Non Medication Depression Treatments

1. Consult your primary care physician to rule out medical problems such as anemia, hypothyroid, folate or Vitamin B 12 deficiency.

Keep a regular schedule, especially consistent sleep and wake times. It has been shown that focusing on biorhythms in this way is beneficial, especially in learning what helps a person feel better and what trigger signs or situations may make a person feel worse.

3. Focus getting good sleep. (see our sleep tips  page)

4. Sunlight – We live in Colorado, get a lot of it and it certainly can’t hurt to be out in the sun; with sunscreen of course. It’s also very good for your bones as you make more Vitamin D, which helps your body use Calcium.

5. Light therapy- if there is a winter time depression component has been shown to be effective in depression. The lights should be bought from a company that specifically makes lights for seasonal affective problems. Light therapy has been reported to help mood even in non-seasonal mood disorders.  Before using, you should discuss how to do it with your provider.

6. Engage in regular exercise; evidence shows that exercise can even prevent brain shrinkage, which has been shown to happen in depression. It also may enhance and help balance neurochemicals in the brain that balance mood. Research suggests that any kind of activity that increases heart rate is good for depression and should be at least 30 minutes three to five days per week.

7. Therapy has been shown to help with depression, especially Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Wikipedia has a good definition of this. There are several online CBT courses available.

8. B Vitamins, especially folic acid and B 12 can help modulate stress and depression. B12 can be taken in vitamin form, and is also at high levels in meat, cheese and eggs. Folic acid is in citrus fruit, leafy greens and legumes.

9.  Antioxidants- from whole grains, fruits, vegetables or supplements, help general body function and potentially decrease inflammatory activity, also decrease risk for several kinds of cancer.

10. Practice relaxation techniques, including deep breathing. This is important because most people suffering from depression also suffer from some anxiety. Minimizing stress and the body’s reaction to it will help in recovering from depression. Yoga is a great way to modulate or moderate anxiety. Check our Sleep Hygiene page for more relaxation techniques.

11. Hypnosis, biofeedback, and acupuncture have also helped some people with depression.


download this article in pdf format here:  Non medication depression treatments