All sorts of issues can be at the crux of your depression—a job loss, a relationship break-up, financial problems and so much more. Sometimes there is no apparent reason for depression. It just happens. Here are some remedies you might not have considered:
- Move to the country. You have an almost 40 percent greater risk of suffering from a mood disorder if you live in the city than the country. Urban life seems to bring greater stress to the amygdala part of the brain that is associated with regulating moods and emotions. The tranquility of country living and the opportunity to experience nature may reduce stress in general, and help keep depression at bay.
- Eat more fish. Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish help regulate neurotransmitter activity and changes in serotonin that are associated with depression. Omega 3 rich fish include herring, blue fin tuna, salmon, and canned sardines. They can help your body keep serotonin levels under control. You can try fish oil supplements, too.
- Quit smoking. If you haven’t quit yet for all the many good reasons you already know, here’s another one. Nicotine affects neurotransmitter activity and changes the levels of serotonin and dopamine in your body that are associated with depression. And it must be pretty depressing, too, to be under the stranglehold of cigarette addiction. It’s tough to break free of this, but you will feel much better when you do.
- Keep seasonal allergies under control. It is sometimes tempting to let your allergies take over for a time when you know it will pass when the season changes. But allergies affect you physically, contributing to sleepless nights, constant fatigue, runny nose and eyes and general physical stress. That makes your body vulnerable to problems, including depression.
- Check your medication. Many meds cause side affects, so read the fine print. Birth control pills contain progesterone that can cause depression in some women. Insomnia and anxiety drugs list depression as a possible side effect. So do some drugs used to treat high blood pressure and cholesterol. Check with your doctor to make sure your medication doesn’t put you at risk.
- Get off social media. Maybe not entirely, but if you spend an inordinate amount online as opposed to face-to-face with actual people, studies show you are more susceptible to depression. This could be a chicken and egg situation—researchers don’t know if depressed people are more likely to use the Internet or if Internet overuse leads to depression. Either way, get away from your computer and take a nice walk in the fresh air. It’ll do you good.
- Monitor your thyroid. If you’re depressed and can’t figure out why, consider your thyroid. It’s the gland that produces thyroid hormone, and when it doesn’t produce enough, it’s function as a neurotransmitter falters and fails to regulate your serotonin levels. Depression could be a result.
Nancy Travers is an Orange County Counseling professional. If you need safe, effective counseling services, please get in touch. You can reach her here: https://nancyscounselingcorner.com/contact-us.