Many people—maybe even most people—suffer from depression at some point in their life. Sadly, many people never seek care for their depression because they assume that seeking care will mean taking prescription medications. Now, prescription medications do work well for a lot of patients, but they can cause side effects, and if you would rather not take them, that's your prerogative. Don't let that keep you from seeking treatment for depression, though. There are some natural remedies you can discuss with your doctor if prescriptions are not for you.
Sometimes, fighting depression is as simple as getting more exercise. The human body does best when it is moving and working, but so many people these days live really sedentary lives. Exercise triggers the brain to release endorphins, which elevate your mood and can help combat depression. Try dedicating yourself to getting at least 30 minutes of light exercise a day. You can walk around the block, do some gardening, or go for a swim. You don't have to push and train to the max. You may find that within a week or so, your depression symptoms are much less noticeable.
St. John's Wort
This herbal supplement has been used to treat depression and periods of low mood. It contains compounds that can impact the biochemistry in your brain in a way that helps you think more positively. Women whose depression is related to menopause, in particular, can benefit from taking this herb. St. John's Wort can interfere with the action of birth control pills, so make sure you are using a secondary method of birth control if you do not want to become pregnant while taking it.
Many people take fish oil supplements for heart health and joint health, but did you know fish oil can also help with mood disorders such as depression? Your brain relies on omega-3 fatty acids to make certain neurotransmitters, and fish oil is a good source of omega-3s. Look for supplements labeled as "no taste" so that you don't experience a fishy flavor when or after swallowing them. Also, make sure the supplement you take has been tested for heavy metal content; fish oil can contain mercury, which causes a number of unwanted side effects.
If you are depressed, do not assume your doctor will immediately recommend prescription medications. Exploring some natural remedies can be a good first step. Contact a service that provides alternative treatments for depression for more information.