Treating depression the old school way – Drugs
Post update – I should have said that I am not an expert on depression. I experienced anxiety, not depression. So I will leave this topic to a reliable source for you to read more on. But do stick around for the natural ways.
Drugs can be helpful when it comes to balancing out the chemicals in our brains. However because I am someone who took medication when experiencing high levels of anxiety and felt much worse, I would recommend you not taking medication when it comes to anxiety.
Check out my article about what I did do to overcome anxiety.
So drugs for depression, yes. For anxiety, no. The reason is anxiety and depression are not related.
Why? Anxiety is when we experience too much of the emotion of fear. It’s when we become hyper-vigilant . Depression on the other hand is when we experience a numbing of hyper-vigilance. It’s like a dulling of the senses. .
Again I am no expert on depression, but I definitely know they are two different things. Anxiety and depression cannot exist together at the same time. It’s impossible to have them both in a neurological circuit at the same time. It’s like being happy and sad simultaneously… it just isn’t possible.
Anxiety can be replaced by modifying our behaviours. Depression can be eliminated by correcting the chemistry in the brain with medication and by making some lifestyle changes.
The only thing to be weary of when taking medication is that we can become dependant on them. But used in moderation, medication along with some natural ways to deal with it, can work wonders.
Treating depression the natural way
Here are some things we can start doing today to take away the depressive feelings.
Creating structure into our lives – While having space is important, creating a daily structure is fundamental when it comes to mental health problems because having a structure in place keeps our minds active and it gives us a sense of fulfilment but more importantly it allows us to take control of our lives.
When we are just living without having any structure, we can sometimes fall back to old negative habits. When we fill in our time with productive and enjoyable activities, meaning and purpose, we can actually start to drive out that depression.
Exercise – Whenever I used to feel fed up (because of being anxious) my brother would drag me on a jog with him and at the end of it I would feel pretty energised and positive. Your body releases endorphins (feel good hormones) during exercise, this is also known as runners high. Taking medication will produce the same sort of effect.
Walking a little each day has also been known to produce brilliant results. I can back this up from my own experiences with walking.
Eat more healthy – What we eat plays a massive part in how we feel physically and it also has an effect on our mental well-being. Just by seeing healthy food on my plate or in a supermarket trolley immediately has a positive impact on me and that’s even before I have put it into my mouth.
When we start to eat more healthier, we probably won’t notice the results instantly but after sticking to a healthier diet, we will see big improvements in our overall mental health as well as physical well-being.
Meditation – Meditation is a very effective way at tackling depression because it allows us to come to a point of stillness. When our mind is still and clear of thoughts… how can be depressed? Surely it’s the thoughts you experience which make you feel depressed.
Obviously there are other factors involved but negative, unwanted thinking does play a part in being depressed so meditation can help you with calming a noisy mind.
A quick bit of life changing advice: don’t try and push your thoughts away. This will only empower them and keep them in place. Just accept them and allow them to be. When we practice allowing them to be, they will lose their power over us.
Keep a gratitude journal – What has a gratitude journal got to do with treating depression you may ask? Well the reason why is because when we focus on the things we appreciate, our brain will develop a habit.
The habit of always looking to find the things we perceive as ‘good’ and whatever we focus on you will experience more of that feeling state.
We will produce more happiness, even if the level is subtle, it will gradually build up to a baseline level of happiness overtime. Focusing on things we appreciate instead of on things we don’t will help us lift the blues.
Letting go of the past – People who suffer from depression sometimes suffer because of the unwillingness to let go of the things which happened in the past, either what happened to them or what they did.
This results in them not being able to enjoy life at present thus leaving them feeling miserable and depressed. The only time there ever is… is NOW. Become friends with the present moment, treat it as a best friend, welcome life at every moment.
So to summarise this article, my advice would be to try everything I’ve mentioned here. And whatever you don’t find helpful, just ignore. But give it some time first.
What has been your saviour when it comes to beating depression? Feel free to leave a comment below if you have any questions regarding depression.