Are You Suffering From Depression and Anxiety?
Depression and anxiety deplete your energy, desire, and hope. It makes it difficult for you to take a step that can help you to feel better. Depression is the second most frequent medical condition seen in common medical practice around the world; it is caused by the alterations of the neurotransmitters in our central nervous system . It is a mood disorder that occurs differently in different individuals.
There is a relationship between anxiety and depression. Depression varies among individuals from mild depression to severe depression. The common prodrome of depression includes irritability, the feeling of sadness, loss of pleasure and interest, trouble concentrating, lack of energy, changes in appetite, worrying a lot, and thoughts of suicide or death . Consequently, Depression can affect your life badly and can disturb your routine activities.
Likewise, Anxiety is acutely common; the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention reports that anxiety is the most general class of mental disorders . In life, we all experience anxiety at different life stages. Both children and adults experience anxiety. For most people, anxiety lasts for a short time. But for some people, it can go from days to weeks, months, or years. It can revert with time, and sometimes it becomes so severe that it influences your routine life. When the situation becomes much worse, then this is called an anxiety disorder.
While symptoms of anxiety vary from individual to individual, usually people react in a very specific way when they feel anxious. The most common symptoms that you can feel when you are anxious are feeling restless, nervous, being tense, having a fast heartbeat, having feelings of panic, dread or danger, experiencing muscle twitches or trembling, heavy sweating, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems such as constipation, diarrhea or gas, lethargy, and weakness. Anxiety is a part of everyone’s life but it depends on us how we handle it. Usually, long-lasting anxiety may lead to depression.
Many medications are used for the treatment of anxiety and depression. The most common that prescribes for treating anxiety and depression are Celexa, Zoloft, Prozac, Paxil, and Lexapro. There are, however, a few possible side effects of these medications. In this article, we will talk about some of the naturopathic options that are available for the management of depression and anxiety. You will also learn how to cope with depression and anxiety. But before you make any decision regarding which supplement and what dosage to use, you should discuss your health condition with your naturopathic doctor.
Natural Treatments for Anxiety and Depression:
Let’s explore some natural ways to beat anxiety and depression.
• Exercise Regularly: Doing exercise regularly is a great strategy that can lead you to flare anxious energy. There is research available that supports this strategy. For Example, in 2015 a systematic literature review was conducted to critically evaluate exercise effects on adults who have an anxiety disorder. They found that exercise may potentially help with anxiety symptoms. . Another study suggests that exercise can be beneficial for those people who are experiencing exacerbated anxiety due to smoking cessation  .
• Writing: Finding a strategy to express your anxiety and depression in a safe manner can make you feel more comfortable. Journaling or other kinds of writing may help individuals to cope with anxiety and depression. Creative writing can help teens and children to lower the symptoms of anxiety and depression  .
• Time management strategy: A lot of people start feeling anxious and sometimes go into depression if they have been exposed to high levels of stress or have been continuously experiencing a lot of workloads. We all often start feeling anxious when we have a lot of commitments at a time, such as work, family, and health-related tasks. I recommend you create a proper plan for all the next required actions.
An effective time management plan can help you to focus on one task at one time. Online calendars and book-based planners can help you in managing multiple tasks. The breakdown of larger tasks into smaller tasks can help people to accomplish such tasks with minimum stress .
• Spend time with pets: Pets provide love, companionship, and support. Spending time with pets might be beneficial for people who are dealing with depression or anxiety. Research has shown that loving and caring crickets can improve mental health among older people .
Results from a 2015 systematic literature review suggest that spending time with horses can soothe stress and anxiety associated with the trauma . You can also add strategies such as relaxation exercise, aromatherapy, and meditation in your life for treating mental disorders such as anxiety or depression.
Naturopathic Herbal Supplements for Anxiety and Depression:
• St. John’s Wort: St. John’s Wort is also known as Hypericum Perforatum. This plant has been historically used for the management of feelings of depression and anxiety. Though, people should be very cautious if they are going to treat their anxiety or depression with this supplement.
A systematic literature review of 2016 found that St. John’s wort worked more effectively than the placebo for treating mild depression to moderate depression; it also worked as well as the antidepressant medication .
• 5-HTTP: 5-HTP is also known as 5-hydroxytryptophan. 5-HTP is might also be beneficial in improving and regulating the serotonin level in the brain. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that affects a lot on a person’s mood. Research has shown that 5-HTP supplements alleviated depression in patients in one day .
• SAMe: This is the short form for S-adenosyl methionine. SAMe is a chemical that is naturally produced in the human body. Research conducted in 2016 on the randomized controlled trials for the use of this supplement in treating depression in adults did not find any significant results. But they found that this supplement can produce the same effect as the antidepressants such as escitalopram or imipramine .
Most other studies that still exist related to this supplement for treating depression and anxiety did not produce any significant result. There is a need for more high-quality research in this area. In Europe, however, this supplement is commonly used as an antidepressant.
• Omega 3- fatty acids: A 2015 study conducted that omega 3-fatty acids are not very useful for treating depression. While the authors of this study also reported that there are nor no serious side effects produce by using this supplement. They also suggested that this supplement can only be useful in treating depression that product due to the deficiency of omega-3 .
• Saffron: There are studies existing that depict Saffron as an effective supplement for treating depression and anxiety. A 2018 non-systematic literature review conducted suggested saffron as the antidepressant for the treatment of anxiety and depression .
• Curcumin: Curcumin has antioxidant properties that can help in the reduction of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is contributing factor to depression. So, curcumin may potentially help patients with depression.
A study shows that Curcumin acts as an anti-anxiety and antidepressant. It releases serotonin neurotransmitter that helps in lowering stress in the brain. Further, they suggested that the neurotransmitter that curcumin releases also offers protection to the brain . Another interesting study of 2015 suggested that curcumin can act as anti-anxiety among individuals who are obese .
• Vitamin D: Research shows that vitamin D plays an essential role in warding off anxiety and depression. In a study, the authors found that people who were depressed, after receiving vitamin D, showed a noticeable improvement in their mood . A study published in 2015 has shown that individuals with symptoms of depression or anxiety tend to have a lower level of Calcidiol. Calcidiol is a byproduct that produces a breakdown of vitamin D .
• Zinc: Zinc is an essential mineral for the human body. Its deficiency can lead to emotional instability, depression, anxiety, and irritability . Another study showed that zinc might have a potential roles in the treatment of depressive disorders .
• Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 may help in improving mood. Its deficiency may reduce serotonin chemicals that help with mood regulation. A study revealed that vitamin B12 deficiency doubles the risk of a very severe kind of depression .
The deficiency of folate (also known as folic acid) is also linked with depression. Folate acts as an antidepressant in improving mood. there are a few studies showing that folic acids may play a role in treating anxiety and depression  .
Conclusion: Untreated anxiety and depression can make your life stressful. You may manage your anxiety and depression with many natural treatments such as lifestyle changes, herbal supplements, and medications. You may have to try many methods to find the best approach that works for you. Your naturopathic doctor can help guide you.
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