How Can You Treat Depression without Medication?2survive
Roughly 25 to 35% of all cancer patients experience depression and anxiety. And many studies have proven that depression can even increase the risk of dying. (Yuck man!) So keeping the spirits high should be a top priority for anyone undergoing treatment. Many people take medicine to combat depression but you don’t exactly have to. So how can you treat depression without medication?
Below is my personal list of natural ways that have helped me fight stress, depression and anxiety over the years.
How Can You Treat Depression without Medication? Step One: Sleep
One of the top things on my list is sleep. I can’t emphasize how important sleep is for your body; especially if you are recovering from illness or combating depression.
Sleep helps you repair and recover. Sleep, or lack of, can impact your body in so many ways.
Did you know that statistically, people who don’t get enough sleep throughout their lives are more likely to die early?
As for depression, lack of sleep can throw off your biological clock and slap you with a high dose of major depression. So again, be sure and get your sleep.
Enjoy Family and Friends (Overlook the Weird Uncle!)
Personally I have found that being around my family (yes, the crazy aunts and uncles too) can greatly lift my spirits when I’m depressed. Of course, just like anything else, they can drive me crazy, but all-in-all, I definitely think that being around family is critical for overcoming depression. They care and want to help, so let them.
Also, your friends, being with friends can help you cope with your depression and lift your spirits and keep you from being and feeling isolated. However, make sure you are not allowing yourself to be with negative friends, friends that love “drama”, friends that love to gossip… FRIENDS THAT IN OTHER WORDS BRING YOU DOWN!
Exercise for a Natural High!
I’ve been exercising since the age of 15 (Wow, I’m old!) and exercise has ALWAYS helped me. Even when I was undergoing my bone marrow transplant/stem-cell transplant in 1997, I exercised any way that I could. Also, exercise doesn’t just help relieve stress, but it helps a person to feel significantly better.
There has been study after study that shows there is a direct link with exercise and overcoming depression. When you exercise, your body naturally releases endorphins; and this creates a natural high. And just think, it’s all legal.
It may be hard to motivate yourself to exercise, but if you can take that first step and get moving, you will be glad you did.
If you were to ask me, “How can you treat depression without medication?”… and you wanted by top two pics. My answers would be sleep and exercise.
Get Yourself a Dog – WOOF!
I love dogs like crazy. I can remember we had one when I was sick as a kid, Muffet (Yes, he is named after the electronic dog thingy that was on Battlestar Galactica.)
Although I couldn’t exactly take care of Muffet while on chemo because my memory was terrible (I’d either feed him 4 times a day or a G.I. Joe!), I remember that petting Muffet and playing with Muffet was soothing.
Today there is pet therapy and studies show that owning a pet is plain out awesome for people suffering from depression. This is because the love between you and your pet is uncomplicated. This is probably the only love you will ever experience that is uncomplicated might I add.
Pets also require a depressed person to be responsible. Being responsible for a pet may at first seem impossible, but experts say adding a little responsibility to a depressed person’s life can help give a person a sense of value, importance and remind them they are capable. (Don’t cheat and get yourself a pet rock!)
Listen to Great Music
As a musician, this one is a no-brainer. Music is powerful! It soothes the soul, inspires and awakens a person emotionally. Listening to music can actually make you high, and it’s also another legal option at that. This is because listening to music, your favorite songs of course, releases dopamine.
How can you treat depression without medication? Turn it up!
I suggest trying different styles of music. Try classical music, electronic, new age and everything in between. Music IS healing!
Don’t Watch the News
The news… Ugh! Every time you turn it on people are dying, talking about war, politicians are doing their politician thing, Hollywood is being silly, people are beating their kids… okay, I need to stop or I am going to go find a dog, exercise and take a nap.
At any rate, the news is very negative and if you are combating depression, stress and anxiety, negativity needs to be eliminated from your life as much as possible.
Go to the Movies
This one is pretty simple, going to the movies! Going to the movies is just awesome to me. From the popcorn, to the previews, to the dude’s bad commentary while you watch your movie. Movies allow you to escape and be entertained. However, be careful of what you choose to watch if you are anxious or depressed.
Take Up a New Hobby
I can’t stress how important hobbies are. If it weren’t for my hobbies, music, martial arts, reading, going to flea markets, I’d be crazy (or do I mean crazier?) Music alone as you probably know has pulled me through the hardest times in my life. Being able to sit down, play my guitar, write a song and sing it has been the most therapeutic gift for me and something I’ve never, and will never grow tired of. If you are depressed, you need to go find your “music”.
Eliminate the Drama!
Drama, negativity, negative people… the news! As a depressed person or heck, as a healthy person, you just don’t need this stuff in your life. If you REALLY want to feel better and enjoy life, keep the junk out!
Giving back is something that everyone should do. When you first hear this you may think, “Ah, I don’t have time.”, but I challenge you to step out, make time just once and see how it makes you feel. Giving back is therapeutic and will make you feel amazing. Try it!
So how can you treat depression without medication? With these nine different ways.