Depression is a mood altering, often crippling disease suffered by millions of adults and children every single year. Though it can be present in many different forms, the bottom line is that somewhere in our chemical makeup there has been a change or decline in our coping and feel-good chemicals. We’re sad, anxious, lost and overall – feel terrible.
Conventional medicine tells us we just need to take this drug or that drug and everything will be okay. However, what they don’t tell you is that often times the drugs they recommend don’t always work 100% and there are often more side effects than benefits. Anti-depressant side effects can range from a continuous cottonmouth to a nonexistent sex drive! Drugs for depression and anxiety like benzodiazepines can be highly addictive, for example. As Elevation Behavioral Health discusses, klonopin withdrawal can be incredibly uncomfortable and even dangerous.
Furthermore, one usually has to try many different types of drugs for several weeks before finding even a little relief.
Fortunately, there are many alternative products that we can implement into our diets along with behavioral changes that can be just as effective if not more so than the traditional medical solutions.
For starters, add a short walk everyday. Try to do this for at least 15 minutes and look up and as far into the distance as you can while you go along. This has proven to be very beneficial. Not only does the exercising itself release endorphins, providing a heightened sense of well-being but, looking faraway while you are walking also has a positive biochemical effect on your brain. It strengthens and reinforces the “signal sending and receiving pathways” every time you do it, making them more reliable as time goes by. Walking is a great way to help ourselves, whether we’re struggling with depression, bipolar disorder, or just want to take care of ourselves.
Now that you’re getting a little exercise to help stimulate your neurological pathways, you can consider adding some supplemental herbs and amino acids that will help boost your overall production of serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
Here are a few of the best:
L-Tyrosine: This is an amino acid that the Body uses to make norepinephrine and dopamine.
Tryptophan/5-HTP: This is an amino acid that the body uses to make serotonin.
Vitamin B 1: Helps energize/stimulate the pathways that the chemicals in our brains use to transport norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin.
St. John’s Wort: You have probably already heard of St. John’s Wort. It’s one of the more popular alternative medicines for depression. It works within the brain to help regulate the reabsorption of serotonin, thus, enabling the brain to circulate the existing serotonin longer – providing us with an even prolonged sense of well-being each day.
St. John’s Wort has been proven very effective and helpful with almost no side effects especially for those suffering from depression that is the result of not enough serotonin. Reduced serotonin production is often experienced during the winter time as “S.A.D” Seasonal affective disorder.
L-tyrosine, 5 -HTP, Vitamin B1, and St. John’s Wort can all be easily found at any online or local health and nutrition store.
In addition to exercise and supplementation, study after study proves that a loving pet and a lot of laughter does wonders for those suffering from long-term depression.
So take a walk down to your local pet store, walk your new dog to the nutrition store, and check out the comedy network once in a while! Sometimes, just a few simple changes in our everyday life can make all the difference.