Most depression can be effectively treated with a few simple techniques. These techniques often work well for people who have not responded well to anti-depression medications. In fact, research over the past decade has shown that medication only works in those with the most severe cases of depression.
1. Talking about your problems with a caring, active listener. Attempting to deal with life’s problems alone can result in “brooding” behavior. You begin thinking about a problem, and continue to turn it over and over again in your mind. Pretty soon, it dominates your thoughts. This is also known as “over thinking” and is especially common in adolescents suffering from depression. The “cure” is simple – talking about your problems with a trusted, caring, active listener helps clarify thoughts and presents possible solutions.
2. Getting exercise. Regular exercise releases endorphins and other chemicals into the body that enhance the sense of well-being. Regular exercise will also result in better sleep patterns.
3. Exposure to at least one hour of sunlight each day. Many people become depressed solely from a lack of adequate daylight. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects a large number of people, who become depressed during the darker winter months. The problem is simply cured by using special “daylight” lamps for several hours each day. Even people without SAD will benefit from sunlight.
4. Getting plenty of sleep. Tired people have greater difficulty dealing with problems and challenges of all kinds. Their problems tend to keep them awake, resulting in a vicious cycle.
5. Eating a diet rich in Omega-3 fatty acids – fish (especially white tuna, salmon, cod, halibut, herring, and trout) or flaxseed oil supplements. These supplements will also help enhance your sense of well being.