7 Natural Remedies for Depression and Anxiety
According to the statistics in Canada 1 in 4 Canadians suffer from a mental health condition. This condition is usually treated by conventional healthcare model treats, as a brain chemical imbalance.
Usually, for that condition are prescribed anti-depressants, which can improve mood and correct deficiencies in the “happy” chemicals in the brain.
On the other hand, naturopathic doctors highlight the connection between the mind and body, especially gut-brain connection. For that reason, they even formed a completely new field known as “psychoneuroimmunology”, which is based on the effects of inflammation on behavior and mental health.
So far, most depression treatments are currently still based on the low-serotonin theory of depression, which reduces the production of certain neurotransmitters in the brain.
However, according to the experts, anti-depressant medications might just form an obstacle to cure, so depressive patients cannot recover in the short-term.
Having in mind the fact that the immune and digestive system are linked to mood and overall health, fighting inflammation naturally, helping digestion, and fueling the brain by taking proactive measures against the increased stress levels will be of great help.
Look at the most effective natural ways to treat mental health conditions:
1. Healing the gut
Scientists, usually talk about to the digestive system as the “second brain”, as it is a collection of millions of nerve cells that communicate directly and control its function with the brain. It is confirmed that any irritations of the digestive system cause significant mood changes.
The medical statistics show that 30-40% of the population suffers from digestive symptoms like GERD, diarrhea, bloating, IBS, flatulence, constipation, and IBD.
Furthermore, researchers have found that the use of certain probiotics can stimulate the production of neurotransmitters, improving mood and mental function, which is caused by the link between the mood and beneficial gut bacteria.
For the adequate absorption of the amino acids and micronutrients needed for synthesizing neurotransmitters, a healthy digestion is also vital.
2. Essential nutrients and adequate nutrition
If the body does not possess building hormones and neurotransmitters it cannot produce the building blocks. Together with the raising of the levels of serotonin in the brain, SSRI medication depletes the vitamins and minerals in the body.
In order to support the mental health, you need to optimize the levels of folate, vitamins B6, and B12, magnesium, zinc, and protein.
3. Healing the adrenals
The science suggests that depression might, in fact, represent a necessary adaptation to stress that promoted people’s survival and ability to pass on the genes.
In the naturopathic medicine is used a term “Adrenal fatigue,” which covers a list of symptoms due to prolonged, chronic stress.
It is followed by the high levels of emotional, mental and physical health, apathy, insomnia, food cravings, low mood, weight gain, sleep issues, fatigue, and low energy levels.
In order to manage low mood and reduce stress, there are numerous self-care practices you can choose, such as using herbs, proper nutrition, and stress management practices.
4. Fish oil
According to the 2014 meta-analysis, fish oils improve mood and are helpful in the case of major depressive disorders. In order to function properly, the brain requires the fatty acids EPA and DHA found in fish.
Additionally, the EPA/ DHA ratio should be regulated constantly. Also, fish oil effectively fights inflammation, which is closely linked to depression.
Psychotherapy is the preferred first-line treatment for depression and other mental disorders. It significantly boosts the effects of medication, and according to the researchers, the therapeutic relationship is one of the best determinants of positive health outcomes.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is one of the main depression modalities, which is supported by numerous studies. This kind of therapy is based on changing habitual and ingrained thoughts, behaviors and beliefs that might be the causes of low mood. Also, motivational interviewing can be highly effective counseling model.
According to the researchers, the mindfulness meditation effectively lowers stress, improves mood, prevents depression, and treats depressive disorders.
The findings published in JAMA about the Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) showed that this type of secular mindfulness meditation provides the same effects as medication when is treated mild to moderate depression.
Improving mood is based on helping patients to identify their negative emotions, become aware of their emotional state and understand their beliefs.
7. Mind-body medicine
It is based on the energetic healing forces of the body in order to cure and ensure the smooth energy flow throughout the body and eliminating its obstacles. The main modalities known for this therapy are meditation, homeopathy, acupuncture, and visualizations.
Mind-body medicine integrates the thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations, in order to help people to become aware of the possible tools to reduce stress.