Dr. Willard’s ® Promotes Mental Health Month with Tips on Fighting Depression Naturally
May is Mental Health Month, which promotes awareness of the millions of people in our country that are dealing with a mental condition. In 2016, Mental Health America deemed this awareness month Life with a Mental Illness, which urges individuals struggling with a mental illness to share their story. This organization urges people to make their experiences public on social media with photos or words, using the hashtag #mentalillnessfeelslike.
While there are many kinds of mental illness, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, many people do not realize that depression is also classified as a mental health condition. Although depression is fairly common, affecting 16 million American adults, it can be serious and even life threatening. Dr. Willard’s® urges anyone that believes they may be depressed to contact a mental health professional to get a diagnosis.
What are the Symptoms of Depression?
Although many of us have days when we may feel sad, down or simply unenergetic, clinical depression is much more severe. This condition can affect people for months or years on end; if left untreated, individuals can see no way out and even attempt suicide. Knowing symptoms of depression can make it easier for you to realize if you may have this condition, and get help.
Typical symptoms of depression include:
- Changes in sleep patterns (sleeping too much or not enough)
- Changes in eating patterns (eating too much or not enough)
- Loss of energy
- General apathy
- Loss of sexual drive
- Inability to concentrate
What are Ways to Fight Depression Naturally?
There are many conventional treatments for depression, such as depression medication. Although some people have found them to be helpful, they also come with a number of negative and harmful side effects, aside from the fact that they are expensive and often unaffordable by the people that need them. However, there are many natural ways to treat depression, such as:
Whenever we feel down, it is natural to want to hide under the covers and stay in bed all day. However, exercise has been scientifically proven to help fight mild to moderate depression, and possibly even severe depression. When you exercise, your body releases endorphins, which are chemicals that lift your mood and make you feel better about yourself and the world around you. You’ve probably heard of “a runner’s high,” which is a euphoric feeling many runners get after completing a workout, that is due to endorphins. Furthermore, endorphins have a sedating effect, helping depressed individuals who are battling insomnia get a better night’s rest. Finally, endorphins can ease the feelings of anxiety typically associated with depression.
“P. Murali Doraiswamy, MD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University School of Medicine, in Durham, N.C., recommends exercising three to five times a week for 20 to 30 minutes,” states Health.com.
People all over the world have practiced meditation for thousands of years. This involves eliminating distractions from the mind and the physical world around you, and becoming “aware.” People practice meditation differently, some repeat a mantra, others try to become one with nature, while yet others listen to a recording. No matter how it is done, meditation’s aim is to transform the mind using “techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things,” according to The Buddhist Centre.
Meditation has been known to help ease depression symptoms, and a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine, actually found that mindful meditation is just as effective at fighting depression as traditional medication.
“Food is a very powerful modifier when it comes to depression and the brain,” explains Kathie Swift, MS, RD, LDN, co-director of the Food as Medicine program of the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, DC in HealthyWomen.org. While it may be tempting to eat an entire chocolate bar or a tub of ice cream when you feel blue, you should be mindful that we are, in essence, what we eat. To fight depression, eat a balanced diet that Swift coins “a depression defense portfolio,” so that you can get the nutrients needed to regular your mood.
Nutrients to fight depression include:
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are proven to help prevent depression. A Norwegian study of 22,000 participants that took cod liver, a food that contains Omega-3 fatty acids, had a 30 percent lower chance of developing depression than other who didn’t take this supplement.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be taken in supplement form, or consumed in food. Foods that contain it are fatty fish, such as wild salmon, tuna and sardines; seeds, such as hemp and chia; and nuts, such as walnuts.
Magnesium helps to produce serotonin, which regulates mood and energy levels.
Food items that contain high levels of magnesium include grains, such as oats, brown rice, quinoa and buckwheat; fish, such as halibut and salmon; nuts, such as peanuts and almonds; seeds, such as pumpkin and sunflower; and vegetables, such as spinach and avocado.
Complex carbohydrates consist of healthy choices, such as vegetables, green beans, carrots and celery, whole grains and beans. These starches contain fiber, which doesn’t cause your blood sugar levels to crash, as simple carbohydrates, such as processed sugary desserts, do. The spike and fall of blood sugar from eating sweets contributes to changes in mood; however, fiber from complex carbs helps to regular mood and keeps you feeling better.
Dr. Willard’s ® is committed to raising awareness for Mental Health Month, and educating our consumers about healthy and natural ways to fight depression. Adding Dr. Willard’s ®, our patented and world-known formula, to your diet and supplement routine can help you live a healthier lifestyle.
Just because we eat a healthy diet, doesn’t mean that all the nutrients from these foods are able to enter our bloodstream. However, Dr. Willard’s ® helps to break down food particles in order to aid the body in absorbing the nutrients from the food we eat. In addition, it helps to flush out toxins, detoxifying our body to keep it healthy and running at its best.