Depression is not to be taken lightly. If you suffer from it often, getting professional treatment is necessary. If you don't, you run the risk of getting into a more serious mental disorder that can make you lose yourself or even your life. More specifically, untreated depression can lead to:
- Heart problems.
- Alcohol and substance abuse.
- Impaired relationships.
- Suicidal tendencies.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
The earlier you seek treatment, the better. But how do you know when is the right time to do that? Answer the following questions to help you decide:
- Do you tend to eat more or less?
- Are you losing or gaining weight?
- Is there a significant loss of interest in things you normally have fun doing?
- Are there changes in your sleeping pattern? Do you have difficulty sleeping or do you find yourself oversleeping?
- Do feel persistently low, hopeless, worthless? Are these feelings accompanied by thoughts of suicide?
If you answer yes to all these questions, get professional help at once. A specialist will run some more tests to arrive at a diagnosis and then he/she will come up with the treatment plan that will be appropriate to your case. Usually a combination of psychotherapy and medications is recommended.
If you want to help with your treatment, you can ask your doctor about natural therapies to ease some symptoms of depression. There are mind-and-body practices that appear to offer relief from symptoms, just like:
- Yoga. Yoga is essentially an exercise of the mind. It involves a variety of poses and breathing exercises to boost the levels of serotonin and other brain chemicals responsible in controlling mood, while at the same time reducing the stress-hormone cortisol. Yoga is also intended to create balance between your emotions and physical self. Practicing yoga helps to clear the body of negativities and so at the end of the session, one usually feels contentment, joy and peace.
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture is one of the oldest alternative treatments that dates to as far back as 2,000 years. It involves the insertion or penetration of needles into the anatomical points on the body to treat various medical conditions. Accordingly, the procedure has a positive effect on the brain chemicals serotonin and dopamine. Pregnant women who cannot take antidepressants (or any medicines for that matter) may rely on acupuncture to control their depressive state.
- Acupressure. Acupressure is a simplified version of acupuncture. It's not invasive because you don't insert needles to stimulate anatomical points; rather you simply use your hands to press on the acupoints to balance your emotions. Unlike acupuncture that has to be done by a specialist, acupressure can be done by you. Try these for a start to relieve yourself of depression:
- Deliver acupressure to your foot (specifically on the area below the ball of your foot) using your hands or a hairbrush. Do this for five minutes.
- With your fingers or an aide of a wooden comb, deliver moderate pressure to your scalp, starting from the center line of your scalp out to both sides, and then brush along from your forehead up to where your hairline ends.
- Massage. Getting an ear or a chest massage helps with depression greatly. Next time you are hit with the blues, try pulling your ears in all directions while taking slow and deep breaths at the same time or gently rub your chest.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Vitamins For Depression
Along with these, ask your doctor about taking Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Vitamins for depression. Omega-3 Fatty Acids are essential fatty acids which improve brain function and development, while certain vitamins like Vitamin B-complex, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D, are said to raise the levels of the "feel-good" brain chemicals.