Depression: The Most Powerful Ways To Overcome It

The other day a client told me he had been taking anti-depressants. I didn’t know him to be depressed, so I asked if he had been diagnosed. He said he went to the doctor because he’d been having trouble sleeping and he’d been stressed out, and the doctor prescribed anti-depressants.

I was shocked to hear this.

He said he’d been taking them for a few days, but that he’d been feeling even worse than before, so he stopped taking them.

This I was not shocked to hear.

There are many studies that clearly document that anti-depressants don’t work any better than placebos. In a study of 96 antidepressant trials conducted between 1979 and 1996, no difference could be determined between the effects of antidepressants and sugar pills in some 52 percent of trials.

Drug companies are required to conduct two trials that yield positive results before the product will be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and reportedly numerous trials had to be conducted before positive results could be shown. The makers of Prozac ran five trials before obtaining two that were positive, while the makers of anti-depressants like Paxil and Zoloft had to conduct even more, according to researchers. The findings do not mean that antidepressants such as Prozac or Zoloft don’t work, however researchers say that people may be overestimating the drugs’ effectiveness.

It seems that placebos may actually make a difference in the treatment of depression, as the condition is characterized by how people feel.

So, if drugs don’t work, what are the most powerful ways to overcome depression?

1# EXERCISE

Physical exercise is one of the most powerful anti-depressants there is.

Numerous studies show that exercise can improve your mood and is an antidote for mild to moderate depression and anxiety.

Dr. James S. Gordon, a world-renowned expert in using mind-body medicine to heal depression says “What we’re finding in the research is that physical exercise is at least as good as anti-depressants for helping people who are depressed”.

In a study, which involved 80 adults aged 20 to 45 years who were diagnosed with mild to moderate depression, researchers looked at exercise alone to treat the condition and found:

Depressive symptoms were cut almost in half in those individuals who participated in 30-minute anaerobic style exercise sessions, three to five times a week after 12 weeks.

Those who exercised with low-intensity for three and five days a week showed a 30 % reduction in symptoms.

Participants who did stretching flexibility exercises 15 to 20 minutes three days a week averaged a 29 % decline.

The results of this study are similar to that of other studies, which involved patients with mild or moderate depression being treated with anti-depressants or cognitive therapy, proving there is no need to rely on drugs to treat depression.

Physical exercise changes the level of serotonin in our brain. It increases our levels of “feel good” hormones called endorphins. And also, it can increase the number of cells in our brain, in the region of the brain called the hippo-campus.


2# GOOD NUTRITION

Radically reducing or eliminating all forms of sugar in the diet is an important step to address the root problem in the body that may be significantly contributing to depression.

The quality of the foods we eat has huge impact in our ability to be happy and deal better with life. If you suffer, or think you suffer, from mild to moderate depression, make sure the majority of your diet is made of unprocessed foods. Fresh vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, spices, herbs, and good quality protein packed meat and fish should make the bulk of your diet.

It’s been proven that even a 1% decrease in hydration levels affects optimum brain function. Good quality clean water – filtered or bottled mineral water – should be drunk throughout the day; approximately 1 litre per 50lbs of body weight, as recommended by health and fitness professionals.

Also, support optimal brain function with Essential Fats. Supplement your diet with a high quality, animal based omega-3 fat like krill oil. This may be the single most important nutrient to battle depression!

3# SUNSHINE

Making sure you’re getting enough sunlight exposure to have healthy vitamin D levels is also a crucial factor in treating depression or keeping it at bay.

A study found that people with the lowest levels of vitamin D were 11 times more prone to be depressed than those who had normal levels. Vitamin D deficiency is actually more the norm than the exception, and has previously been implicated in both psychiatric and neurological disorders.

Whether it is sunny or not, a walk, a cycle, or an exercise class outdoors can make all the difference.

4# RELAXATION

Depression is a very serious condition, however it is not a “disease”; it is a sign that your body and your life are out of balance.

As soon as someone starts to view depression as an “illness,” they think they need to take a drug to fix it. In reality, all most people need to do is return the balance to their life and one of the key ways of doing this is by addressing stress levels.

Stress can produce depression by affecting the neurotransmitters in our brain.

Stress is also a contributor to inflammation, which may be one of the most significant risk factors for depression.

We don’t have to meditate or do yoga to relax. We can simply take a walk outside in nature, or take a soothing bath… But in addition to stress reduction strategies, I also recommend using NLP, a mind technology that can help you use your brain in more effective ways, and refresh your attitude towards yourself and your life.

These four lifestyle changes will offer you the greatest chance of restoring and maintaining your mental health.

Anna

anna@delite.ie

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