Inviting an unknown person, even a "doctor," to tinker around in your psyche is often an anxiety-producing thought in itself. For most people, any reasonable alternative to spending dozens of hours and thousands of dollars with a therapist would be seriously considered. Those struggling with depression and anxiety are usually encouraged by well-meaning friends and family to seek psychological help, but there are other viable options to professional counseling.
It seems simple, even cliche, but insufficient nutrition is high on the list of culprits in common psychological ailments. According to a recent article in Psychology Today, certain naturally occurring sugars and glycoproteins play a huge role in the body's stress response, and are largely absent in the American diet. Dysfunction of that stress response is a common factor in both depression and anxiety.
St. John's Wort is gaining popularity as a mood lifter due to its ability to boost serotonin levels, a key component in mitigating depression. Studies have also linked omega-3 fatty acids found in many types of fish to lessening the symptoms of depression and bipolar, commonly known as manic depression. Both of these nutritional supplements can be found in pill and powder forms for easy dosing.
Aside from what scientific studies can prove, it is common sense that feeling physically low contributes to feeling emotionally low. Diet plays a critical role in mental and emotional status; eat well, feel physically well, feel emotionally well. A Registered Dietician can help you analyze your current diet and identify the nutritional areas in which you may be lacking.
Acupuncture is another alternative that has shown promise in relieving depressive symptoms. For some, the idea of having needles stuck into your body is not an appealing one. However, when measured against the negative side effects commonly associated with antidepressant drugs, the downside of being poked a bit pales in comparison. A related treatment, acupressure, uses the same basic tenets as acupuncture without the needles. Direct pressure is applied to specific points in the body to alleviate conditions causing discomfort, whether physical or mental.
Stress can be a major conspirator in sapping the body of energy and the mind of equilibrium. Getting a massage regularly may be just the thing your body and mind need to maintain a state of health. In addition to the obvious psychological benefits of relaxing while someone ministers healing touch to your tired and sore muscles, the release of toxins from your muscle tissue will result in better physical health, as well.
Certainly, there are times when professional help from a trained psychologist is appropriate and necessary. But considering all your optionssupplemental, dietary, naturopathic, and massageis a wise course of action for anyone who takes their health seriously.