Psychiatrists often prescribe medications for the treatment of depression. For severe cases, these medications may be necessary in order to get the depression under control. For milder or more moderate cases, medications can be helpful, but they are not always essential. If you would rather not depend on medication for the treatment of your depression, or if you want to move on from using medication as quickly as possible, this is often something a psychiatrist will be open to. But what natural, non-medication treatments for depression should you instead talk about with your psychiatrist? Here are a few top possibilities.
In many cases, meeting with a group of people who also suffer from depression can be really helpful. Depression is often made worse if you don't talk about it. And many people do not have a friend or family member in their lives who really understands what depression is all about. In group therapy, you can hear others' stories, share your own story, and get feedback both from other patients and the therapist. This open engagement can really help improve your mood and get your symptoms under control.
You may have heard that exercise is a natural antidepressant. It may not cure depression on its own, but it can be incredibly helpful when added to a treatment routine. Even moderate-intensity exercise, like power walking or dancing, can stimulate the release of feel-good hormones like serotonin. Adopting an exercise routine also gives you something positive to focus on. Setting and working towards goals can help you feel more accomplished and self-assured, which can help ward off depressive thoughts.
In so many cases, depression is caused or made worse by a lack of sleep. You can end up in a cycle where your depression keeps you from getting restful sleep, but then your lack of sleep makes you more depressed. If you think this is happening to you, then talk to your psychiatrist about sleep therapy. You can meet with an expert a few times, talk about your sleep habits, and get suggestions for new habits that can improve your sleep quality. You may also need to undergo a sleep study to see whether you're dealing with sleep apnea or a similar condition. Sometimes, treating an underlying sleep disorder can allow you to get better sleep, and that, in turn, can heal your depression.
The natural depression treatments above are worth exploring with your psychiatrist. Regardless of which treatment you choose, remember to be patient. Depression can take a while to heal from, and it's important to keep pursuing slow, persistent progress.