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Angela French Naturopath Paddington Naturopathic

Depression and Tips on How to Improve your Mental Wellbeing

True, life is made up of emotional ups and downs for us all, but when being sad turns bad (AKA Depression), it’s time to seek help.

We’re all searching for happiness, and it can be easy to become disillusioned when one disappointment follows the next. It’s perfectly normal to experience down days as these feelings can often be the catalyst for inspiring us to make a change and truly appreciate the good times.

Depression Requires Immediate Intervention

Depression isn’t just a case of feeling down in the dumps, it’s a serious mental conditionand If not managed appropriately, can potentially lead to more serious issues.

Signs you could be Depressed

  • You’re depending on drugs and alcohol for relief or an escape from stress.
  • You’re indulging in reckless behaviour
  • Lowered libido
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • You’re overly sensitive to rejection or failure
  • You’re unable to make choices  – everyday life is just too much effort
  • You’re low, sad, irritable, you’ve got no energy, you’re not hungry, you’ve withdrawn from your friends and family and you’re having thoughts of death and suicide.

It is very important to refer to a counsellor, psychologist or psychiatrist for an assessment and management of your condition. After an assessment you may be recommended individual or group therapy and/or medication. Whilst medication can be very helpful and sometimes very necessary, often it is the first line of treatment without any thought to the underlying drivers of depression…such as lifestyle, nutritional deficiencies and social support.Consider these tips which can help bring you back to a good place and improve your mental wellbeing.

  • Learn to Love Yourself

Loving yourself doesn’t mean that you think you’re better than others –  it simply means you realise your true value as a human being and being enough just as you are right now. When you appreciate who you are, you won’t need anyone else to make you feel worthy. Also, a healthy dose of self-love attracts more positive people into your life, and today, who doesn’t need more positivity?

  • Move!

Exercise regularly because not only does this help you maintain a healthy body weight, endorphins or happy hormones are released during exercise, and this does wonders for positive thinking.

  • Eat Well

Too many people land up with depression because of the diets they force themselves to undergo. Dieting doesn’t mean nibbling on celery, lettuce and lemons. It means eating well – including lots of fresh fruit and veggies in your diet and cutting down (not eliminating) junk food. We all know that an ice cream on the beach or a hamburger on a day out can be therapeutic and uplifting. The idea is to just start eating less of what you’re used to enjoying. Did you know that there is even a ‘Depression Cake’? It come from the Great Depression and wartime days. It is delicious, moist and rich, and is even milk less, eggless and butter less.

These ingredients weren’t available during those times, and if they were, very few people could afford them. People uplifted their spirits during this time by making this crazy, wacky cake. They made sure to live by the saying ‘A little of what you fancy does you good‘.

  • Be Mindful

Experience your emotions in a situation, and if they are negative, focus on the logical steps to resolving them. Banish negative thoughts. Yes, it is okay to feel down now and again, but you don’t want to be dwelling on negative thoughts. If you were involved in a car accident for instance, instead of dwelling on the inconvenience of your car being out of action, be grateful that you survived, and aren’t paralysed and in hospital.

Over-indulgence in everything – even thinking about yourself all the time – is a trigger for self-loathing. Focus on what you need and not what you want. Try and put your focus on helping an animal in need or cheering up a lonely, old person in a retirement home with no visitors. Anybody who does voluntaryor charity work will tell you how uplifting and good it is for the soul.

  • Live Intentionally

If you’re feeling seriously down in the dumps, it’s time to take actionand seek help from a trusted health professionaland begin exploring professional treatments that can get to the very root of your depression. When you know there is something you must do, it gives you purpose in life and this alone is a mood lifter.

Start the Day with a Purpose

At home get used to the idea of starting the day with a definite aim or intention – to clean out a cupboard, to get the dog to the doggy parlour, to water the dry, neglected garden. When we have a plan we are living our life rather than just simply letting life happen.

Seek a naturopathic assessment

Naturopathic carecan be a wonderful modalityfor those experiencing low moods and stress. When a person is presenting with depression, a thorough case history is taken andfurther testing may be recommended to identify any underlying causes. These could include nutrient deficiency assays, hormone assays, pyrrole testing, MTHFR testing, neuro-transmitter testing, food compatibility testing and lifestyle assessments. Naturopathic treatment draws upon a vast array of nutritional and herbal preparations that may assist with healthy mood balance and in some instances reduces or eliminates the need for anti-depressant medication

Important Notes:

Before thinking about making any changes to your existing medications, it is important to consult with your prescribing Doctor. DO NOT abruptly stop taking prescribed medication.

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