Alternative Treatments for Depression and Anxiety

6. Alternative Treatments web

I appreciate you coming and talking with me and trusting me enough to share your burdens with me.

It seems that you are aware of the impact your struggles have had in your life and you've taken the needed steps to receive professional treatment.

Medication and psychotherapy are the mainstays of depression and anxiety treatment because they have proven most effective in many comprehensive studies.

However, there are also many integrative treatments that have shown to amplify results when used in conjunction with traditional therapy, and also have some beneficial effects on their own.

The following is by no means an exhaustive list of some alternative treatments for depression and anxiety. However, it does give some basic ideas that can help:

1. Healthy Diet

Some foods can increase the symptoms of anxiety and depression within your body. Pay attention to what foods might negatively affect you. For example, I find that the more sugar I eat, the more intense my anxiety feels.

Another example would be to limit caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine in your diet. Caffeine tends to boost your heart rate and can increase blood pressure in the body which is not a good mix with anxiety. 1

2. Exercise

You hear it all the time—exercise can make you happier—but it's more than just that. Exercising can reduce anxiety and depression because it helps release tension, in addition to increased endorphins that help you feel happier.

3. Sleep

When you don't get enough sleep you, are at risk of increased stress and negative thoughts. Healthline recommends getting at least 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can also help with depression and anxiety. 1

4. Relaxation

There are many relaxation techniques that help reduce anxiety. They can include massage, yoga, acupuncture, meditation, imagery, Reflexography, breathing exercises, repetitive prayer, Tai chi, etc. Take time to treat yo'self!

5. Supplements and Vitamins

There might be some vitamin and mineral deficiencies in your body that are causing increased levels of anxiety and depression. Adding mineral supplements and/or vitamins to your diet can help fill this void. Omega-3 fatty acids (such as caviar, salmon, mackerel, sardines, walnuts, flaxseed) can be beneficial for clinical depression and preventative for manic depression.1

Try different techniques and see what works for you. The method that works best for someone else might not be as effective for you (and vice versa).

The key is to learn about yourself, what you like, and what you don't like. The best advice I can give you is to take the time to get to know yourself and be kind to yourself. If you can learn to like yourself and do things that make you happy, it will naturally decrease your anxiety levels and depressive states.

I want you to know that you are more than your pain and you have so much to offer. There are others who know how you feel and want to help you. Beware of putting up walls. Anxiety and depression can feed on each other and build up until they suffocate you.

Be willing to open up and allow others to comfort you and help you in your journey of finding and accepting yourself. You will love who that is.

Your teacher

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1 Alternative Treatments for Depression and Anxiety on (n.d.). Retrieved July 17, 2017, from