Depression is one of the most common mental health issues that affects people throughout the entire world. The Anxiety And Depression Association Of America reports that this mental illness affects around 40 million individuals in the US that are aged 18 or older – this accounts for 18% of the entire American population. The mental disorder can cause many unpleasant symptoms that lead to a lower quality of life and even social isolation. Even though depression can be treated effectively, the Depression And Bipolar Support Alliance reports that at least 66% of people who suffer from depression are not receiving treatment for their condition.
Primary Causes of Depression
The specific cause of depression can vary from one individual to another. Beyond Blue explains that depression is often caused by life events, like being lonely, too much stress at work or an abusive relationship. Certain illnesses can also lead to depression. They also report that an association between depression and the use of alcohol and drugs have been made. Furthermore, having a family history of depression puts a person at a higher risk of developing the mental disorder.
Conventional Treatment Options for Depression
If a person is diagnosed with depression, then a doctor will work out a treatment plan according to their specific condition. The doctor will also have to determine the severity of their illness before they can provide an effective treatment plan. Therapy is often recommended as this can help a person find the cause of their depression and may also help them overcome these problems. A doctor can also prescribe an antidepressant for the patient, which will help them better cope with the symptoms they experience. The most common types of antidepressants include:
- Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors
- Tricyclic Antidepressants
- Serotonin And Noreinephrine Reuptake Inhibitors
- Monoamine Oxidase Inhibitors
Unfortunately, prescription antidepressants can cause side-effects. WebMD explains that some common side-effects that can be experienced when taking these antidepressants include nausea, insomnia, blurred vision, dry mouth, fatigue, increased appetite and constipation. Some antidepressants can also lead to sexual dysfunction.
Top 4 Natural Antidepressants
You understand what depression is, what causes the mental illness to develop and how the drugs used to treat the disease can be unpleasant. Now let’s look at some of the best natural supplements that you can use to treat your depression without being at risk of these side-effects. These natural supplements contain plant extracts, nutrients and other compounds that are able to reduce the severity of the symptoms, boost your mood and make you feel less depressed.
- Saffron Supplements – Saffron supplements contain extracts from a flower known as the Crocus Sativus. These compounds are often used in cooking and the benefits they hold for depressed individuals are often overlooked. A factor that makes these supplements so powerful is the fact that Saffron can not only be used as a natural antidepressant, but also as a mechanism for reducing the severity of the side-effects that people experience when they take prescription antidepressants. A studyby the Jacksonville University found that Saffron supplements are effective in treating the symptoms of depression. They also found that these supplements are effective for improving sexual function and fertility among depressed people.
- Curcumin Supplements – If you’ve ever eaten Indian cuisine, like curry, then you’re already familiar with the active compound used in these supplements. The golden color in curry is added through the addition of Turmeric spice – curcumin is an active compound found in Turmeric. Psychiatry Advisor reports that recent studies suggest that curcumin is not only effective to treat mild to moderate symptoms of the mental illness, but also to effectively treat major depressive disorder. The compound also has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties, which is also effective for pain – a common ailment people with depression experience.
- St.John’s Wort Supplements – St. John’s Wort is a yellow flowering plant that has long been used as a natural treatment for depression. There are some studies that show it does not have a significant benefit for depression, but other studies have provided evidence that St. John’s Wort supplements may have a similar effect as certain antidepressants in some patients. Thus, the results may vary from one person to another, but, generally, it is considered to be an effective natural antidepressant.
- L-Theanine – One of the active compounds that you can take in while drinking green tea, L-Theanine, is also available as a natural antidepressant supplement. A study by the National Institute of Neuroscience in Japan concluded that L-Theanine is, in fact, effective in reducing the symptoms of major depressive disorder.
Depression can be caused by life, such as unemployment, by personal factors and more. The disease can cause many symptoms and have an adverse impact on a person’s life. In some cases, depression can even lead suicide. Treating this condition with conventional options are effective, but can lead to unwanted symptoms. Natural antidepressants, however, can provide a relief of the symptoms caused by this mental illness without the troublesome side-effects that prescription drugs cause.