Water as a natural remedy for depression

One of the most effective but often overlooked natural remedies for depression is water. Water makes up 60% of our body, and over 70% of our brain tissue. It is the most essential nutrient for the human body and brain, so it is logical that a deficiency in water can lead to all kinds of medical issues, including depression-like symptoms. Unfortunately, many individuals seem to take water for granted and do not consider it when getting depression help and trying to overcome their feelings of being depressed.

Whenever people have common ailments or symptoms of illnesses such as fever and flu, the basic advice given by their doctor is to “get plenty of rest and drink lots of water”. Most people follow the first instruction and get their adequate rest, but for some reason place less importance on drinking enough water.

How much is enough water? You might have heard of the recommendation to drink 8 glasses of water daily. This is a myth. It does not take into account your environment (the hotter the area you live in, the more water you need), your gender, physical size and your activity levels. Bigger-sized individuals and pregnant or nursing women will need more water than others when trying to fight depression. Continue reading

The usefulness of online forums in fighting depression

The importance of a support system

As we have mentioned time and again in previous posts, support from friends and family can make a huge difference to someone dealing with depression. However, not everyone is blessed with having a strong support system. This could even be a reason for succumbing to the illness in the first place. In addition, some people are more introverted than others and naturally prefer to be alone.

Nevertheless, it cannot be denied that man is a social animal. The company and the understanding of others, even if it’s just one other person, is comforting to most people. Without that company, the depressive disorder becomes almost inevitable as you isolate yourself further and further from society.

Online web forums

This is why online web forums are GREAT resource tools for people trying to fight or overcome your feelings of being depressed. You can seek out help for your clinical depression and vent out your feelings and frustrations there anonymously and know that the people there actually understand your feelings of pain, anger, sadness or even nothingness. You don’t have to worry about people judging you on such forums. Continue reading

Depression during pregnancy

Depression during pregnancy or antepartum depression is a relatively common occurrence and can be dealt with if the right steps are followed. One in every ten women faces this condition. Pregnant women who have been depressed before face a higher risk of suffering from depression again during this time.

The rapid increases in levels of pregnancy hormones at the beginning of a pregnancy and imbalance in brain chemistry make one prone to depression. This can pose risks for the mother and the baby. There is a range of treatments available such as therapy, support groups and medication.

What causes depression during pregnancy?

Estrogen and progesterone are two main hormones that could be the main culprits, as they are the hormones responsible for mood swings. There are two main variants of depressive disorder: mild and major. The mild variant is when the person can go about their day-to-day activities but they don’t feel good about themselves and don’t always function optimally. Major or clinical antepartum depression, a condition more severe, affects the person’s ability to work and go about daily activities.

What are the risks of depression during pregnancy?

If depression during pregnancy goes untreated, then both the pregnant mother and child can be at risk. Such risks include pre-eclampsia, poor weight gain, unhealthy eating habits, use of drugs or alcohol in an attempt to self-medicate, or even suicide. There has even been recent insights that this condition can be a factor causing asthma in children.

Mothers who suffer from depressive disorder are not capable of taking care of themselves and have difficulty bonding with their baby. Babies who are born to depressed mothers have an increased chance of being born prematurely or having low birth weight. These babies also have a tendency to be more irritable, relatively less active, and less attentive as compared to other babies.

depression during pregnancyDepression during pregnancy can be spotted by watching out for typical symptoms portrayed by the mom-to-be. She may be having trouble sleeping, sleeping too much, lacking interest, having feelings of guilt, showing loss of energy, having difficulty concentrating, showing changes in appetite, showing restlessness or contemplating ideas about suicide. It’s difficult to accurately diagnose the condition because the symptoms are very similar to what a normal pregnant woman may otherwise be feeling (otherwise known as the baby blues). But if the woman is feeling upset or showing the above symptoms for more than 2 weeks at a time, it would be wise to seek professional help. Medications and antidepressants may be prescribed by your doctor to treat the depressive mood disorder.

To help the pregnant mom-to-be keep the feelings of hopelessness at bay, the most essential thing a partner can do is to show love and support. Give her protective care and make her feel like the most special woman in the world. If you are the one suffering from the ailment, exercise is another way to keep yourself feeling active and healthy. Ask your physician about which exercises suit you best and work out every day for at least 30mins. Yoga is a good option as it relaxes the body as well as the mind. Reading positive books is another solution. Whether it’s a religious text or just something you like, they will help uplift your mood and keep you happy.

Keep in mind that antepartum depression is a cause of concern no matter how minor, and should be treated as soon as possible for the well-being of the baby and the pregnant mother. Consult your doctor about the best ways to overcome depression during pregnancy or antepartum depressive disorder in a manner that is healthy and suits your body.

How to help someone with depression

Are you wondering how to help someone with depression? This can seem a daunting task, but just a little bit of help from you can turn out to be crucial for the person who is depressed. Depression is typically accompanied by isolation, so a supportive family member or a good friend has a chance of making a big difference. But at times even a concerned friend is at a loss about what to do.

How to help someone with depression: Educating yourself

First of all, know what you’re dealing with. Educate yourself on what depression really is about and what its symptoms, causes and treatments are, so that you’ll able to help the person you care about better. Go to the library, pick up a book or even look up resources online (obviously what you’re doing now!). What symptoms of depression are present? Is it just the blues, a mood swing, or true clinical depression? What type of depression is it? Is it bipolar disorder, major depression, seasonal depression? Is it an illness or a disease? How is the mental health of the person affected? Is it just all in the mind?

It’s essential that you know what to look for when you’re trying to help your friend or family member. While you’re learning how to help someone with depression, educate them as well. Give them the information they need to help themselves. Pick up a book on depression and give it to them or maybe take them to a seminar on depression in your local area. You and your friend or family member could attend together, and he’ll be sure that he has the support he needs from you.

Secondly, encourage your loved one  to identify the reason that they are feeling depressed. Tell them that talking about it and sharing their feelings can help them get it out of their system and that they can trust you to understand. Tell them that it will be beneficial for them to go see a psychiatrist or a psychologist but don’t force them into it if they don’t want to. Take it one day at a time and slowly build the steps towards recovery.

How to help someone with depression: Offering help and support

how to help someone with depression: offering supportProvide the depressed person with practical help. For example, when they have to go for a therapy session, you could offer to babysit or maybe even give them a ride. Accompany them to the doctor, take note of any prescribed medication, then try to make sure they actually take the medication.

But the best answer to “how to help someone with depression” is to offer support. Ask them if they’d like you to go along with them for the therapy sessions, especially when they’re going for the first time. Knowing that there is someone is by their side and knowing that they can trust you goes a long way towards recovery. The person who is depressed also needs to engage in more group activities; you could offer to take a trip to together or maybe even join exercise classes together to give him or her company. They may be reluctant because the depression makes them weak and unmotivated, but firmly insist to them that it’s a good idea and that it will help them feel better about themselves.

When you’re faced with the question of how to help someone with depression, the most important thing you can do is to never give up hope. It may feel like they don’t want your help or that they can’t seem to snap out of it (don’t tell them to do this, because they truly can’t) but don’t get discouraged. Don’t criticize them or further lower their self-esteem because a person dealing with depression already has an overly critical attitude towards him or herself. With the right kind of support and treatment, your friend or family member could have a chance at a normal, happy, and productive life in spite of the fact that they are vulnerable to depression. Learning how to help someone with depression is not easy, but do not give up on your loved one.

Natural remedies for depression

Natural remedies for depression are preferred to prescribed medication by some people, as they believe such remedies don’t harm the body, or perhaps they have tried medication which simply did not work for them.

Depression symptoms include a feeling of being lost, lack of energy, lack of interest, inexplicable sadness, change in eating habits, change in sleeping patterns, agitation and irritability. If any of these symptoms of depression occurs for longer than 2 weeks, you should first consult a doctor to confirm the depression condition.

If you’re already taking prior medication for depression, then you should take advice from a doctor before switching over to home remedies.

Natural remedies for depression: You are what you eat

Ultimately, nutrition plays a huge role in how we feel. Food is the fuel for our body and our mind. Just as you would physically feel weak if you don’t eat enough, you will mentally feel weak and eventually succumb to depression if you don’t maintain a good and healthy diet. Remember this adage: “You are what you eat”. So take extra effort in watching what you are eating.

Take light foods that are easy to digest, and avoid spicy oily foods. In addition, restrain yourself from eating too much meat or dairy products during the times that you feel depressed.

If you are not on one already, you should go on a diet that includes lots of vegetable and fruits. Avoid chocolates and caffeine because although they may provide a temporary boost, they are not a healthy option in the long run.

Vitamin C is an anti-depressant and one of the best natural remedies for depression, so you should eat foods that give you this particular vitamin in abundance such as oranges and lemons.

Another touted natural anti-depressant is Omega-3 fatty acids, which you can find in fish oil supplements.

Water as a natural remedy for depression

Water: the source of life. Your body can survive weeks or even months without food but only days without water. Water is arguably the most essential nutrient for our bodies. Getting enough clean drinking water is definitely a key role in maintaining the balance in our body and our brain. Most people know this, at least theoretically. It is thus surprising that so many people ignore this very basic natural remedy for all kinds of ailments including depression, and are essentially slightly or moderately dehydrated most of the time throughout their entire lives.

The most reliable way to know that you are getting enough water is to examine your urine color and smell. Pale, straw-colored urine with just a slight tinge of odor is what healthy individuals should aim for. A dark yellow color accompanied with a severely strong odor indicates that you should drink more plain water and not, for example, fruit juices, soft drinks, coffee, etc. A sweet odor could indicate something very wrong in your body. On the other hand, pure colorless urine means you are drinking more than enough, or perhaps too much. Besides the inconvenience of having to go to the restroom every few minutes, this is not normally a cause for worry. Note that pregnancy and some medication or even multivitamin tablets could cause harmless changes and even odor in urine color. If you are concerned, always check with your doctor.

Natural treatment for depression – Keeping active

Other than nutrition, one of the most commonly suggested natural depression treatments is this: you should exercise regularly to keep yourself active as well as to increase your energy levels and regulate your brain chemicals. It will keep you mentally as well as physically fit.

Don’t like exercising? Try starting off slow. If you are cooping yourself up at home all day, make the effort to get outside once in a while. Indulge yourself in activities that make you happy and participate in social gatherings. You may be reluctant at first, but you will feel much better once you try.

Keeping active is definitely one of the best and most highly recommended natural remedies for depression. You can take up dancing classes, yoga, hiking or gardening. If such physical activities are not “your thing”, then busy your mind instead by picking up new hobbies or crafts such as drawing, singing, playing a musical instrument, and so on.

Natural depression treatment – Volunteering

A great way to combat depression naturally is to help others. Volunteer work is a great way to not only keep yourself active, but to focus your thoughts away from your pain and towards others’ instead. This can even be the push you need to gain new perspective on perceived evils and suffering in the world.

You can even just start online instead of physically helping others. Reach out to others requiring help online, be it in forums or question-and-answer sites. You can start a blog to share what you have learned in your journey to overcome depression, which can help others. Or write funny stories, inspiring poems or motivational songs which help express your creativity and can assist others in overcoming their depression.

Herbal natural remedies for depression

St. John's Wort: One of the most popular herbal natural remedies for depression, available on Amazon.com
There are also some herbal remedies that have been proven to be effective to curb depression. One of the most popular ones is St. John’s Wort, which is typically used as a remedy for both mild depression and anxiety.

Ashwagandha is an herb that has properties to remove negative thoughts from the mind, and is effective in reducing stress. Cardamom is also used for relieving stress and depression. Its odor is known to soothe the nerves, so you can either just smell it or make tea using this herb. Another herb that is used commonly in the natural remedies for depression is Brahmi. The oil from this herb relaxes the mind and cools it down. If used regularly, it can go a long way in lifting your mood and keeping you from feeling depressed.

Thinking positively

Instead of focusing on what you don’t have or have lost, try to focus on what you do have or have achieved. This includes simple things such as having or gaining the ability to walk, the ability to type, the ability to see or hear the beauty of the world and its sounds.

If you stick to a healthy diet and are exercising regularly or at least keeping active on a daily basis, positive thoughts will naturally be easier to attain and maintain. Thinking positively is not easy, but keep in mind that being happy is ultimately a choice that one has to, and CAN make, regardless of one’s circumstances. The human mind is a powerful thing; never forget that.

All in all, natural cures for depression can be a viable alternative to medication, especially for mild to moderate depression. They are less likely to harm your system and their effects are typically more long-lasting. In addition, natural depression remedies have minimal side effects that can hamper you from going about your day to day life, unlike some antidepressants or drugs. Be sure to consult your doctor before usage so that such alternative depression treatments don’t react adversely with your current medication or allergies, or to make sure that your prior course of medication is completed before you switch to natural remedies for depression.

Dealing with depression

Dealing with depression can seem an insurmountable task to tackle. Depression has a tendency to take away your hope and energy, making it hard for you to do things that will make you feel better about yourself. Overcoming depression is not a simple task, but it’s not completely impossible.

While the causes of depression are varied, immense sadness, loss and anxiety are commonly associated with depression. Anyone who displays symptoms of depression for more than 2 weeks is typically diagnosed as suffering from clinical depression.

Dealing with depression through sheer determination?

Sheer determination alone won’t be enough, but with the limited control that you have, you’ll be able to overcome depression no matter how severe and stubborn it may be. Sometimes a simple lifestyle change is all it takes, like exercise, emerging from isolation or maybe just eating healthily. Feeling better about oneself can take time, but getting there is so much easier if you make the right choice and tap into your support circle.

Other times, especially in cases of clinical depression and especially major depression, medication and psychotherapy can help immensely. Turning to natural antidepressants can work too, especially if the side effects of prescribed medication become too much to bear.

The most important thing to remember when dealing with depression is to start with a few small goals and take it slowly from there. Make the most of whatever resources are available to you. You may lack energy but you should have enough to make a phone call to a friend or to just take walk around the block. You should take one day at a time and reward yourself for the progress that you make. Small steps might not seem to make much difference but they quickly add up to make you feel better about yourself. You might wonder why you should waste your energy on all of this when you really can’t be bothered to deal with any of it to start with, but stick to the small recovery steps and you’ll get back a lot a more in return.

Dealing with depression: What you can do

dealing with depressionFirst of all, support is the most important factor in dealing with depression. Even though the thought of reaching out to family and friends may seem a bit overwhelming at the moment, you must remember that they love you and care for you and will always want to help you. Share what you’re going through with them. You might have drifted away from some of your most treasured relationships, but these are the people who can get you through this tough time in your life.

Secondly, don’t excessively isolate yourself from social activities. It might feel like the right thing to retreat into your own little shell, especially if you are an introvert at heart, but being around people who care will help you feel less depressed. These social activities need not be with a large group; even a single social activity with just one stranger is a help.

Next, you can do things that you used to enjoy and had fun doing. Make a list of things that boost your mood, such as reading a good book or taking a long, hot bath. You might not want to do these things initially, but you’ll feel a whole lot better by the time you’re done. More importantly, aim to get around 8 hours of sleep. Depression can play with your sleeping cycle to either make you sleep too much or too little. Practicing relaxation techniques can also go a long way in dealing with depression. Techniques like yoga, deep breathing or meditation help the mind to relax and think positively.

Join a support group and seek counseling to prevent the depression from worsening or returning. Dealing with depression is a tough thing to do but having someone to reach out to, even a complete stranger, in your stages of recovery helps a lot.