If you are resistant to taking antidepressants, how do you treat depression naturally? You’ll be pleased to know that there are alternatives to taking medication for depression, and I have sought out as many treatments as possible, so you have them all in one place.
- Increase Mood
- Decrease Brain Fog
- Increase Energy
- Boost Sleep
- Remove Negative Thoughts
- Treat Aches and Pains
- Treat Depression Naturally With Self-Care
- In Conclusion
I take antidepressants, but I also do many of the things listed below to boost my mood and improve concentration; they also help to increase my energy and lessen brain fog. If you take medication for anything, check with your doctor or pharmacist first before taking any supplements, as they may interfere with how your tablets work.
The suggestions below will help you daily, and I know all too well that when you have depression you need easy things to do, so there is nothing major you have to prepare and the food suggested is not some exotic berry which costs a fortune, everything is down to earth and affordable.
I use supplements, and I recommend buying them from [AF] Piping Rock as they have virtually everything and deliver worldwide.
St. Johns Wort
A popular herbal supplement for depression, although its effects on severe depression are questionable. In some countries, a prescription is required for St. Johns Wort; it can interact with other medications. Those who take it say it helps combat their mild depression.
Its full name is 5-hydroxytryptophan and can help fight depression over a short period of time. It helps by increasing serotonin in the brain. We don’t produce tryptophan naturally, so we have to get it from food and this type of supplement.
My go-to favourite for making me feel better is CBD oil which is a food supplement and I take when my mood is extremely low; it brings me out of it slightly. It may just be the placebo effect, but I’ll take that any day of the week. I use the oil from [AF] Reakiro, but they do capsules if you don’t like the taste. Don’t worry; it won’t make you high.
As food goes, you can’t go wrong with eggs, as they contain tryptophan, which we need for serotonin production. If you don’t like the idea of taking 5-HTP, then introducing two eggs per day, they will be beneficial for you. Not only do they contain tryptophan, but they are packed with healthy nutrients, including magnesium which helps calm the mind.
Another food high in tryptophan and full of nutrients, make sure you drink a glass of milk per day, as it is also full of calcium and magnesium, which help the brain. Milk also contains vitamin D, an essential vitamin, and if we do not have enough, we can become depressed.
They are high in potassium which, if levels are too low, can cause depression. Make sure you eat a handful of raisins or dried apricots per day to get your fix of potassium.
Decrease Brain Fog
I take ginseng to give me more energy and this, in turn, helps lift brain fog. Ginseng has been used for centuries to aid concentration and focus. However, if you have bipolar, as I do, keep the dose low; otherwise, it can trip you into hypomania.
Once again, the CBD oil food supplement, not only helps me with lifting very dark moods, it can help boost my concentration levels too. I take the oil about thirty minutes before I need to write, and it helps me focus. Like I said before it may be a placebo.
Fish oil is high in Omega 3 and 6, which boosts brain function; unlike the other two, you have to take this for a few weeks to start noticing the difference, but after this time, you will find that your brain fog is not so heavy and you can think more.
I use optical illusions to get my mind working. I have several different apps on my phone which I use to boost my mental agility. Admittedly they can make your eyes go a little funny for a short while, but once that passes, I find my mind is more alert.
This is a solid medicine cabinet staple, as it can work wonders on treating depression naturally. Research shows that ginseng is a natural stimulant and can help boost your energy levels.
If you are low in iron, it can cause depression and low energy levels, so you need to correct the levels. A blood test from your doctor will tell you, or you can use a company like [AF] Vitl to do your blood test for you from the comfort of your own home, UK only.
As food goes, bananas are the power fruit; they contain potassium which is suitable for treating depression and because they are also packed with lots of other nutrients, they can boost your energy levels.
Essential Oil Citrus
I’m a firm believer in the therapeutic benefits of essential oils to create a well-balanced life. If you seek to increase your energy levels, smelling citrus oil will stimulate your brain and give you more energy.
I use Melatonin to help me sleep; it is not like a sleeping tablet where it knocks you out; it lets your body know it is time to sleep. It also doesn’t leave me with a sleep hangover. I take about twenty minutes before bedtime, and by the time I’m in bed, I’m already yawning. Melatonin is naturally found in the body and promotes sleep.
Tart Cherry Juice
High in Melatonin, it is famous as a sleep aid. Take a glassful before bed, and the effects will become apparent with half an hour or so.
Lavender Essential Oil
Another oil I love to use, Lavender, can help relax you in the evening. I use either a massage oil or place a few drops in a mist diffuser and let the aroma waft around the bedroom. When I use it in conjunction with Melatonin tablets, I am asleep in no time, and it is always a good nights sleep without waking in the middle of the night.
A drink of Kava before bedtime will help relax you and instil calmness. Famed in Hawaii as a drink for calming the mind and body, it will help you relax in no time at all. It is also said to help with depression itself.
Milk contains Melatonin, and there is truth in the old tales that a warm glass of milk before bed helps you sleep. If you are already drinking milk to help relieve depression, then make sure one of them is before bedtime so you can get some much-needed sleep to restore your brain.
Remove Negative Thoughts
If you try just one thing, let it be meditation, as it can help you relieve depressing thoughts and feelings. Admittedly it takes time, but the more you practice it, the more benefit you gain from it. There are numerous types of meditation, but the easiest is focusing on your breaths as you can do it anywhere. I also do a tea meditation as sometimes I can’t sit still.
I practice mindfulness, and it has helped me no end in removing negative thoughts. It can be tricky to get the knack of it, but once you do, it can lift the load. Try using free apps to help you learn how to practice mindfulness.
You can use an app to help relax you enough for hypnotherapy, and they will guide you through what you need to do. I practice hypnotherapy a few times per month, mainly for self-esteem and in turn, it helps remove negative thoughts.
Replace negative thoughts with positive ones; you can use cards or use your own affirmations to help replace those negative thoughts. I use the cards from [AF] Mål Paper in the mornings as I’m putting on my face cream to boost my thought process.
Treat Aches and Pains
Once again, CBD Oil can work wonders when it comes to relieving you of the symptoms of depression. I get aches and pains with depression; it feels like flu pains, but when it gets too bad, I take a few drops of CBD oil, and within an hour, I notice I am not in pain anymore. I won’t lie, it is only considered a food supplement, but then other foods work, like the ones mentioned.
Another essential oil to help with the symptoms of depression. Use rosemary as oil, don’t apply directly to the skin but add a few drops to a carrier oil such as almond and then massage into your body. The aroma will stimulate receptors in the brain and help reduce inflammation.
Feverfew is well known to help headaches and has been used for centuries; I will say it just tastes like a plant and can cause stomach upset. If you will use it, make it into a tea and add a spoonful of Manuka honey.
Well known for treating the pain caused by a toothache, but clove gel can help those aching joints. You simply rub it onto the affected area and wait for it to work. You can buy from various stores online.
Treat Depression Naturally With Self-Care
It is essential to stick to a routine, as it helps depression. I know it can be challenging to do if you are not getting enough sleep but at least make sure your mealtimes are set as then most other things will fall into place. Get yourself a journal to write your routine down, I prefer pretty ones, and I use those from [AF] Promptly Journals.
Exercise can be done in your living room, from dancing in the living room to climbing the stairs; make sure you spend at least twenty minutes every day doing some form of exercise. But if you have no energy try my easy exercises which you can do from your bed.
When we have depression, we often lose interest in things we once loved. Make sure you still try and do one of your hobbies, as this will tie you to those good times you used to enjoy and send you right back there again. Initially, you may have to force yourself to get back into your hobby, but once there, you should find enjoyment.
Don’t forget to pamper yourself with luxurious bubble baths or venture outside and get an aromatherapy massage. Or check out my 50 self-care ideas.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
I am currently studying CBT, so it is close to my heart, and I heartily recommend it for anyone trying to relieve depression. You don’t even need to leave your home to have therapy; I recommend a company called [AF] Online Therapy, and their prices start at about £23.00 per week.
If your depression has been caused by an event, you may need counselling; like the above online company, I recommend another called [AF] Calmerry. They help you by offering talking therapy to assist you through the bad times.
As the name implies, Ecotherapy is to do with the environment. You spend time outdoors and doing outdoorsy activities, ranging from gardening to hiking through a forest. Search out your local ecotherapy group and sign up for something different.
I hope these ideas will help you to feel better about yourself and improve your depression. When you treat depression naturally, it can take a little longer to feel better, but if you find your condition deteriorating, please visit your doctor or medical professional and seek guidance.