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A natural approach to depression

    We all have days when we are moody, angry, feeling disappointed and not feeling social. Fluctuation in moods once in a while is healthy. Depressed people can experience these symptoms regularly. Sometimes, such moods can occur for no apparent reason. 

    An Individual is considered in depression when the above symptoms are accompanied by a lack of interest in hobbies and work, disassociation from social events and withdrawal from family and friends for an extended period. Fatigue, Low Libido, lack of sleep and feelings associated with guilt and irritation can also be signs of depression. 

    According to the National Survey, one in seven men and one in five women in Australia suffer from depression. Out of the total population with depression, only 49 percent received any professional help. When depressed, book an appointment with the Vital Chi Wellness mental health team for expert assistance. 

    What causes Depression? 

    Life events– Unexpected issues like unemployment, abusive relationships, sexual abuse, work stress, and loneliness are likely to cause depression. Depression can be caused by one or a combination of life events. 

    Personal factors– Depression can be genetic. However, having a close relative who has experienced depression doesn’t necessarily mean you will get depression. Individual factors like worrying a lot, perfectionism, and sensitivity to negativity and criticism can also lead to depression. Drug and Substance abuse is also linked to depression. According to the National Survey, 30 percent of alcohol users will experience depression in their lives. 

    Comparisons– How you interpret and take information from other people, books and online sources can cause depression. For instance, social media comparisons where you feel your peers have a better life than you do due to what they post online can cause depression. You are also likely to experience depression due to how you interpret emotions. How you understand nonverbal cues from friends and people close to you can make you have conclusions which are depressing. 

    Naturopathic ways of treating Depression 

    1. Identifying the cause of depression 
    The first step to recovery is determining what caused depression. Did you have to sell out your integrity to have a job? Is your body making you have low self-esteem? Did you lose a close friend or relative? Have you been diagnosed with a non-curable disease? All this and many other reasons could bring depression. Do not live in denial. Identify and accept the underlying issue.

    1. Exercises
      Exercises are vital for the wellness of your mental health. The body is impacted by what happens in the brain and vice versa. Physical activity produces endorphins. Endorphins are chemicals produced in the brain which rejuvenate the brain. As a result, they reduce stress and improve sleeping ability thus reducing depression. Endorphins can also be triggered by acupuncture, meditation and massage therapy. 

      3. Eating a Serotonin-rich diet
      Serotonin levels in the body can be boosted naturally without the aid of anti-depressants. Serotonin is a chemical in the body that regulates behaviour and mood in the body. Low serotonin is linked with depression. Serotonin also affects sleep, depression, libido and memory. 

      Some of the serotonin-boosting foods include: 
    • A high protein diet, especially proteins with high levels of tryptophan like wild chicken, turkey, and goose
    • Foods with Omega-3 fatty acids like Sardines, Salmon, Herring, and Mackerel. 
    • It is also crucial to note that when depressed, avoid caffeinated drinks. Caffeine reduces the Serotonin levels in the body.
    • Coconut oil 

    Laura Davis is the owner of Vital Chi Wellness, a leading Melbourne naturopath provider. Vital Chi Wellness offers an alternative therapeutic option to treat minor or chronic health conditions.