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The Dangers of Depression

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There are definite dangers associated with depression. It can affect nearly all ages, with some groups and demographics being more susceptible than others (women are more likely to develop depression than men, for example, and teens are said to be more prone to depression than adults). Depression can even be fatal, warn medical professionals; and it’s not just the disorder that poses risks. Medications can also present their own list of risky side effects.

Here are some of the dangers commonly associated with depression.

Suicide

This may be the “ultimate” danger associated with depression – it’s considered by many to be the most extreme manifestation of the disorder. Depressed people may convince themselves that they just aren’t worth enough to live, or that their friends and family will be better off without them. Warning signs of suicide include:

  • Preoccupation with death – person constantly talks about death or conducts extensive research into the afterlife, methods of suicide, and other related subjects
  • Gathering belongings and giving them away
  • Cleaning out and “getting things in order” for no apparent reason
  • Continual speaking about death, the afterlife, or other similar things

Loss of Job and Income

Depression can be debilitating. The depressed person feels worthless and unmotivated, and may call in sick frequently or not show up for work. They may be late or be unable to face difficulties during the workday. Depression can cause a person to be indecisive and unable to concentrate, which could be extremely dangerous in certain types of work (such as construction or factory work that requires a worker to be alert to avoid injury to him/herself or others).

Losing a job may then exacerbate the person’s depression, and the loss of income could affect the amount of medical attention and medication he or she is able to afford.

Medications

While medication can save lives, it can also pose serious and/or dangerous side effects. Antidepressants tend to have fewer side effects than SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), but antidepressants may, ironically, induce suicidal thoughts.

Several years ago, a popular antidepressant was called on the carpet for indirectly causing the actual suicides of many people who took it. SSRIs may cause bad headaches, temporary or chronic diarrhea, insomnia, nausea, and/or nervousness and agitation.

Self-Neglect

Depressed people have a tendency to neglect their own health and care. They may not have the energy or focus to keep their homes clean, eat well, or care for their body. Because of this self-neglect, depressed individuals may be more susceptible to illness.

More serious illnesses may go untreated because the depressed person just can’t cope with the idea of having a serious illness and therefore he or she doesn’t seek help or treatment.

Natural Treatments for Depression

If you suffer from mild to moderate depression, you may be interested in natural treatments. Even cases of severe depression may benefit from natural remedies in conjunction with medication.

Natural treatments run the gamut from supplements to lifestyle changes to alternative therapy. Here are some natural treatments that may help this disorder.

Dietary Adjustments

Natural health experts generally agree that diet is important in managing depression symptoms. Some dietary changes you can make include:

  • Eat nutrient-dense foods. This helps make sure your body has all the vitamins and minerals it needs for proper brain function. Fresh produce, nuts, and whole grains tend to be rich in vital nutrients.
  • EFAs, or essential fatty acids, may help boost mood in depressed individuals. EFAs can be found in healthy oils like olive or safflower, and in fish and nuts.
  • Cut back on refined white sugar and corn syrup. These refined sweeteners tend to cause blood sugar spikes and slumps, which contribute to the symptoms of depression.
  • Eat whole foods, such as whole grains and fresh produce. This not only provides depressed individuals with much-needed, healthy carbs; it also minimizes artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives from the diet. These artificial substances may contribute to depression in some individuals.

Chiropractic and other Body-Oriented Treatments

These alternative therapies seem to be gaining acceptance among medical experts. Techniques like chiropractic adjustments, massage, acupuncture, and others may help relieve depression symptoms. This may have to do with improving circulation or the elimination of toxins from the tissues of the body. Other body treatments include:

  • Dance therapy
  • Acupressure
  • Martial arts
  • Yoga

Exercise

Working out daily can be hard even if you don’t have depression. But it’s even more important if you do – exercise has been shown to help relieve symptoms of depression. This may be due to the ability of exercise to boost brain chemicals that make you feel happy. Exercise brings balance to your life, balancing activity and rest; a balanced lifestyle itself can be very helpful in dealing with depression.

Most sources are consistent in pointing out that exercise need not be strenuous, but that it should be regular – 30 to 60 minutes a day for 3 to 6 days a week.

Supplements

A good vitamin and mineral supplement that is high in B12 and B6 is said to be good for alleviating depression. Magnesium is another mineral that tends to be deficient in many people, and that is important for proper nerve and muscle function. You may also find that supplements of evening primrose oil, flax oil, or fish oil will help your mood.

Herbal supplements have sometimes been used with success. St. John’s Wort is probably the best-known herb that may combat depression. Others include ginseng, valerian root, and chamomile. Chamomile can be drunk as a tea, as can another tasty sedative herb – lemon balm.

Always check with your doctor before supplementing with any herbs to avoid any adverse drug/herb interactions. And if you know a qualified herbalist, you can get advice from him or her, too.

Did you know that there is a technique in Holistic Therapy that can help people in these cases?

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Help promote Holistic Therapy as a complementary treatment in the promotion of health and well-being

Penha Cristina Mullett

Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner

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Penha Cristina Mullett

Penha Cristina Mullett, Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner.
Owner to Salutar Holistic Center LLC, located in Lousiana LA.

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