experienced in
Alzheimer’s disease, the supplement may
also be a beneficial depression treatment. The results of a
1990 study by Dr. F. Eckmann at Landeskrankenhaus
Schleswig, Germany showed that participants who suffered
from depression along with their dementia symptoms
significantly improved in terms of depression when they took
gingko extract.

6.
Remedying Depression with Fish Oil

Could a dose of fish oil help you if you suffer from
depression? Several studies have shown that fish oil
improves symptoms of depression, including a 2002 study
from  Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva,
Israel. This study showed that the 20 people with
depression who took fish oil supplements in combination
with standard antidepressants improved their symptoms
more than those that took antidepressants and a placebo.  

In another 2007 trial from Beaumont Hospital and The Royal
College of Surgeons in Ireland, 40 people who had
previously committed self harm and were depressed took
fish oil or placebo for 12 weeks. Those taking the fish oil
demonstrated higher levels of well-being and reduced
measures of suicide.  (Read more about the
health benefits
of fish oil.)

7.
Exercise is One Way to Treat Depression

Experts from the Institute of Sports and Preventive
Medicine, University of Saarland, Germany give a big thumbs
up to exercise as a depression treatment. In their 2000
study they found that various forms of exercise were helpful
for treating depression, including aerobic exercise, dancing,
racquetball and weight training. Being physically active in
addition to receiving standard antidepressant treatment can
work well at relieving symptoms of depression as well as
contributing to a healthier body that is better able to
withstand aches, pains and viruses. (Read more about the
health benefits of walking and how muscle mass actually
helps you fight disease.)

8.
Switch off the Computer as a Depression Treatment?

Apparently if you stay up late at night on the computer,
surfing the net or even updating your Facebook status you
have a greater risk of suffering depression, according to a
2012 study by Johns Hopkins University. It’s not just the
lack of sleep that causes problems, our exposure to bright
light at night is an issue. Exposure to light at night raises
levels of certain stress hormones, which can cause
depression and lowered brain function, according to the
researchers. Their advice is to limit your exposure to light
late at night – even from your iPad or mobile phone – and
get a good amount of sleep to prevent depression symptoms.




Related :
Foods That Fight Schizophrenia / Bipolar Disorder-
An Ideal Diet/ADHD-Causes and Top 10 Natural Remedies
/
10 Foods That Fight Depression / How Much Is Too Much
Salt? /Sugar-The Disease Connection / Are Diet Sodas Bad
for Your Health? / Ideal Breakfast for Diabetics / Ideal
Breakfast for Arthritis /Healing Foods Links /  Foods That
Shrink Your Waist / Foods That Lower Cholesterol/ VLDL-
The Other Cholesterol/ Foods That Reduce Blood Pressure

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dark green vegetables help depression
Foods high in folate such as dark green vegetables help fight depression.