Depression is everywhere. There are social media campaigns to raise awareness. Celebrities saying they have it or have had it. Which I think is a good thing, there shouldn’t be this stigma and shame around it that there is. It’s not a choice. It may be you, or a friend or family member. You may not be aware of those you know who have it, but unfortunately, I’m sure that there is someone you know who is depressed. A side effect of modern life.
I thought today I would mention a few things that may help you or encourage you to seek the support of someone like myself if you feel low and lethargic and want a bit of a boost and help to feel better. I know this may seem a very light way of describing the feelings and emotions that go alongside depression.
Depression and anxiety can often go hand in hand. Place one had on your chest and one on your tummy. Take a deep breath in. Which hand moves? The majority of us are ‘upper chest breathers’. This means that you don’t breathe properly. The hand over your tummy is the one that should move – the diaphragm, not your shoulders. By breathing with your shoulders you may be hyperventilating without realising, which upsets the carbon dioxide/oxygen levels in your blood stream. This makes us anxious. If you sort your breathing out, you will notice a difference in your anxiety.
Being deficient in minerals or vitamins will make you feel depressed. The big ones are the B Vitamins which are so important to brain health. If you are vegetarian or vegan is it possible that you are at a higher risk of being deficient as you don’t eat meat. Minerals are also vital. A patient came to see me recently and I sent off some hair for hair analysis and the results showed that they are Magnesium deficient. The symptoms of magnesium deficiency were also all the symptoms they had been feeling including depression. It may be that you need to eat more of certain foods or have things like Epsom Salt baths so your body can absorb the minerals that way.
I have written about antibiotics and the damage they do. If your intestinal tract isn’t working properly then your brain won’t be either. The link between the gut and brain is so important and what you eat and how you digest and absorb the food has a huge impact on how you feel. Probiotics and Slippery Elm restore the damage done so that the body can absorb the right nutrients and get the most out of the food.
It doesn’t have to be group Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or whatever the doctor has suggested. There are a variety of others out there that might be more beneficial. I am a fan of EFT with Matrix Reimprinting. However, different things suit different people. For some its hypnotherapy, for others is psychotherapy. Explore the options available.
There are many things available that can help you deal with and process the cause of the depression and all the emotions that go alongside. The most famous is probably Mindfulness. There are a variety of in person courses you can do, or get a book with cd so you can learn the tools of Mindfulness such as journaling and the meditations. As a side note, if the book comes with a CD, don’t buy the kindle version!
It doesn’t mean you have to go for a 10km run every day. Going for a 20 minute brisk walk will help each day if you can manage it or a few times a week will also have a beneficial impact. Classes such as yoga or Pilates if you don’t want to go to a really active gym class will also help.
Take some time for yourself
Go for a walk and take photos of plants, buildings, your children, your dog – whatever takes your eye and makes you smile or gives you a sense of enjoyment.
Buy a colouring in book. There are loads of adult ones on amazon and also look in the big supermarkets – I got one from Tesco and I love it.
As a Naturopathic Physician I have a tool box full of therapies that may be able to help you. Depression is something that can be treated alongside antidepressants or dare I say, without, depending on if the individual wants to take them. I would never say don’t take them if you have been prescribed them or are thinking about taking them. I can help support you whilst you take them, and then it’s down to you with your GP if you want to come off them. I will never tell someone to stop them because they feel better without discussing it with the GP.
Don’t feel guilty or ashamed about it. Feeling like that will not help you feel any better.
More information about consultations at www.harleystreetnaturopath.co.uk