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Natural Treatments For Depression: Renewed Attention To The Herbal Approach

Nov 12, 2007
Natural treatments for depression entailing the use of herbal therapy are becoming commonplace with the onset of herbal medicine in the mainstream of medical administration.

Renewed Attention To The Herbal Approach

Depression and anxiety treatments are gaining new, albeit actually traditional, grounds. Herbal medicines used for the treatment of depression are becoming widely used. For example, St. John's wort is gaining renewed and increased attention in its practical use to treat depression. Another herb, the hypericum is even now beginning to overtake other pharmacological medications in the use for depression treatment.

Other Herbal Supplements

There are other herbal supplements that are widely used and gaining more preference from users and depression patients. Some of these are ephedra, the ginkgo biloba, Echinacea, and even ginseng. These herbal supplements, however, need to be taken into consideration by the doctor prescribing maybe other medications for the depression.

Make Your Doctor Aware of Your Plans

Going back on substances that are used in the natural treatment of depression, these herbal medications as evaluated and prescribed by your doctor may prove even more safe and effective. What needs to be ensured, however, is that your doctor is made aware if you are taking other drugs or medication as these may have different, even dangerous, reactions with any herbal medicine used for depression.

St. John's wort when taken in large doses may cause sensitivity to light and must be taken strictly in the dose and frequency prescribed. Since herbal medicines are not regulated by any formal government regulating body, it is always a must that prior to intake, your doctor is made aware of the fact.

The evening primrose oil supplements the production of gamma-linolenic acid, the deficiency of which has been found to cause PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome), which also causes anxiety and depression in some women. There is also the 5-HTP herbal derivative that when taken, is converted to serotonin that controls mood stages and swings.

While natural treatments for depression are available, it should always be noted by your doctor if you are suffering from or have a history of medical conditions like heart diseases, Parkinsons disease, worm infections, HIV or AIDS, allergies, anorexia, myalgia, neuropathy, nausea, diarrhea, anemia, hemophilia and edema. Take caution in using natural or herbal treatments especially when the depressed patient is pregnant or is planning to be pregnant soon.

Adverse Reactions to be Expected

Going herbal and natural does not mean that these treatment options do not have adverse effects.

Moreover, mixing natural or herbal treatments for depression in combination with other antidepressants may have different adverse reactions. So take note again if you are currently or recently have been taking pharmacological medications or substances like MAOIs or monoamine oxidase inhibitors, SSRIs or selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, tricyclic medications, medications for losing weight, drugs for Parkinsons disease, barbiturates and tranquilizers, antihistamines, alcohol, IV drugs, and antibiotic medications.

Natural treatments for depression may or may have not undergone extensive testing and trials in clinical environments. Consult your doctor at all times in the use of these natural treatments. These herbal treatments must be taken only after your doctor's evaluation and prescription. Moreover, doctor's instructions must be strictly adhered to.

Other Natural Option: Condition Yourself

With self-conditioning, you teach your mind how to react to certain stressors. If you fear socializing because you think you can't make eye contact during conversations and people will regard you as untrue to your words, condition yourself to not fear eye-to-eye contact.

Everyday, for just five to ten minutes, tell yourself that failing to make eye-to-eye contact does not make you less of a person. After months or even years of conditioning yourself, you will believe what you say, that you are unafraid of eye-to-eye contact because you have taught yourself to think so.

Also, while you do conditioning, practice how to do eye-to-eye contact. Do it first on your own, in the mirror. Then when you are comfortable looking straight into your eyes, ask a family member to "practice" you with eye-to-eye contact.

What Is Good for You?

Natural treatments for depression may work for you best if the degree of your depression is still mild. However, if you are already suffering from major depression with psychotic manifestations, natural treatments wouldn't be sufficient; you will most probably need medications to go with other forms of therapy.
About the Author
Visit Facts-About-Depression.com to learn more about signs of clinical depression and best medication depression anxiety.
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