Depression affects millions of people in the United States. If you suffer from the condition, then you understand just how challenging it can be to find an effective treatment that is suited to your individual needs. Here at Mind & Soul Therapy, we recognize that antidepressants are a very effective treatment for depression, but we also feel that there are other, more natural alternatives that may be just as effective. If you would like to speak with someone about depression, please contact our office to learn more about the types of services we offer.
The symptoms of depression and be difficult to recognize and it may be challenging to differentiate them from what is considered to be a “normal” level of sadness. In today’s post, we’ll review some of the most recognizable signs of depression and we’ll discuss four natural approaches to treating the condition.
Signs of Depression
If you have been feeling down for a while, you might have wondered if you are experiencing depression. How do you tell the difference? Our team can speak with you to help get to the root of your feelings to determine if your passing sadness is just that, or if it is indeed clinical depression. This type of depression can lead to a wide variety of behavioral and physical symptoms, including:
- Irritable mood
- Sleeping difficulties — either sleeping too much or experiencing insomnia
- Low motivation
- Loss of interest in things you used to enjoy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low energy levels
- Feeling guilty without cause
- Agitation or anxiety
If you have experienced any of the above symptoms, it is possible that you are struggling with depression. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to manage the condition naturally before incorporating medication into the mix.
Four Alternative Ways to Manage Depression
Diet and Exercise
All too often, the importance of proper nutrition and exercise are overlooked in terms of their effect on our mental health. Exercise can help alleviate symptoms of depression because it releases endorphins. These hormones are like natural antidepressants that can help boost your mood and energy levels. Food is equally as important and eating a serotonin-enhancing diet can be very beneficial. Foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats, and protein boost serotonin levels naturally. Caffeine, on the other hand, reduces serotonin levels, so it might be best to limit this in your diet when possible.
There has been a long-standing belief that acupuncture is an effective treatment for depression, but science is finally starting to catch up as recent studies have revealed clear biological explanations for the clinical evidence that many practitioners have seen. With deep roots in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), acupuncture works to correct blockages or “roadblocks” and imbalances within your body. It also releases endorphins and activates our body’s natural painkillers. While it might not be a suitable treatment on its own for moderate to severe depression, the benefits of incorporating it into your treatment are well-founded.
In some instances, symptoms of depression can be relieved simply by talking through your feelings with someone. Getting feedback from a different perspective when you are experiencing overwhelming feelings of unfounded guilt, inadequacy, and agitation can make all the difference. It can also help you unpack the feelings to get to the root of what is causing them. Whether you choose to do so one-on-one with a licensed counselor or in a group session depends on your comfort level and the intensity of your depression. Our team is happy to help you determine which type of counseling might benefit you the best.
If you have not tried meditation previously, you may be surprised to learn how beneficial it can be not only for depression, but also for your overall physical and emotional wellbeing. Practicing meditation can help you set aside racing thoughts and ease your agitation by strengthening your awareness of what is happening in the moment while improving focus and attention. Meditation also lowers high blood pressure while regulating impulsivity and reactivity of mood and behavior. Additionally, there is emerging research that indicates practicing mindfulness and meditation can actually remodel the physical structure of the brain, enabling it to respond to stimuli and situations with a more positive outlook.
Treatment for Depression in Miami
Depression can be a difficult condition to work through on your own. Mind & Soul Therapy is here to help you find a treatment for depression that allows you to get the most out of life. While our goal is to try to avoid the use of medications by providing alternative medicine in conjunction with individual and group psychotherapy, we do not rule out incorporating medication therapy into our treatment plans. We offer nutrition counseling, acupuncture treatments, counseling services, as well as mindfulness meditation and we would love to help you discover the benefits of natural medicine. Contact our team today to learn more about our services and to schedule your appointment.