Tips for Recovery
3 Alternatives that Can Help Depression
You may have already noticed the 3 Tips for Recovery in the box on the left of this site. You will have almost at some time or other certainly seen a family member, friend or acquaintance who has a bad cold or flu on a bad day, then you see them a few days later when they are well again, they can seem like a different person. Cold and Flu tend to be acute, that is the sufferer fails ill for a short period of time then gets better. However other illnesses can be chronic in that although the sufferer may not be as ill as an acute patient on their worst day the difference is that the illness can go on for weeks months or even years. Depression can be either acute in that it can be a reaction to an experience or following an illness both of which tend to fade in a short time or chronic in that it sets in for weeks or months. Dysthymia by its nature is Chronic. One of the traps many sufferers of a chronic illness fall into is that because the illness has been with then ill for a long time that the illness is going to go on for a long time. This may not be so, there is a lot that can be done to help yourself and feel much better in a short while. We shall discuss three ways below:-
How do you get out of the trap of thinking you are going to be ill for years to come? The first thing you can do is establish how long and how often you have been ill. Start looking back perhaps over the last week, where there some days that you where better? Days you where worse? Did you do something positive on any of the days? If you are currently in a very bad depressive episode, it may be as simple as getting up or getting dressed, however in most instances it could be going shopping, a walk, a drive in the car or other similar things, notice that these are simple things what a healthy person may take for granted but what you are looking for is thinks that you cannot do when the illness is at its worse, but can cope with when your mood lifts. You may find it useful to note it down. Now lets take this one step further find (or buy) a notebook or better still a diary. You are going to use this for one thing only, making a note of positive. When you do something positive note it down, even something that may be mundane, then perhaps once a week review your notes. You should in time have quite a few positives. We will look at this further in the forward planning section.
Exercise can help a host of health problems, for example it is recommended yo build up a healthy heart, however for depression it is particular useful. The reason for this is that Depression is a slowing down of the brain chemistry, vigorous activity quickens up the response in the brain thus can give an instant if at times temporary relieve to depression. Regular Exercise is therefore very beneficial in Depression and Dysthymia.
What can you do? This can depend on various factors, your age, circumstances and your physical health. If you have any doubts then visit your doctor before starting any increased exercise. If you can do so physically then anything that gives vigorous activity can have a very beneficial effect. Activities such as Running, Weight lifting, Gymnastics, Swimming, Gardening etc can also have tremendous results.
There is one activity that is easier than those just mentioned which can be most beneficial, that is walking. This does not to be much, however at its best if possible it needs to be regular. Fortunately this modern world with transport means we often travel further than we did, would it be possible to change our motorized transport to walking? There are lots more places we can walk however this is better dealt in our last section:-
Walking is one example of how you can use forward planning, with a little planning we can identify oppertunitys to walk, these include, going to the shops, if the school run is part of your life, could you walk it? What about walking to work if it is in reasonable distance? We could walk around the block, in the park, in the country, or making walking into something that must be done, if you have the circumstances then having a dog would be one answer.
Forward planning can be helpfull in another way that is of setting goals for yourself. As mentioned above walking to the shops can be one goal, however whatever the goal is it should be attainable in otherwords something you can do, its no good planning to climb Ben Nevis if you cannot walk to the shop. Once a goal has been reached then make a note of it with your posiyives that where mentioned earlier, then set a new goal, perhaps a little more difficult (using walking to the shops as an example if say a shop is a quater of a mile away and a similar one is half a mile try walking to the further one once you have reached the nearest one several times). Thus bit by bit you can extend yourself. By looking back you can see how far you have come the sort of positive thinkinf than can help overcoming depression.
Most health food shops will give advice on alternative medications for depression, the best known being St Johns Wort, others include Milk Thistle, 5-Htp and a little know homeopathic remedy Electricitas, this remedy can have exellent results with major or deep depressions is not wildly available but can be ordered from online retailer Helios. There is also a range of therapists offering Herbs, Acupuncture, Iridology, Homeopathy and other therapies all of which may help.
A lot of alternative therapies can help depression, our experience is that 5-htp, electricitas and acupunure has worked well. Others have not but what works for us may not work for you. At the same time you may find one type of therapy that works really well, you can only but try.