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Herbal and Conventional Treatments for Depression

 

If you have been suffering from depression and have refused to see a doctor because you believe there 's nothing he can do, think again.  Recently, medical science has made great 

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strides in the conventional treatment of this disorder.

Newer, more effective anti-depressant drugs and mood stabilizing medications have contributed to a wider array of treatment options.  In fact, today, medications which can relieve the symptoms of depression are the first line of defense in the treatment of this disease.

 

However, those drugs may not be the sole weapons in the fight against depression.  Your health care practitioner may also advise you to undergo psychotherapy.  This will help you cope with continuing problems in your life that may in the future prompt future depressive episodes.  And if you're mildly or even moderately depressed, you'll probably find this may work fine.

 

For those who are more severely affected by depression, other methods, including electroconvulsive therapy may also be recommended.  This is also known as electroshock therapy.  While it is not a new treatment, it certainly is a controversial one that should not be undertaken without much contemplation and even more research into the possible side effects.  This treatment is given to those individuals who are not responding to other therapies.  It is sometimes administered on those who are considered suicide risks.

 

Health care practitioners, as a rule, attack depression with two separate phases of treatment.  The first is called an acute approach.  This involves medications which help to relieve symptoms until the individual is feeling herself again.  The second phase involves the continuation of these medications for up to nine months following the alleviation of the symptoms.  This ensures that the individual doesn't experience a relapse.  It's important during this second phase that you continue on your prescribed medication, even though you may not feel as if it's necessary.  For the majority of people who have one acute episode, the chance of the depressive state recurring is great.

 

If you have had more than one bout with depression, your health care practitioner may in fact recommend you take antidepressants on a long-term basis.

 

Indeed, there are a whole host of different kinds of mood-stabilizing drugs and antidepressants your health care practitioner may prescribe.  Whatever the two of you decide on, you need to remember that not every person responds in the same manner to the same drugs.  While most antidepressants, for example, provide close to the same level of effectiveness in people, these drugs may work better for some than others.

 

Moreover, be aware that it may take up to three months for these medications to fully take effect on your condition. You may feel some beneficial changes before this, but don't expect immediate relief.  However, if you don't feel any better at the end of this 12-week period, your health care practitioner may suggest a change in medication.


Natural Treatments for Depression

 

Because of all the publicity of the harsh even deadly effects of some drugs prescribed for depression, many more people than ever before are searching for natural alternatives to this health condition.

 

And there are plenty of options from which to choose.  Many of those selections are in the form of herbs.  If you decide to go this route though you need to keep in that you should not augment your prescription medication with herbal supplements that treat the same condition.  For example, mixing St. John's Wort with prescription antidepressants can be hazardous.

 

In fact, it's a great idea before embarking on any alternative treatment program to check with your personal care physician and a professional herbalist.  Please keep each informed to all of your medications even those not related to your depression. 

 

Herbal treatment, is indeed, many find, a kinder, gentler way to help your body move past the sluggishness and fog as well as the black veil of moodiness that envelopes those suffering from depression.  One of the most popular herbs, individuals use is St. John's Wort. 

 

Used as an antidepressant, its effectiveness has withstood the scrutiny of many clinical trials and double blind studies.  This legendary herb seems to work better on alleviating the symptoms of depression, than many high quality prescription drugs on the market today.

 

Another potent antidepressant is licorice.  Don't let the name fool you.  It may sound like the candy you gobbled down as a kid.  The herb, used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, is an amazing source of the femail hormone, estrogen.  Believe it or not, both women and men are in need of this to stay healthy.  But more than that, licorice stimulates and regulates the body's adrenal glands.  And as an added bonus, it's also a powerful aid to the heart and circulatory system.

 

Ginseng is also the first choice of many people suffering from depression.  It's well known for balancing the hormonal state of the system while building a remarkable level of resistance against the ravages of stress.  It's also an energy-building supplement and extra energy is something many individuals suffering from depression need desperately.

 

When searching for natural herbal remedies for depression, don't overlook gota kola.  A stimulator of the brain, this helpful herb combats the symptoms of "brain fog" that many experience during bouts of depression.  Gota kola also normalizes the hormonal and nervous systems of the body.  It's an astonishingly effective "pick-me-up" when it's combined with ginseng and cayenne. 


Fish Oils are said to have mild, mood balancing effects. These also contribute to vitamin and mineral deficiencies in your body, which can be a cause of depression as well.

 

In addition to using herbal remedies and supplements for treating depression, there are several natural ways to treat it as well. Meditation, Yoga, and Exercise are the three that give best results. Exercise particularly will increase your endorphins, and give you a bit of a "high". Meditation will help calm your nerves and relieve stress, while Yoga accomplishes both exercise and a form of meditation at the same time


 


Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

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Greg Cryns
The Compleat Mother Magazine
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