Natural Remedies for Depression

Everyone feels “down in the dumps” occasionally, but if you find this occurring frequently or beginning to interfere with your ability to live a productive life, you may be suffering from an actual medical condition known as clinical depression.

Mental health experts advise that that tens of millions of regular individuals are diagnosed with depression every year.

There are a multitude various medications prescribed to treat this condition, but there are also a number of natural remedies for depression as well.

It is unfortunate that the majority of those  afflicted do not seek the help they need.  Herbal remedies as well as medications prescribed by a doctor can make drastic improvements.

An important distinction to make is how severe is your depression.  Life’s challenges such as the death of a relative, illness, marital breakdown and job loss can all bring with them feelings of extreme sadness.  This is normal and people generally bounce back as more time passes since the event.  But if you are feeling these extreme emotions and unable to link them to a specific event or if they are getting in your way of functioning on a day to day basis then there is something more significantly wrong and you should seek help.

Intense feelings of hopelessness lasting several weeks is one of the symptoms of depression.  Major depression can be sincerely debilitating, lasting weeks, months and longer.  Interest is lost in things that previously were fulfilling as well as basic functions such as working, eating and personal care.

Dysthmia, while less sever is another form of depression where you feel like you living under a very heavy weight.  You still meet your obligations but do so without a feeling of fulfillment.

Both of the above bring about a significantly lowered quality of life.  Many of the depression remedies available can alleviate the symptoms bring more happiness to your life.  These treatments do not necessarily have bad side-effects either.

St. John’s wort is possibly the most famous herbal treatment for depression.  Clinical studies have shown that it is effective in relieving anxiety improving depression.  Side-effects of the natural remedy are very rare.  The key here is to give the herb 4-6 weeks for the full effects to take hold.

SAM-e (S-adenosyl-L-methionine) or sammy as it is affectionately called, is known to increase levels of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine.  There are some side effects and the supplement is a little more expensive than others.  It is quite popular and is available over the counter or OTC.

Additionally a proper diet that includes the daily recommended doses of vitamins and minerals is beneficial in itself in reducing depression.  Pumpkin seeds produce tryptophan which the brain uses to make serotonin.  Maintaining proper serotonin levels contributes to anxiety relief.

People have found aromatherapy beneficial as certain scents provide an increased sense of well-being.

Ginkgo biloba also assists the brain in reducing depression and diminishing feelings of hopelessness.

5-HTP (5-Hydroxy-Tryptophan) is another natural antidepressant.  Made from the seeds of the Griffonia Simplicifolia plant, it is designed to increase serotonin levels.  Studies have indicated that it may be helpful in fighting depression.

Regardless of the natural cure for depression you choose it is highly advisable to consult with your doctor before starting any treatment program including herbal remedies.