Depression is a disease that robs people of their energy, dreams and motivation, and replaces it all with a persistent feeling of sadness and lost of interest. Depression can insidiously impact all areas of your life.
If you are suffering from depression, you want to find an answer so you can get back to your life! If you are like approximately 4 out of 10 Americans, you want to use holistic or alternative medicines to treat medical conditions.(4) This includes treating depression.
As a naturopathic doctor I know that it is possible to treat depression using holistic medicine, however I don’t advise anyone to treat depression this way unless they are under the supervision of a qualified health care professional.
The reason is simple. If you are not treating the underlying cause of your depression, then using natural methods will not help.
I do, however, think that there are holistic treatments that you can use in conjunction with traditional treatments that can help alleviate the symptoms of depression.
When dealing with depression, it is important to find the cause of depression because that will guide the treatment that you and your health care provider choose.
Here are some examples of underlying causes for depression:
Brain chemistry changes
Research shows that people with depression have physical changes to the brain or to neurotransmitters (chemical messengers) in the brain. When there are changes to the neurotransmitters, this can have a profound effect on someone with depression.
When hormones get out of balance, it can trigger depression. Hormones are chemical messengers that are produced in one organ to change the function of that organ, or another organ elsewhere in the body.
Depression in women may be associated with times of menstruation, pregnancy, and the periods before and after menopause.
Depression tends to be more common in people with family members who have had depression.
A past history of physical sexual or emotional abuse can cause depression later in life.