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The Alternative Remedies for Depression

If you don’t want to go traditional, here are your alternative remedies for depression.

Depression can hit anyone. Although there are lucky ones who snap out of it in no time, there are those who require more serious attention, especially if the depression is severely affecting the person’s life and that of the family members as well. Individuals with lingering depression need treatment before they get completely carried away by the condition. For those who are not comfortable taking prescription medications or checking into the traditional clinical facility, here are options that you may want to explore to treat depression.

Lingering depression needs to be treated before the affected individual gets completely carried away by the condition.


Kyle Hunter/Wikimedia Commons

The ancient traditional Chinese practice of acupuncture uses thin needles that are lightly inserted into the skin to target nerve points. The objective is to relieve the body of stress and localized aches and pains.

Although there is limited data showing how acupuncture treats depression, many studies conclude that it does work. A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders indicates that most patients suffering from major depression showed more substantial improvement than those who did not receive any acupuncture.

Aerobic Exercise

When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins you get a feeling of high at the height of your exertion. The activity helps relieve depression by altering the brain’s serotonin and norepinephrine levels — the chemicals responsible for mood. Doctors recommend a twenty to thirty-minute exercise at least three to five times a week doing treadmill of brisk walking. Nevertheless, any form of exercise is much better than none.

Fish Oil

Fish oil is a supplement that packs in a lot of omega-3 fatty acids. People who are deficient in omega-3 are likely to develop mood swings and depression. Therefore, taking fish oil is believed to help cure the deficiency. Fish varieties like albacore tuna, salmon, and herring are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

You largely constructed your depression. It wasn’t given to you. Therefore, you can deconstruct it. “ – Albert Ellis

Guided Imagery

Guided imagery lets you focus and direct your imagination in proactive and positive ways. This gentle yet powerful intervention involves all the senses and not just the visual sense. It can be picturing you winning the salesman of the year award or finishing first in a marathon that you’ve long prepared for. Since you can do this exercise alone and it can unleash a lot of power in your mind, it is called a form of self-hypnosis.

Light Therapy

Kalfatermann/Wikimedia Commons

People who tend to be afflicted with the seasonal affective disorder, a type of depression that sets in during the winter season, may relieve their symptoms by this therapy. It involves daily fifteen-minute sessions which gradually increase to an hour where you sit near a brightly lit box that acts as your outdoor light. The timing depends on the extent of the depressive symptoms and the light density, which a doctor can prescribe.

Massage Therapy

There are around eighty massage therapy styles that you can choose from. They offer a variety of movements, techniques, and pressures. Before you even get a massage, you need to ask yourself if you want it for relaxation, for stress control, or to relieve an ache? You have to tell your massage therapist what you’re after to get the best therapy.

Mood Diary

You are trained to think positively and keep a journal of all and only positive things happening in your life. No negative thought or occurrence is allowed entry in the diary. This way, negativity would not put you down. The mood diary serves as a reminder that good days happen and that you just have to put negative things in perspective.

Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” Victor Hugo

Music Therapy

Pythagoras, a 6th century B.C. philosopher and mathematician, used music as a form of natural tranquilizer to soothe the human spirit. Wounded soldiers during World War II responded well to music played in the hospitals where they were recuperating. The positive effects of music were so promising that the administrators added music therapy programs to their facilities. Music is viewed as a great aid in easing stress, grief, fear, and anxiety.


Kasmiri saffron/Wikimedia Commons

This prized herb is believed to increase the brain’s serotonin level, according to the Journal of Ethnopharmacology. The study discovered that people who consumed saffron over a six-week period had reduced symptoms of depression. It is like taking Prozac but with fewer side effects.


This is a supplement that is believed to work on the synthesis of neurotransmitters in the brain. In particular clinical trials, S-adenosylmethionine or SAMe has demonstrated to be a useful medication in treating depression. Also, unlike anti-depressants, SAMe has very few reported side effects. Researchers also discovered that it is better than placebo.

St. John’s Wort

This supplement is taken from a yellow-flowered plant used in teas, extracts, and pills. The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine found in thirty-seven studies that St. John’s Wort works well as an antidepressant for mild depression. They also concluded that it has no side effects. However, the supplement may reduce the effectiveness of certain medications such as the ones used for HIV, blood thinning, cancer, and birth control.


Yoga is a meditation process that involves you striking different poses and employing different breathing techniques. The exercise helps you relax and be in touch with your mind, body, and spirit. Yoga is a great stress, anxiety, and hostility reliever. It also relieves depression. When you regularly practice yoga, you also improve your energy, quality of sleep, and overall well-being.

Before you opt to take matters into your hands and pick out some of these alternative remedies, it is best to consult with your doctor about which alternative treatments might work for you.

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