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  • Writer's pictureDr. Clifford Brown

Proven, Drug-Free Ways to Dissolve Depression

from Matthew Little Epoch Health Senior Editor

Depression is a deadly epidemic in the United States, closely linked with the nation’s high rates of suicide—an issue increasingly affecting young people and children. 

 

Proven Treatments for Depression

Movement

Few things are as reliable in boosting mood and alleviating depression as exercise. It’s a well-studied phenomenon. Researchers have looked at everything from regular exercise to hot yoga and gardening and found they perform extremely well in alleviating depression. 

 

Might this mean that being seduced to sedentary comfort isn’t as satisfying as it feels? In fact, sitting is linked to depression and anxiety. Those a little more aware of how their mood changes with different activities will likely tell you that getting the body engaged is an immediate way to lift the spirit. 

 

Resolving addiction

Or, on the other side, addiction. Addiction of any form is closely linked to depression, each can contribute to the other, from internet addiction to opioid addiction to gambling. This holds true with addictive social media apps and video games, major causes of depression among children

 

Social engagement

Of course, it could also be the social isolation people suffer when meaningful social connections are replaced by tech time. We also know that meaningful relationships and helping others are some of the best ways to prevent depression, which likewise require real-world engagement. In other words, face-to-face connections are antidepressants.

 

Nutrition

Just as the inflammatory-effects of added sugars and processed foods are known to contribute to depression, the nutrients that come from a healthier diet are known to relieve it. Robust diets rich in a variety of whole foods can be critical to one’s mood. Some researchers have found even combinations of bacteria in the gut play a significant role in mood.

 

Nature

Sunshine and time in nature are also vital experiences shown to relieve depression. There are no doubt biochemical reasons, but on another level, the experience of beauty is likely a crucial human need. 

 

All of these elements that cure or cause depression have an important pattern. The causes have increased in time even as the cures have decreased. In other words, you could argue that the very pattern of modern life is making us depressed. If we are trying to solve that with a pill, it’s little wonder many people find no relief, no matter the dose. 

 

Fortunately, if our very lifestyles are making us depressed, we can change our daily choices to find natural relief from depression. We just might have to climb a hillside or saunter through a forest with a friend or two to do it.  


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