Depression is one of the most common problems plaguing the world with over 300 million people suffering from it in 2018 as per the WHO data. It accounts for 16.2% of the US population affected from it and is the leading cause of disability in the world and also one of top 3 contributors to the global disease burden.
In the Indian context , the WHO and NCMH study suggests that 6.5% of the population is affected by some form of a serious mental disorder with no explicable rural or urban pattern. What depression does is makes the patient drug-dependent and secludes them from normal living by creating social walls of stigma , dislike , misunderstandings and mistreatments.
Linda Poindexter had once said ,
“One small crack does not mean that you are broken, it means that you were put to the test and you didn’t fall apart.”
There are many non-medication alternate solutions to combat depression and we shall be discussing the same in the following analysis.
What is Depression ?
It is classified as a mental health disorder which is featured by a low mood and depleting self-esteem. The patient has a lack of interest in activities and restricts themselves to an isolated environment often characterized by loss of appetite , sleep disturbances, changes in energy levels and a lack of concentration.
It pushes the individual in complete sadness and thoughts of some past event keep revolving around their minds. There is also a change in brains neural activity seen by doctors. It can also give rise to suicidal tendencies in some cases. Clinical depression is a treatable situation under a professional medical supervision.
The following symptoms can arise out of depression in an individual and can be ascertained for being down with one thereafter. There can be many more symptoms besides these that can qualify as depression in most cases.
1.Patient’s mood is depressed for most of the day, especially during the morning hours.
2.Patient feels tired or has a lack of energy almost each day.
3.Patient feels worthless or suffers a guilt each day.
4.Patient has a hard time gathering focus , to remember details, and make decisions.
5. Patient can’t sleep, or sleeps too much, almost each day.
6. Patient loses interest or pleasure in many activities nearly each day.
7. Patient contemplates often about death or suicide (not just a fear of death).
8. Patient feels restless or slowing down.
9. Patient loses or gains weight.
Let’s check out the 5 ways to combat depression without medication
1. Sleep Adequately
Getting quality sleep is a must for those who are suffering depression but then again there is an issue of sleep deprivation in depressed individuals. As per a 2005 study published in The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry , 90% of patients with depression have strong issues about their quality of sleep.
Health experts stress on the point to develop a better sleep hygiene in life. For those who can’t get any sleep or are sleep way more than necessary , they can adhere to these measures,
- Try to unwind yourselves before going to sleep by doing something pleasant to your mind , creative and can make you relax.
- Maintain the same time for going to sleep and remember to set an alarm to wake you up at the mentioned time.
- Follow an unhindered bedtime routine.
- Remember to switch off your devices before sleeping and try to read a book before going to bed. Going out in the open is a must each day. It is known that light plays a vital role in ensuring good sleep and maintaining the circadian rhythm.
2. Say No To Coffee
Caffeine is known as the worst enemy of sleep. It is a CNS stimulant as per studies and can trigger off anxiety attacks in individuals besides setting off a fight-or-flight response.
According to the researchers at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Silver Spring, Maryland , caffeine was found to decrease the alertness and performance of participants who were sleep deprived.
This is a shocking finding which reminds us that Coffee, Soda and even Chocolate , all of which contain some amount of caffeine , tend to be harmful to those suffering from depression. Cut down on these and see your situation improve.
3. Say Yes To Vitamin D
Vitamin D is known as the Sunshine-based vitamin and is vital for the overall growth and development of the body. As per a 2013 study published in The British Journal of Psychiatry , patients with depression were found to have lower levels of Vit D as compared to the control study.
The finest source for Vit D is Sunlight exposure but can also be got from supplements like fortified breakfast and orange juices , yogurts etc. You should definitely make it a point to have this regularly to make a rapid progress.
4. Seek Spirituality
Believe it or not , spirituality does have a positive impact in the treatment to Combat Depression and its related disorders. According to a 2004 study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry , appropriate spiritual encouragement to individuals affected from depression yielded good results.
Spirituality is known to give a purpose to life in older people and has also been seen to have a miraculous effect on the brain. Pursuing a spiritual activity , congregating with people with same spiritual beliefs at a Church , Temple , Gurudwara , Mosque or any other religious place is a good step in alleviating the symptoms of depression. It fills one with renewed sense of positivity and meaning besides connecting them to a higher truth in life.
5. Exercising Is A Must
When one is depressed , they feel no desire to do anything let alone exercise. But research says something to the contrary. As per a 2017 study published by the Mayo Clinic , exercising can miraculously help those suffering from depression.
Exercising helps in the supply of endorphins , lifts your mood and shifts your focus to other things in life. Pursuing moderate activity each day like cycling , walking or playing some sport of choice can help you recover from depression and improve your overall health.
Following the aforementioned 5 alternate non-pill-taking methods to Combat Depression and make your lives easier. Living a life which free from the burden of disease and anxiety of any sort is a boon and is a right of every living being. Paying attention to your diet in addition to the above besides adopting positive habits in life which help you fulfil your goals can play an important role.
WARNING: Please continue your prescribed medications and DO NOT STOP them without consulting your doctor. It is important to stay in close touch with your doctor and keep adhering to their suggestions besides trying to follow the above steps to Combat Depression (which are non-medicative).