Undergoing medical treatment is necessary in cases where depression is already at the moderate to severe stage. However while reliance to mood-altering medications along with psychotherapy is a must under the circumstances, clients can also do a lot to reduce some (if not all) symptoms of depression. There are things they can do in the comfort of their own home to make themselves feel better. Client participation is key to the success of any treatment program.
Depression symptoms (and their severity) can vary among individuals. Common to most are the following:
- Extreme sadness
- Sleeping problems
- Eating problems
- Confusion/lack of focus
Reducing Depression Symptoms
As the aforementioned symptoms can complicate into a major mood disorder, malnutrition and anemia, taking the steps at home to reduce these symptoms is a must.
To reduce depression at home:
- Drink a glass of fresh and pure orange juice. Oranges are a great source of Vitamin C, a vitamin found to be essential in the production of serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin is a brain chemical that affects mood. 1 to 3 grams of Vitamin C daily helps to keep serotonin levels up. Jump start your mornings with a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice.
- Enjoy the early morning sunlight. Sunlight activates the Vitamin D that is stored in the skin. Experts have found a link between Vitamin D and depression. Accordingly, depressed individuals are found to have low levels of Vitamin D in their body. During the winter months, taking Vitamin D supplements, can help individuals overcome depression.
- Do brisk-walking exercises in the morning. Energy levels are particularly low when you are depressed. Keep them up with exercise. Brisk walking is good exercise. Make sure you are properly and comfortably dressed - it builds your confidence while making you comfortable at the same time.
- Eat small but frequent meals. Don't stress your digestive system out. Eat meals that are healthy and easy to digest. Avoid sugar, especially refined sugar, but have enough protein.
- Keep your surroundings well-lighted. Dim or dark lights can further dampen your mood, but blinking and glaring lights can make you feel agitated.
- Re-organize your stuff. Putting order in your life can reduce symptoms of depression. Rearrange your furniture, sort your clothes.
- Attend a charity event or organize one. This helps to make you realize how blessed you are.
- Be around little children. The innocence of a child never fails to put a smile on someone's lips.
- Do something childlike. Go to the park, eat ice cream on a cone, ride the ferris wheel. Doing childlike things makes it easier to smile and laugh and forget about your problems.
- Get a hobby. Engage yourself in something productive. Do a cross-stitch project, write a blog, sell stuff online. These things can help you improve your focus and determination.
- Read a book, one that will give you a good laugh. Try Sophie Kinsella's books - they are, to me, an anti-depressant.
- Drink chamomile tea after dinner. Chamomile helps with digestion. It also relaxes and helps depressed individuals sleep better.
- Take a warm bath at night. Infuse your bath water with lavender oil or salt. Doing so calms the nerves, preparing you to a restful sleep.
- Take vitamin supplements. Vitamin B complex, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients your body needs to be in sufficient amounts to prevent bouts of depression. While on vitamin supplementation, avoid consuming too much sugar, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine as these can interfere with your body's ability to absorb these vitamins.