Beyond Anti-Depressants: 8 Ways to Treat Depression Besides Medication
As helpful as anti-depressants can be, they’re not for everyone. Learn about these other ways to treat depression.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than sixteen million American adults experience clinical depression at least once a year. That comes out to be just about 7% of the United States population.
For many of those individuals, medications may be prescribed, therapy may be attended, and time helps to get them feeling better.
But for those who can’t take medication, or for those who don’t get relief from medicine, other routes have to be pursued. Fortunately, depression is nothing new to the human condition and there are many tried and true ways to regain a feeling of balance and joy in your life.
Read on to learn more ways to treat depression and start feeling like yourself again.
Deciding Whether You Have a Chemical Imbalance or Targeted Depression
Medication is a great tool, but only when you have a chemical imbalance in your brain. By prescribing medications, a doctor can align your brain chemistry to function properly allowing you to feel loved and happy again.
In much the same way a stereo speaker with faulty wiring can no longer play music, your brain’s circuits just needed to be realigned to work again.
But not everyone who has depression has a chemical imbalance. So how do you know if that’s what you’re experiencing?
If you wake up sad, think about all of the thoughts that run through your depressed mind. Do they have a cause? Is anything different than it was yesterday?
If you wake up in the morning and nothing has changed, yet you feel much sadder then you did the day before, chances are your mood is coming from an imbalance.
- Treat Imbalance with Balance
Before your mind can heal, you need to try to balance all of your body’s systems. Try to get enough sleep on a regular sleep schedule and eat all of the vitamins you need every day.
Also, drink plenty of water and get enough sun for Vitamin D. By creating balance in your body, your brain will be able to focus on healing itself.
- Get Yourself a Support Circle
When you have depression, your support circle shouldn’t just be your friends and family members. You need to find people who can help you learn and grow to understand yourself and your feeling better.
Try to find a great therapist or meet some friends in a support group that are working toward the same goals as you.
- Remove Unsupported Individuals from Your System
As we mentioned, friends and family are not always the best contenders for your support system. This is because they often have a lot of opinions and attitudes about you that can cloud your own thinking.
Don’t allow people to fill your head with their own insecurities and hesitations, make sure you surround yourself with individuals who support all of your decisions.
- Work Towards YOUR Happiness
Too many people claim they want to be happy but instead of working towards their happiness, they work for what other people tell them will make them happy.
If the guy next store is thrilled because he just bought himself a new Camero, that doesn’t mean you should go out and get yourself one as well. Instead, you should see his joy not with envy but with love and search your heart for what would bring you that kind of joy.
If you head out to the car lot and spend the money on a Camero, once the thrill of being able to keep up with your neighbor wears off, you’re just stuck with a big bill and the threat of your car being damaged when with the same money you could have bought yourself a boat, renovated your kitchen, or taken a trip to Europe.
- Get Enough Exercise
Exercise is one of the easiest ways to bust depression, once you get out of bed. The hardest part is getting yourself up and moving.
I’m sure many of people have told you the importance of exercise before and you might be rolling your eyes over this tip. But I’m not suggesting you try to force yourself into a gym routine and start becoming hypercritical of your exercise regimen.
Just get outside and start moving. Go for a walk. Head to the swingset while the kids are in school and take a quiet swing. Check out your local swimming pool and relax your mind doing laps. Find a way to make moving your body feel pleasure, don’t look for an activity that feels like torture.
- Take Care of Your Health and Home
Without a healthy body and home, it’s almost impossible to stay on track and productive. Try to put your body in the best place it can be by staying in shape, eating well, and taking care of your hair and skin.
The more you let yourself and your home go, the further into depression you will fall. If you can just start trying to tidy things up slowly, it will help you break the cycle.
- Treat Yourself – Seriously, Do It
“Treat yourself!” has become a popular mantra for people who want to indulge in the finer things in life without guilt. You should be one of these people.
While you may have been taught to sacrifice for your future self and those around you, recognize that your life is now and give yourself the things you want. Manifest your desires, you deserve it.
- Live in the Moment
Many people face anxiety about the future and regret about the past. They spend most of their present time ruminating over all the mistakes they have made and places they might go wrong in the future.
But the only moment that is real is the one your living now. Don’t waste time feeling sorry for what happened yesterday or putting things off until tomorrow. Decide to be happy now, just how you are and commit to making progress one day at a time. Make today better than yesterday.
Other Ways to Treat Depression
While there are many ways to treat depression, finding the right support system to get on track is key. At Blair Wellness Group, we work hard to ensure our patients get the dedicated care they need to feel better. Contact us today for an appointment.