Chronic depression feels like a debilitating illness, and by all rational it is. Most chronic depression sufferers report being devastated by the illness, so much so that they can barely manage to crawl out of bed. Perhaps the worst thing you can tell a person who is chronically depressed is, “Get over it!” Because this type of mental illness is as much a chemical imbalance as it is an environmentally-based problem.
Nevertheless, there are many individuals today who resent the idea of taking medication for depression—especially since doctors often prescribe medication with little to no thought as to cognitive treatment. In psychiatry, it was always intended to provide medication as a “starter device”, one that would only work with consistent education and training. The medication helped the patient relax and work through negative feelings, long enough so that he could pursue another line of thinking.
Today, what we sometimes see are doctors who behave as drug pushers—they merely write out a prescription and assume the pills will handle everything. While one cannot deny that depression is a chemical imbalance, the truth of the matter is that there is solid evidence showing that lifestyle and diet are major influencers of mood—regardless of chemical imbalances. And it may surprise you to know that many people are recovering from depression without the use of natural or chemically created pills. They are simply fighting the chronic blues away by aggressively changing the life that breeds depression.
The most common recommendations are planning meaningful and enjoyable activities (which reduced the time spent dwelling on negative thoughts), engaging in regular exercise, changing diets and eating healthier (particularly omega-3 fatty acids), improving the sleeping schedule and getting more sun.
One common statistic quoted by the medical industry is that drugs for depression only work 50% of the time anyway. That’s a huge failure rate and the risks patients assess when trying medications is indeed intimidating. Even discounting the increased risk of disease development, there is a very good possibility that patients on antidepressants may become emotionally numb, may gain weight and may experience sexual side effects.
On the contrary, natural treatment merely involves taking in more vitamins and omega 3 fatty acids on a daily basis, eliminating sources of stress, expanding exercise time to 90 minutes per week, expanding sleep to the normal eight-hour range, and getting 30 minutes of sunlight per day. Last but not least, becoming more sociable helps to relieve even the most aching depression.
No, depression doesn’t really go away. However, there are effective ways to treat it and they don’t have to involve supporting an expensive or life-compromising drug habit!