11 Home Remedies for Depression

Depression is a common mood disorder that typically involves intense feelings of sadness, apathy, loss, anger, and frustration that can interfere with a person’s ability to enjoy everyday life.

Depression is not like ordinary sadness; it is often experienced as a complete lack of interest in life. Nearly 19 million adults in the United States suffer from major clinical depression. Realizing that you are not alone and finding a treatment that works for you are both very important.

Common Symptoms

Major clinical depression is characterized by a low mood, often a low self-esteem, and a complete loss of interest in activities that the person normally enjoys. People who are suffering from depression often experience a distorted view of the world and of themselves.

Symptoms associated with depression include:

• Weight gain or weight loss

• Difficulty concentrating

• Lack of energy

• Feelings of hopelessness

• Loss of interest in enjoyable activities

• Thoughts of death or suicide

• Insomnia or excessive sleeping

Treatment for Depression

Although doctors often prescribe anti-depressant medication for depression, some people would rather utilize herbal remedies or other alternative treatments with less side effects. Though antidepressant medications are sometimes effective in the treatment of depression, scientists have begun to see a link between hormone levels and depression. Women undergoing bioidentical hormone therapy as a menopause treatment have also been able to alleviate their symptoms of depression.

Talk therapy like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has also been widely used with some success in treating symptoms of depression. Individuals utilizing talk therapy attempt to eliminate “toxic thoughts” from their way of viewing the world. Talk therapy requires a time commitment, but can help depressed individuals avoid the side effects common with anti-depressant medication.

There are a variety of other alternative therapies available for depression including the following:

1. St. John’s Wort (Hypericum Perforatum) is an herb that can help alleviate the symptoms of depression, but it needs to be taken religiously and for at least 4 to 6 weeks before you can expect to see signs of improvement.

2. Light Therapy has been used to treat seasonal depression, also known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Light therapy doesn’t work unless the depression is brought about by seasonal changes and lack of sunlight.

3. Vitamin D3 deficiency has been linked with a higher risk of depression.

4. Acupuncture, using fine needles to promote the flow of chi, or energy in the body has been shown to be effective in treating depression in some individuals.

5. Bioidentical Hormones, or hormones that are identical in structure and function to those produced in the body, have been shown to have an anti-inflammatory effect on the body, which sometimes alleviates symptoms of depression. Consulting with a doctor who specializes in working with bioidentical hormones may reveal thyroid issues underlying the disease and recommend treatment based on the test results.

6. Omega 3 Fatty Acids are necessary for normal functioning of the brain. Studies have shown a correlation between low levels of Omega 3 Fatty Acids and the incidence of depression. Adding more Omega 3 Fatty acids can help eliminate symptoms of depression.

7. Sam-e is a chemical that is naturally produced by the human body. Scientists believe that Sam-e plays an important role in maintaining healthy levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin.

8. Folate or Folic Acid is found in green leafy vegetables, fruits, fortified grains, and beans. Folic acid has been shown to increase the effectiveness of anti-depressant medication. Having a shortage of folate can make it less likely that other forms of treatment will work.

9. Reduce consumption of refined sugars to help stabilize your moods. Eating sugar can put your moods on a roller coaster. Refined sugars can give you a short high, but cause your mood to worsen later on when you have your sugar crash.

10. Vitamin B6 supplements can be taken to encourage the body to produce more serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for keeping your mood bright and cheerful.

11. Exercise, particularly exercise that incorporates large repetitive movements of the limbs (like walking or running) seems to improve serotonin levels, and thus alleviate depression in some individuals.


It still is not entirely clear what causes depression. It appears that there are a variety of causes; a lack of adequate sunlight, imbalanced hormones, and nutritional deficiencies may all play a role in the development of depression. If you are suffering with depression, your best course of action might be to take up a healthy walking or jogging program, take vitamin and nutritional supplements, and consider taking St. John’s Wort regularly.

If your depression becomes too difficult to endure, see your doctor or a therapist to talk about treatment options. Consider getting your hormone levels checked by a bioidentical hormone specialist.

Depression can make a person feel very isolated and alone, but ironically, many people in the United States today are afflicted with the problem. It’s important to commit to a treatment program that works for you and stick to it for several months to actually see results and combat depression.

Jennifer is a content editor for the PhysioAge Medical Group.

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