Depression can be an incredibly difficult condition to manage and is often treated with medication and therapy. Depression can be an overwhelming and isolating experience, but there are several simple and natural remedies that can help ease the symptoms and improve your overall mental health. In this post, we will look at some of the best home remedies for depression that you can start using right away. From lifestyle changes to dietary supplements, we’ll explore the various options available to help you manage your depression. We will also discuss the importance of seeking professional help if your symptoms persist and do not improve with home remedies. Finally, we will provide some tips on how to stay motivated and engaged during the healing process.
Depression Different Names
Depression is also known as Clinical Depression (Scientific Binomial Name), (Common English), (Unani), Khinnata / Niraasha / Udaasee / Nyoonata (Hindi / Urdu), Mana aluttam / Ciriya pallam (Tamil), Udasinata / Audasinya (Marathi), (Sanskrit), Daurmanasya (Bengali), Anaci Veyabadina Sthiti / Alpavayuvu Pidanamu (Telugu), Khinnate / Nirutsaha (Kannada), Nairasam (Malayalam), Xiaotiao (Mandarin / Traditional Chinese / Simplified Chinese), Depresion (Spanish), Depressao (Portuguese), Depressiya (Russian), Katathlipsi (Greek), Kaba (Arabic), Utsubyo (Japanese), Depressione (Latin), Depressie (Dutch), Depressione (Italian), Depresiya (Ukrainian), Madi (Punjabi), Depression (German), Depresi (Javanese), Kemurungan (Malay / Indonesian), (Vietnamese), Phien muon (Korean), Depression (French), Depresyon (Turkish), Hatasa / Mandi / Dilagiri(Gujarati), Mansika Chinta / Avasada (Nepali). Depression is a mood disorder causing a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is a severe despondency and dejection, typically felt over a period of time and accompanied by feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.
What Exactly Is Depression?
Depression is a prolonged feeling of unhappiness and despondency, often magnified by a major life event such as bereavement, divorce, or retirement. Depression is the most prevalent of all the emotional disorders. This may vary from feelings of slight sadness to utter misery and dejection. It brings together a variety of physical and psychological symptoms which together constitute a syndrome. Depression is the most unpleasant experience a person can endure. It is far more difficult to cope with than a physical ailment. The growing complexities of modern life and the resultant crisis, as well as mental stress and strain in day to day living, usually leads to this disorder. It also arises out of the monotony and drudgery of a daily routine, without any meaningful variation in urban life. Suicide is the major risk in extreme cases of depression. Like many other chronic illnesses, depression can be caused by a wide variety of factors and is characterized by several out of a long list of symptoms. It affects people of all ages, races, and nationalities and, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is the most costly of all diseases, largely because it disables people who would otherwise be productive. It is estimated that 10 percent of the U.S. population experiences depression severe enough to require medical attention, with women twice as likely as men to develop depression. Many women experience depression after childbirth. Clinical depression is a genuine illness which overwhelms the sufferer so that person feels a hopelessness, dejection, and fear out of all proportion to any cause. Someone who is depressed may contemplate or attempt suicide.
Common Symptoms and Signs
Maybe you’ve experienced a traumatic event. Or maybe, for no reason you can put your finger on, you just feel sad and empty. Depression is usually linked to a combination of medical, genetic, and environmental factors. There are four types: major depression, in which the emotional low is severe and lasts for more than two weeks; mild depression, or dysthymia, which has milder or fewer symptoms; bipolar disorder, which causes extreme mood swings; and postpartum depression, which sometimes happens to a mother after giving birth. It is not always easy to diagnose depression clinically. The most striking symptoms of depression are feelings of acute sense of loss and inexplicable sadness, loss of energy and loss of interest. The patient usually feels tired and lacks interest in the world around him. Sleep disturbance is frequent. Usually the patient wakes up depressed at 4 or 5 in the morning and is unable to return to sleep. Other disturbed sleep patterns are difficulty in getting off to sleep on going to bed at night, nightmares and repeated waking from midnight onwards. The patient often suffers from guilt, oppressive feelings and self-absorption. Other symptoms of depression are: loss of appetite, gidiness, itching, nausea, agitation, irritability, impotence or frigidity, constipation, aches and pains all over the body, lack of concentration and lack of power of decision. Some persons may lose interest in eating and suffer from rapid loss of weight while others may resort to frequent eating and as a result gain in weight. Cases of severe depression may be characterized by low body temperature, low blood pressure, hot flushes and shivering.
The cause is not known, but its presence is associated with substances called neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers in the brain, and those most often linked to depression include serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine and y-aminobutyric acid. A deficiency or imbalance in these chemicals may lead to depression. Some nutrients from the foods you eat promote production and action of these neurotransmitters; therefore, nutrient deficiencies can affect proper function and risk for depression. Depleted functioning of the adrenal glands is one of the main causes of mental depression. Irregular diet habits cause digestive problems and lead to the assimilation of fats. An excess of carbohydrates like cereals, white sugar, coffee, tea, chocolates and comparatively less quantities of vegetables and fruits in the diet may result in indigestion. Due to indigestion, gases are produced in the digestive tract, causing compression over the diaphragm in the region of the heart and lungs. This in turn, reduces the supply of oxygen to the tissues, which raises the carbon dioxide level, causing general depression. The excessive and indiscriminate use of drugs also leads to faulty assimilation of vitamins and minerals by the body and ultimately causes depression. The use of aspirin leads to deficiencies of vitamin C and antacids can cause deficiencies of calcium and vitamin B. Diabetes, low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) and weakness of the liver resulting from the use of refined or processed foods, fried foods and an excessive intake of fats may also lead to depression. Although it is often normal and healthy to experience sad moods in response to a trauma, such as the loss of a loved one, a major depressive episode is characterized by inappropriate sadness that persists or is out of proportion with its apparent cause. Clinical depression can further be categorized into unipolar depression, marked by recurring episodes of sadness, and bipolar depression, in which the sadness alternates with periods of elation and mania. Unipolar depression is by far the more common of the two. Both kinds of clinical depression can be caused by a number of factors, including constant tension and unresolved stress, genetics, chemical or hormonal imbalances, chronic illness, poor diet, food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, and even inadequate sunlight. Unipolar depression consists of episodes that can recur several times in a person’s life. Manic depression, or bipolar disorder, is a severe mental disorder involving manic episodes that are usually accompanied by episodes of depression. Manic depression occurs in males and females equally, and is found more frequently in close relatives of people with the disorder.
How To Treat Depression?
The modern medical system treats it with anti depression drugs which provide temporary relief but have harmful side effects and do not remove the causes or prevent its recurrence. The harmful side effects include gross liver damage, hypersensitivity, insomnia, hallucinations, a confused state, convulsions, a fall in blood pressure which brings on headaches and dizziness, blurred vision, difficulty in inhaling and urine retention. The plan of action for self treatment consists of regulating the diet, exercise, scientific relaxation and meditation. If your depression is clearly reactive to stresses or events in your life, many of the following therapies may ease some of your discomfort and help you work your way through the source of your sadness. Professional counseling is also a good idea. If you suspect that you are clinically depressed, first consult a doctor to rule out any underlying illness (such as a thyroid problem), then see a psychologist or a psychiatrist for a diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Obviously, it is best to work with a doctor who embraces natural therapies and will work with you to find the cause of your depression. The suggestions here will support your therapy and will also point you toward possible causes or aggravating factors of your disorder.
Depression Home Remedies
- Indian Ayurveda Formula: Make the herbal compound with sarasvati 2 parts, punarnava 3 parts and chitrak 3 parts. Take this mixture 3 times a day. Put 1/2 teaspoon of the powder on your tongue, and wash it down with warm water. If you are already under a doctor’s care for depression, the Ayurvedic remedies suggested here can be used in conjunction with the regimen outlined by your physician. But it is only fair and proper to do so with his or her approval and supervision. Ask your doctor to carefully monitor your progress. As time goes by, you may be able to minimize or eliminate your dependence on strong medications if your body’s balance can be brought to a point where diet, exercise, and other Ayurvedic programs are sufficient to control or eliminate the depression.
- St. John’s Wort: Although St. John’s wort has been used for centuries for nerve damage and is held in high esteem by herbalists, St. John’s wort was just recently “rediscovered” for its antidepressant activities. It is effective against mild depression and seems to lift the spirits when used on a regular basis. It is a wonderfully safe and effective herb for nerve damage, stress, anxiety, depression, and personality disorders. Take 12 drops of St. Johns Wort herbal extract in a glass of water daily. OR Drink a cup of St. John’s wort tea. Make a tea by mixing 2 teaspoons of the dried flowering tops to a cup of water. OR Take 300 mg of a product standardized to 0.3 percent hypericin three times daily (total of 900 mg). Constituents of St. John’s wort influence brain chemistry in several different ways, leading to better mood and morale. Sleep, vitality, and the ability to relax may also improve. Positive results may take up to six weeks; more commonly, improvement starts within two weeks. Although emphasis is placed on the herb’s ability to relieve depression, it also works well in relaxing and strengthening an exhausted nervous system that can occur as a result of long-term stress or worry. It can be particularly beneficial in cases involving both anxiety and depression.
- Licorice: It is one of the best herb for depression with antidepressant compounds, but it does not have St.-John’s-wort’s folk history of use as an antidepressant. At least eight licorice compounds are monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitors, which are compounds capable of potent antidepressant action. If you’d like to try licorice to beat depression, simply add some to any of the other herbal teas. Licorice and its extracts are safe for normal use in moderate amounts that is up to about three cups of tea a day. Long term use or ingestion of larger amounts can produce headache, lethargy, sodium and water retention, excessive loss of potassium and high blood pressure.
- Rosemary: Rosemary essential oil is a favorite among aromatherapists for treating depression. A massage with a few drops of rosemary oil in vegetable oil or massage lotion probably can’t hurt. It contains the compound cineole, which has been shown to stimulate the central nervous system. Rosemary is a woody, evergreen with a wonderful smell. Its flavor is often associated with many dishes from the Mediterranean. It enhances the flavors of meats, gravies, risotto dishes, and stocks beautifully. Medicinally, Rosemary is a great herb for the mind. Rosemary has been used to improve mental faculties for many hundreds of years. It contains a compound (carnosic acid) which may be of use in the treatment of neuro-degenerative diseases. Rosemary in food and as an essential oil can be used to ease headaches and it is often used to combat depression. Other herb oils that aromatherapists recommend for treating depression include bergamot, basil, chamomile, clary sage, jasmine, lavender, neroli, nutmeg and ylang-ylang. Remember, though, that these oils are for external use only.
- Purslane: Many people get the urge to eat when they are depressed. And eating just might help if you eat the right foods. Foods containing the minerals magnesium and potassium have been shown to have antidepressant effects. Purslane, which is very rich in these minerals, is also high in other constituents with antidepressant value, including calcium, folate (the naturally occurring form of folic acid) and lithium. In fact, purslane contains up to a whopping 16% antidepressant compounds, figured on a dry weight basis.
- Linden Flowers: Linden flowers added to a bath lift depression and calm nervousness. Simmer a handful of linden flowers in 1 lire/2 pints of water for 15 minutes, cover and leave to infuse for another 10 minutes. Strain and add to the bathwater.
- Vitamin B Rich Food: Neurotransmitters, the chemicals that allow nerve cells to communicate and function properly, play a role in depression. Nutritionists suggest getting enough of certain B vitamins that is folate and vitamins B6 and B12 to keep neurotransmitter levels high. Good sources of folate include pinto beans, navy beans, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, okra and brussels sprouts. As far as vitamin B, is concerned, high levels occur in cauliflower, watercress, spinach, bananas, okra, onions, broccoli, squash, kale, kohlrabi, brussels sprouts, peas and radishes.
- Ginkgo Biloba: Studies have shown that ginkgo may help relieve depression, especially in the people who suffer reduced blood flow to the brain. Take 60 to 120 mg twice daily of a standardized product containing 24 % flavone glycosides and 6 % terpene lactones. Ginkgo improves blood flow to the brain and enhances neurotransmitter activity. In large amounts, ginkgo may cause diarrhea, irritability and restlessness.
- Relaxation and Meditation: You must gain control over nervous system and channelize mental and emotional activities into restful harmonious vibrations. This can be achieved by ensuring sufficient rest and sleep under right conditions. You must also learn the art of scientific relaxation and meditation which will go a long way in curing depression. Relaxation enables the muscles to work more efficiently and eliminates fatigue by promoting venous blood circulation throughout the body. The best method of relaxation is to practice shavasana or the ‘dead pose.’ Meditation involves training the mind to remain fixed on a certain external or internal location. All the mental faculties should be directed, without cessation, towards the object of meditation. It can be achieved by constant practice. Meditation will help create an amount of balance in the nervous system. This would enable the glands to return to a correct state of hormonal balance and thereby overcome the feeling of depression.
Tips To Prevent Depression
- Put one drop of tangerine oil on your finger and inhale.
- Helping others with their problems is a great way.
- Regular exercise has been shown to be effective in improving the condition. Try to get some physical activity every day for thirty minutes.
- Change the light bulbs in your rooms which you spend the most time to full spectrum bulbs.
Caution: Prolonged depression generally requires professional help; do not depend on self-help remedies. If you sense that your condition is more than you can handle, don’t hesitate to seek help from a psychotherapist, a religious adviser, or a support group. It helps a great deal to talk to people who have worked with others in great emotional pain.
Q. What is depression?
It is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.
Q. What is the reason for depression?
It is a complex condition and there is no single cause. It is likely caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Common causes include a history of trauma or abuse, a family history of depression, major life changes or events, and certain medications.
Q. What are the basic signs of having depression?
- Persistent feelings of sadness, emptiness, or hopelessness.
- Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable.
- Significant changes in appetite, weight, and sleep patterns.
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, and making decisions.
- Fatigue and lack of energy.
- Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, and self-hatred.
- Thoughts of death or suicide.
- Social isolation and withdrawal from family, friends, and activities.
Q. How does one overcome depression and anxiety? What can I do to help myself when I’m depressed?
- Reach Out for Help: Talking to a mental health professional can help you manage your depression and anxiety.
- Make Lifestyle Changes: Eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and avoiding drugs and alcohol can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
- Exercise Regularly: Exercise can help boost serotonin levels and increase endorphins, two natural compounds that can help improve mood. Aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise three to five days a week.
- Practice Relaxation Techniques: Meditation, yoga, and deep breathing can help reduce stress and anxiety.
- Get Enough Sleep: Sleep deprivation can make depression symptoms worse. Aim to get seven to eight hours of quality sleep every night.
- Eat Healthy: Eating a well-balanced diet can help improve mood and energy levels. Focus on eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
- Connect with Others: Spending time with family and friends, joining a support group, or volunteering can help reduce feelings of isolation. Express your feelings openly. Talking about your depression can help you feel better.
- Spend Time Outdoors: Spending time outside in nature can help reduce stress and improve mood. Take a walk in a park or spend time by the ocean.
- Challenge Negative Thoughts: Identify negative thoughts and replace them with more positive, constructive thoughts.
- Develop Coping Strategies: Learn to recognize triggers for your condition and anxiety and develop healthy coping strategies to help manage them.
- Take Care of Yourself: Take time for yourself to relax and do activities you enjoy.
Q. What’s naturally good for depression?
There are several natural remedies that may help alleviate symptoms. These include exercise, getting enough sleep, spending time in nature, eating a healthy diet, journaling, practicing mindfulness, and taking supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, and B vitamins.
Q. Is meditation good for depression? What type of meditation is good for depression?
Meditation can be a helpful tool for managing the symptoms of depression. Mindfulness meditation, in particular, can help people better recognize and regulate their emotions, which can help to reduce feelings of sadness and loneliness. Additionally, research has shown that practicing meditation can help to increase positive emotions, reduce stress, and improve overall mental health.
Q. Is Ayurveda good for depression? Is depression mentioned in Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is an ancient form of medicine that originated in India and is based on the belief that health and wellness depend on the balance between the body, mind and spirit. According to Ayurveda, depression is caused by an imbalance in the three doshas—Vata, Pitta and Kapha—which are the three life forces that govern the body. To treat depression, Ayurveda recommends lifestyle changes, such as getting enough rest, practicing yoga and meditation, and eating a balanced diet. Herbal remedies, such as ashwagandha, shankhpushpi, brahmi and jatamansi, may also be used to help restore balance. In addition, Ayurvedic practitioners may use panchakarma, a detoxification treatment, to help restore balance and reduce symptoms of depression.
Q. What is a way to tell if someone has depression?
Depression can be difficult to identify, as it looks different for everyone. Some common signs of depression can include: a persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable, changes in appetite, difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much, difficulty concentrating and making decisions, loss of energy or fatigue, feeling worthless or guilty, or thoughts of death or suicide.
Q. Which herbs are good for depression? What natural remedies work for depression?
- St. John’s Wort: This herb has been used for centuries to help improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
- Lemon Balm: This herb has been used to treat anxiety and depression for centuries. It has calming effects and helps to reduce stress.
- Lavender: This herb has a calming effect and is known for its ability to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression.
- Chamomile: This herb is known for its calming effects and has been used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
- Ashwagandha: This herb is known for its ability to reduce stress and anxiety and has been used to treat depression.
- Passionflower: This herb is known for its calming effects and has been used to treat anxiety and depression.
- Valerian Root: This herb has been used to treat insomnia and anxiety and has been known to help reduce stress and depression.
Q. Why do so many people have depression nowadays?
There is not one simple answer to this question, as there are many potential causes of depression. Some factors that may contribute to the prevalence of depression include increased stress levels in modern life, greater awareness of mental health issues, and biological predispositions. Additionally, societal factors such as poverty and discrimination can contribute to depression.
Q. Are people with higher IQ more likely to be depressed?
No, there is no clear evidence that people with higher IQs are more likely to be depressed than people with lower IQs. In fact, some research suggests that people with higher IQs may be less likely to experience depression than people with lower IQs.
Q. What are some advice for someone who is depressed?
- Reach out and talk to someone: Talk to a friend, family, therapist, or counselor. Talking to someone can help you feel supported and provide a sense of hope.
- Take care of your body: Exercise regularly, eat healthy, get enough sleep, and practice relaxation techniques such as meditation or yoga.
- Stay connected: Make an effort to stay connected to friends and family, even if it’s just sending a text or calling.
- Challenge negative thoughts: Notice when you have negative thoughts and try to reframe them in a more positive way.
- Practice self-care: Take time for yourself and do things that make you feel good, such as listening to music, reading, or spending time in nature.
- Seek professional help: If your symptoms are severe or don’t improve with self-care, consider seeking help from a mental health professional.
Q. What positives has depression added to your life?
- A greater appreciation of life: Living through depression forced me to appreciate the little things in life that I often took for granted before.
- Increased empathy: Depression has made me more understanding and compassionate towards others.
- Ability to empathize with others: Depression has opened my eyes to what it means to live with a mental illness, and how difficult it can be to overcome it.
- Increased resilience: Having gone through depression has made me stronger and more resilient. It’s taught me how to cope with difficult situations, and how to keep going even when life seems overwhelming.
- Perspective: Depression has given me a unique perspective on life that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. It’s made me more aware of how my thoughts and actions can affect others and the world around me.
Q. What are the best books for dealing with depression?
- Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy by David D. Burns
- The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn
- The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook by Edmund J. Bourne
- Unmasking Psychological Symptoms: How Therapists Can Learn to Recognize the Psychological Presentation of Medical Disorders by Jerusha Detweiler-Bedell
- The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions by Christopher Germer
- When Panic Attacks: The New, Drug-Free Anxiety Therapy That Can Change Your Life by David D. Burns
- The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs by Stephen S. Ilardi
- The Depression Workbook: A Guide for Living with Depression and Manic Depression by Mary Ellen Copeland
- The Noonday Demon: An Atlas of Depression by Andrew Solomon
- Mind Over Mood: Change How You Feel by Changing the Way You Think by Dennis Greenberger and Christine Padesky.