CIFAL - Atlanta | Depression Treatment Without Drugs: A Reality
There are some type of treatments that attempts to use methods other than drugs, such as music in the case of music therapy, to draw the patient out of their depression. Using drugs can really alter the chemical system in the body. It also changes a lot in you, including your appearance, mood, and routine. They mostly provide trigger happy feelings. As in they make you feel better in the moment, and when the effects wear off, your back to square one. Nonetheless, they help diminish the pain of a patient and make them relatively happier at least for some time. They are normally only prescribed in the worst case scenarios and are coupled with depression treatment without drugs.
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Depression Treatment Without Drugs: A Reality

There are some type of treatments that attempts to use methods other than drugs, such as music in the case of music therapy, to draw the patient out of their depression.  Using drugs can really alter the chemical system in the body. It also changes a lot in you, including your appearance, mood, and routine. They mostly provide trigger happy feelings. As in they make you feel better in the moment, and when the effects wear off, your back to square one. Nonetheless, they help diminish the pain of a patient and make them relatively happier at least for some time. They are normally only prescribed in the worst case scenarios and are coupled with depression treatment without drugs.

Some depression treatments without drugs are:

  • Physical activity releases endorphins in the body. Endorphins are also called the feel-good hormone. They, needless to say, make you feel good and happy. They interact with the brain to get positive thoughts and results. They are also natural pain killers and help numb some of the pain that the body is feeling. They make sure that the mind feels peaceful and is empty, if not necessary elated and overjoyed. This is a good way to deal with depression because exercise is a natural activity and has many other benefits as well.
  • Spend time thinking about why you feel the way you do. Try to do a cross-examination and figure out what exactly you are unhappy with or what you want to change. If it is not obvious, talk to a psychiatrist or even a friend or a family member. Figuring out the root cause of the problem means that half the problem is already solved. This is important because can be caused by feelings generated in the present circumstance, not just due to biochemical changes. After finding, admitting and accepting the problem that is making you feel this way, proceed to discuss and take the steps to change the circumstances.
  • Pay special attention to your diet. Never ever skip a meal, for whatever reason. A hungry body and mind will only push you deeper into the realms of depression. A full stomach, on the other hand, can make you feel surprisingly content and satisfied. Also, try to incorporate foods that trigger the production of serotonin in the body. Eat Omega-3 fatty food. Healthy fats like coconut oil and a high protein diet will do wonders. Avoid caffeine at all costs as it reduces the production of serotonin.
  • Expose yourself to the sun. In general, try to spend as much time with nature as possible. The nature in itself is very soothing and will help you heal. It also is a perfect, serene environment to deal with your thoughts. Vitamin D that can be generated by spending time in the sun, is also a form of therapy and soothes or at least calms the mind, allowing you to be able to deal with your feelings.
  • Meditate, or indulge in other holistic activities. Meditation requires you to sit and come face to face with your emotions. This can be a very enriching experience and can help a patient come out of depression. It can also be a chance for someone to discover themselves and figure out what they want. They can remove the mask that they wear to hide from the world and show their true self
  • Ask for help when you need it. This is very important in the journey to heal. No one can be expected to read your mind. You need to speak out and talk to someone if you need help. It is important to understand that there are many people who are willing to go that extra mile to help you out of the mess that you are in. All that you need to do is talk to them and ask for help if you need. Express what is bothering you, how you are dealing with it and what you want to do about. They might even be able to offer you some solutions or at the very least, be a shoulder to lean on.
  • Other forms of therapy like electroconvulsive therapy and transcranial magnetic stimulation can be used coax the brain into behaving a certain way.

What is transcranial magnetic stimulation?

Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a form of therapy that uses noninvasive techniques. It uses magnetic waves and fields to stimulate the cells of the brain and try and reduce the symptoms of depression. It is typically a last resort method and is used when all else has failed. The treatment involves delivering multiple magnetic pulses and is also called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation. Typically, the patient is made to sit in a chair and an electromagnetic coil is placed on their forehead against the scalp. Then painlessly, a magnetic pulse is delivered through the coil to the brain. This stimulates the nerve cells in that region of the brain that is responsible for controlling moods, emotions, and depression. The magnitude of the magnetic pulse will be determined by the doctor. They will keep increasing the pulse until your hands twitch. That will be taken as a reference point and the magnitude of the pulse will be adjusted accordingly. The magnitude differs from session to session, depending on how you are feeling on that day.  The procedure lasts for typically forty minutes and you will be awake and alert during the procedure. If the procedure works for you, the symptoms of depression will reduce greatly or may even go away completely. The treatment needs to be delivered for a couple of weeks for it to be effective. A patient does not have any constraints about what they can do during the time period between and after the treatment.

Depression is surprisingly common ailment but, many do not seek treatment due to the stigma around mental illnesses that exists in society. Depression, like any other ailment, needs to be treated. The symptoms of depression are hard to recognize as they can be put down to being temporary. It is very important to recognize the symptoms and try to help the person at the earliest stage. There are many ways to treat depression though none of them are particularly effective unless the depressed wants to help themselves. People close to them should encourage them and support them and make them want to clear their minds. Some drug therapy is available but isn’t advised unless the situation is very serious. Instead, transcranial magnetic stimulation and other depression treatments without drugs are prescribed. It is important for the people around the depressed person to be their support system and help build morale and give them the strength to handle it. Depression can never be eliminated, only kept at bay. Everyone involved has to consciously make an effort to be happy and not fall into the trap of depression again.