Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ways to overcome depression naturally

Here's sharing some excerpts of an informative and comprehensive article below that identifies the causes of depression, which reassures the readers that it is normal to experience depression from time to time as part of life. For example, the following excerpt says that depression is like any emotion such as sadness, joy and excitement.
"Like sadness, joy, excitement, anger, fear, jealousy, and worry, depression is a normal human emotion that plays an important role in mental health and well-being. Just as with any emotion, to hide it or to deny it is to risk encouraging it to snowball into a larger and more formidable issue.

All emotions, including depression, require that we first acknowledge their presence and influence upon our psyches before they can be successfully resolved. This is the primary value in any effective form of talk therapy. Verbalize it, process it, assimilate the implications, release it, and move on. Depression of this type serves a very important function. It provides the impetus that allows us to reflect upon the decisions we have made and the actions that we have taken, which play a large role in the direction our life has taken. Depression allows for critical course corrections that can make a world of a difference in the long run.

Depression is commonly the result of letting other unprocessed emotions and life issues build up over time. Men are particularly prone to depression that comes from their macho, stiff upper lip conditioning, which discourages them from expressing how they really feel. They have thoroughly assimilated the twisted cultural message that to express anything but a false sense of strength and control is akin to being weak, impotent, and inadequate. Little do many men - and women - know, that it is a true sign of strength and courage to be able to face one's emotions and issues squarely without hesitation. Most of the time this is all that is required because, once that first step is taken, resolution is usually not far off."
Like what the excerpt says, our culture may discourage people from expressing how they really feel as it can be a sign of being weak and inadequate, but that is not true and it is actually a false sense of strength and control. I grew up in a mainly conservative and repressive family and social environment where open expression of emotions of happiness and sadness is usually frowned upon, and it takes me a long time to learn how to express how I really feel, such as through writing poems, and more recently through blogging. Expressing our emotions through these safe and healthy ways goes a long way for our emotional healing and internal resolution.

The article continues to talk about other causes of depression, such as chronic pain, grief (as a normal response to loss), painful situations, and hormonal changes.
"Another variety of depression is the type that accompanies female hormonal changes. Unfortunately, this is a very common problem that is not caused by faulty brain chemistry as much as it is a function of hormonal imbalance. Such imbalances can be triggered by normal hormonal events such as the first onset of menses, pregnancy, miscarriage, labor and delivery, and menopause. Another factor that can alter normal hormonal function is the ever-increasing presence of hormonally active substances that have found their way into the food chain through big agriculture and pharmaceutical waste products."
Anti-depressant drugs not only have side effects but also worsen the symptoms. I think it is unfortunate that modern medicine tends to treat only the symptoms instead of the underlying causes such as the above causes, and the drugs tend to do more harm than good in the long run. I have taken Xanax (an anti-anxiety drug) for example, a few years ago from recovering from stress and burnout, and while it induces a sense of euphoria for a period of time, I found myself feeling worse when the euphoric feeling wore off (I think it's part of the withdrawal symptoms). I counted myself fortunate that I have not developed an addiction for this medication.

The following websites explain the adverse effects of antidepressant medications or drugs.
"(NaturalNews) A recent industry-funded study on antidepressant drugs has revealed that the medications can cause roughly 20 percent of patients to get worse depression symptoms than if they simply took nothing. Published in the journal Archives of General Psychiatry, the study, which was largely controlled by drug giant Eli Lilly, is an eye-opener for those who still put their faith in antidepressants like Cymbalta (duloxetine), which carry with them life-altering side effects."
"(NaturalNews) Antidepressants are the most prescribed (often overprescribed) medication in the United States. But, contrary to popular belief - taking Zoloft, Prozac and Lexapro (to name a few) can be very dangerous to your health. These selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI's) can cause physical pain, involuntary movement, sexual dysfunction and life-threatening drug interactions. Clearly, most people have NOT been told the entire story. (keep reading)"
Learn more:
This website below recommends some ways to treat depression naturally and avoid harmful drugs.
"Herbs that can be taken for depression include balm, borage, limeflower, oats, rosemary and vervain. These can be taken as herbal teas, taken in tablet form or added to bath water. Oats in the diet contain a rich source of antidepressant B vitamins."
Besides herbal teas, I learnt that drinking plenty of water can help alleviate depression and anxiety too. This is a good reminder for me as well to continue to drink adequate water to stay hydrated and refreshed.

Related link:
Rethinking Creativity and Depression

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