Thursday, July 09, 2009
If you are taking Prozac or another antidepressant and want to find a natural alternative that is non-addictive and does not have side effects, here are a few tips from an expert in natural medicine for mood disorders.
1. Feed your brain with healthy nutrients.
Your brain needs specific vitamins, minerals, and healthy oils in order to function properly. Nutrients such as vitamin B12, vitamin B5, and other B vitamins are essential for proper cognitive and emotional health. Omega-3 oils are very important when treating depression, and are also helpful for improving memory, heart health, and a wide variety of other concerns.
If you are interested in reducing or eliminating Prozac, or other antidepressants, the first important thing to do is to make sure that you are supplying your body and mind with the key ingredients it needs for healthy functioning. Each person needs a slightly different nutritional regimen, based on your body weight, age, and any other health concerns or risk factors you may have. If you are interested in losing weight as well, or treating other health problems while you get off your psychiatric medications, a naturopathic physician is the perfect resource to help you reach your goals.
2. Address the underlying causes of stress in your life.
We can experience depression or anxiety because of stressors in our lives. Transient feelings of sadness or frustration are normal as we go through a stressful event, however, if the sadness or anxiety persists, something needs to be addressed. Sometimes we need to make a change in our career, relationships, or personal life, in order to reduce stress and truly address the underlying problem. Certain external factors cannot be changed, but we can change the way we respond to these stressors.
Often we can resolve these problems on our own, or with the sound advice of a close friend who is a good listener. However, a psychologist or counselor can be an excellent resource when addressing these issues. Many people will find themselves in similar stressful situations repeatedly, whether that is in relationships or in other aspects of their lives. The reason for this is that we often get stuck in the same patterns of thinking, which leads us down the same paths into the same problems. With professional counseling, these psychological patterns can be transformed, which can allow for improved emotional health and a lower level of stress overall.
3. Rebalance your neurotransmitters and restore your health with homeopathic medicine.
Homeopathic medicine is a natural method of treating a wide variety of health concerns, from depression to a common cold to autoimmune disease. Homeopathy works with your body to stimulate an innate healing response, rather than suppressing your symptoms as other medications often do. For people with depression, homeopathic medicine has the ability to rebalance your brain chemicals (neurotransmitters) such as serotonin and dopamine, which may be out of balance. Prozac does not actually restore balance to your brain chemistry; it basically tricks your brain into thinking that there is enough serotonin, when in fact your levels may be low. Homeopathy can bring your levels up by stimulating your body to make more, naturally.
Homeopathic medicine is made from naturally occurring substances such as plants or minerals, and these natural products are made into small sublingual pills. There are hundreds of homeopathic remedies that can be used to treat depression, and each remedy can be used to treat a specific set of symptoms. Because every person is a little different in terms of what their depression symptoms are, a different homeopathic remedy may be used for each patient when treating depression.
When treating long-term conditions such as depression, it is essential to work with a practitioner of homeopathic medicine who has been trained in classical homeopathy and is licensed and educated to understand your full health history. A naturopathic doctor can listen to your case and determine the precise homeopathic medicine that you need for your depression or anxiety, in addition to any other health concerns you may have.
A nice benefit of homeopathic medicine is that it does not interact with medications or cause any side effects. It is also safe for use in children, and safe during pregnancy and lactation. Thus, it is an excellent alternative to antidepressants in pediatric cases, especially with the increased risk for suicide in this population with conventional antidepressant use. Homeopathic medicine can safely be used for women with post-partum depression. It is also a perfect way to ease the gradual transition off of Prozac or other antidepressants, because it can provide symptom relief while reducing withdrawal symptoms. Homeopathy can provide a natural and lasting solution for people with depression, and is a safe and affordable alternative to prescription drugs.
Tara Peyman is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor in the state of Arizona. Her expertise is treating depression and anxiety with natural medicine. She has also developed comprehensive, naturopathic programs for weight loss, diabetes and smoking cessation. She practices at East Valley Naturopathic Doctors in Mesa (480.985.0000) and in Tempe (480.456.0402). Visit her website for more information