Depression & Anxiety

Depression, anxiety, panic attacks and mood disorders are fast becoming the silent epidemic of Western society. Our fast paced and stressful lifestyle is putting incredible pressure on our bodies coping mechanisms, and the resultant depression and anxiety are examples of our bodies failing to cope. Depression and anxiety can also coexist with many other diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and gastrointestinal disturbances, such as IBS. It is important for you to know that you are not alone, and that there is help.
Science is busy at work unlocking the secrets of our amazing human brains. One of the outcomes of research has been that depression and anxiety are intimately related to the activity of the serotenergic pathways in the brain - this is called the monoamine hypothesis, and is the basis for mood altering drugs such as monoamine oxidase inhibitors. As science progresses, drug companies are becoming more and more finessed at designing drugs that hit specific receptors which can be very helpful. However, the brain is a very complicated organ, and healing of the mind involves the whole body.

Holistic Approach To Dealing With Depression

There are many holistic therapies available to manage depression, anxiety and other mood disorders. Nutrition and diet are an important part of managing mood disorders holistically. It is known that some amino acids found in whole, nutritious food can affect neurotransmitters just like drugs can. More important, key nutrient deficiencies can also result in mood disorders and depression. Make sure you are using a whole food source daily multivitamin and getting enough essential fatty acids. Getting enough natural light can also be another easy treatment for mood disorders: sunlight in moderate amounts can be a powerful healing force.
Prayer, meditation, acupressure, acupuncture, yoga, relaxation techniques, music therapy, and exercise have all been found to be important in helping someone work through depression or anxiety. A doctor trained in complementary medicine can help you decide which of these are right for you.
With all of these things, integrative practitioners have at their disposal a veritable arsenal of complementary therapies that can either be used as stand-alone treatments in mild disease, or in conjunction with anti-depressants or anxiety medications. If you are suffering from severe depression, anxiety or panic, you should contact your doctor and get immediate treatment. After your situation is under control, using complementary therapies will be vastly helpful in helping you on the road to recovery.
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