Depression occurs in the United States at an alarming rate. Currently, it is estimated that more than 16 million adults suffer from a range of depression symptoms each year, and the numbers are rising. And, to top it off, depression rates are also rising in our nation’s teenagers and youth. Most often times, treatment is given to patients in the form of medication for depression symptoms.
Many individuals go along with recommendations from their doctors to use antidepressants to alleviate their symptoms (while I am not recommending that they ignore their doctors). However, patients should be aware that they have other options.
If you are suffering and looking for an answer, here are three ways to treat depression without medication to consider.
Eat a Serotonin Inducing Diet
Serotonin is not naturally found in foods, but the production of it by your body can be increased by consuming a carefully laid out diet. When produced, serotonin produces a calming effect and helps to fight off symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Foods that help increase serotonin include whole grains, sugar-free cereals, pork, eggs, peanuts, mushrooms, and organic dairy products. The right combination of these foods and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can create a perfect diet for helping people who suffer from depression symptoms.
Although you can find lists and examples of serotonin-inducing diets online and in other resources, it is important to be sure that your diet is configured to help your specific symptoms. With the help of a nutritionist, a holistic doctor, or a functional medicine specialist you can create a diet just for you.
Introduce Regular Exercise
One of the best ways to treat depression symptoms without medication is through the introduction of a regular exercise regimen. I recommend at least 3 high intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts weekly. Exercise helps to increase endorphins that are released in the body. Endorphins are neurotransmitters that help to increase the feelings of positivity and calmness in the body and reduce feelings of pain.
Some of the best exercises to introduce regularly if you are suffering from depression symptoms are yoga, running, hiking, dancing, and strength training. All of these exercises take intentional focus and help to divert attention away from the symptoms of depression and onto the positive effects of exercise.
If you are suffering from depression symptoms, it is important that you find an exercise that you enjoy. Partaking in exercise for the sake of exercise will not help if you find it to be unenjoyable.
See a Functional Medicine Specialist
Functional medicine is an approach that many people are taking to address depression and other health concerns. The main idea behind functional medicine is addressing the root cause of the disease instead of just the symptoms. In functional medicine, the doctor and the patient work very closely together to create a treatment plan that works to cure the patient of their ailments and maintain a lifestyle that prevents it from recurring.
If you are interested in any of these approaches or treating your depression symptoms without medication, reach out to 3 Elements today!