If you wish to fight your depression without the side-effects and expense of psychiatric medications, there are many things your can do to control your moods naturally.
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- Sleep and mood are intimately related. Keep a regular schedule and get adequate rest.
- Avoid caffeine and other stimulants. Although they give temporary energy, they can deplete your serotonin levels in the long-run.
- Take a multi-vitamin regularly if you do not eat well. Several vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to depression symptoms.
- For mild to moderate depression, some find that St. John's Wort, SAMe or 5-HTP can be helpful and may have fewer side effects. In addition, some studies seem to indicate that St. John's Wort may in fact be just as effective as prescription antidepressants in treating major depression. These remedies cost less than prescription medications and help put you in control of your own treatment.
- Get in touch with your spiritual side through prayer or meditation. Remember, spirituality is not the same thing as religiosity. You may be spiritual without ever setting foot in a church, synagogue or mosque.
- Get more exercise. This doesn't mean you have to start up a vigorous daily workout. Even a walk around the block can be energizing.
- Avoid excess alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a depressant and toxic to your body as well.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
- Your thoughts have a direct bearing on your mood. Learning about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, either through a therapist or self-help books, can help you stop the negative thoughts that bring you down.
- Stress can be physically draining. Learn to control your stress levels through time management, meditation, biofeedback training, etc.
- Combat feelings of loneliness by reaching out to others who are less fortunate.
- An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Be aware of your mood and take remedial steps when you first feel your mood begin to slip.
- Don't feel like a failure if you need prescription medication. Depression is an illness just like diabetes or any other other. It is not always within your control.