Thursday, January 3, 2013

All's not Prozac: Treating mild depression with simple lifestyle changes

“A lot of people don't realize that depression is an illness. I don't wish it on anyone, but if they would know how it feels, I swear they would think twice before they just shrug it.” - Jonathan Davis

For many people, “dealing with depression” has almost become synonymous with “popping prescribed pills.” Like any physical ailment, depression has been considered to be pharmacologically remediable, reduced to something that can be managed by a formulation of chemicals that function by working its way into the synapses.

Image credit:

But as with any other drug, antidepressants may have side effects that are potentially debilitating in the long run. And because case management entails primary care providers to be holistic, psychiatrists like Dr. Gary Zomalt and Dr. Amita Talati also recommend non-pharmacologic interventions that focus more on lifestyle modification in trying to crush mild depression:

Increasing physical activity. This is probably the single most important lifestyle change that one can implement to combat mild depression.

Image credit:

Modifying diet. It is recommended to include in one’s diet food that are rich in serotonin and omega-3 fatty acids. Conversely, one must avoid sugar, alcohol, fat, and caffeine, as these may just potentially worsen prevailing conditions.

Connecting personally with other people. According to a 2010 Leeds University study, people who spend more time communicating virtually are more likely to experience more anxiety and depression than those who didn’t. Relying heavily on virtual communication increases feelings of isolation, ultimately resulting to depression.

Letting the sun touch the skin. Sun exposure can initiate the synthesis of Vitamin D which is proven to alleviate depression. As a matter of fact, Vitamin D deficiency usually results to suboptimal mood and brain function, thus contributing to the occurrence of depression.

Image credit:

In the conduct of his profession, Dr. Gary Zomalt has helped clients attain optimal mental health. Access more information on psychiatric health by visiting this Facebook page.

No comments:

Post a Comment