Depression can seem inescapable at times, and it can be hard to find a natural treatment for depression before giving in to the use of antidepressants. Whilst the word natural often conjures up images of holistic therapy and even pseudoscience, this is a misconception. Natural treatments can just mean lifestyle changes that help the body use its own physiology in treating itself. It's now quite common knowledge that serotonin is a key neurotransmitter associated with happiness. Serotonin deficiency is furthermore, both a cause and symptom of depression. The problem most encounter when looking for solutions to depression is whether to look to antidepressants or try other methods. Often people give in to medication because to take a pill is much easier than to commit to lifestyle changes. This is even more prevalent in people suffering from depression because their energy is low and their cognition's are ineffective. Whilst antidepressants mimic serotonin function and can provide modest results in the short term, truly getting over depression requires a multifaceted approach that is founded on good cognitive and behavioral habits. Natural treatment for depression is usually based on using methods that promote the healthy functioning of serotonin. Antidepressants assist in balancing brain chemistry, but they don't effectively build new neurological habits - and thus are always a short term solution. Using natural methods to balance your serotonin levels is therefore much more effective in the long term.
Causes and natural treatments for low serotonin levels
Cause: A low-protein diet (tryptophan deficiency)
Natural treatment: In order to counteract a tryptophan deficiency you can eat foods that are high in tryptophan. Easy and available examples include high protein meats, egg whites and most soy products.
Cause: Stress (high cortisol levels)
Natural treatment: They say 'stress kills' and it really does. The long term effect of high cortisol levels on your physical and mental health is severe. Not only are you at a greater risk for depression, but everything from obesity to anxiety to insomnia becomes significantly more likely as well. Proven ways to lower cortisol levels include exercise, sex, meditation and general social activity.
Cause: Blood sugar imbalances
Natural treatment: The human body was not designed for the type of diet the average person in western societies consume. Depression has significantly increased in correlation with our change in diet, and if you are depressed, consulting a nutritionist may be as important as consulting a psychologist. Eliminate processed food and high-fructose corn sugar from your diet to balance your blood sugar.
Cause: Vitamin B6 deficiency
Natural treatment: To improve a vitamin B6 deficiency, eat foods high in B6 (bananas, peanut butter) and eliminate alcohol.
These are just a few of the simple ways you can naturally assist serotonin balance. In reality, getting over depression is a long term process that requires changes in both psychology and physiology in order to prevent a relapse. Antidepressants can have negative repercussions and in some cases can cause psychological dependency. Try adjusting your lifestyle with these natural treatments before you decide to use medication.
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