Depression

Depression is a mood disorder, which normally produces a low state and psychological and biological alterations of the person permanently.

It appears through several psychological symptoms (lack of interest, sadness, demoralization, low self-esteem...) and somatic symptoms (loss of appetite, weight loss, asthenia, sleep problems with periods of insomnia and drowsiness, etc.).

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Depression, what strategies can help?

Depression is a pathology that belongs to the three top causes for disability, and which entails high individual, family, and social costs. Depression is one of the main reasons of a low productivity, early retirement and work absence in Europe, and it is expected that this will increase over the years.

Anxiety or depression are the two most common mental pathologies diagnosed in the United Kingdom, where in 2016 alone it was reported that over 17% of the population was suffering from these diseases.

Approximately, 1 out of 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem every year. According to a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report from 2015, at any given time an average of one out of four patients of a full-time GP requires treatment for a mental condition. There were nearly three million adults on local GP registers for depression in 2013/14. Close to 2 million people (1,833,904) were in contact with mental health and learning disability services in 2014/15.

These numbers show the drama that millions of people who suffer from this disease have to undergo, but, what strategies can help us to prevent and combat depression?

Diagnosis and treatment for depression

Depression produces several symptoms like sleep problems, apathy, panic attacks and emotional vacuum.

Depression may be caused by metabolic disorders (“endogenous depression”) or by external factors (“exogenous, neurotic or reactive depression”). The brain neurotransmitters suffer a metabolic disorder due to a serotonin and norepinephrine deficiency. This will trigger the nervous excitement that will cause the typical depression symptoms.

But, what can you do to fight against depression? Besides a psychological and medical treatment, which is always necessary, the affected person can use support therapy with a different remedy for depression: vital natural supplements.

Natural products for depression: 5-HTP, Rhodiola, L-theanine and others

There are some natural dietary supplements with important anti-depressive effects. Among them, you will find 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP), which stimulates the serotonin synthesis in the brain, improving the mood, helping to calm down and lose weight. It also improves the quality of sleep, reduces the probability of suffering panic attacks and relieves fibromyalgia.

Another remedy for depression is L-Theanine, which is contained in Green Tea. L-Theanine is an amino-acid that inhibits stress and distress.

It is involved in the formation of the inhibiting neurotransmitter GABA and it positively influences the dopamine and serotonin levels. L-Theanine lowers the stress, anxiety and blood pressure.

Omega-3 fatty acids are an effective remedy against depression. These polyunsaturated fatty acids are good for the heart, the cardiovascular system, the brain and joints, and they also create a feeling of well-being due to their multiple positive effects. They are regarded as an effective natural antidepressant. These fatty acids can be found in Krill oil, which is used to combat fatigue, apathy, and depression.

L-tryptophan is an amino acid that turns into 5-HTP in the body and it is in charge of stimulating the production of serotonin. Serotonin enhances a good mood and provides psychological and mental well-being.

L-tyrosine also plays an important role in the production of dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine. L-Tyrosine can help to increase the mental and physical performance.

Studies performed with Ginkgo Biloba have shown its ability to reduce depression in the elderly. The antioxidants it contains can reduce the harmful effects of the free radicals associated with age, and enhance serotonin receptors.

Rhodiola rosea stimulates the production of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which contribute decisively to a state of energy and happiness. People who take Rhodiola regularly feel more sociable and active, and can cope better with stressful situations.

These nutrients and supplements act naturally against depression, without chemical substances. They are available without prescription.

The best supplements for depression

Here we have a small list of the best supplements for depression. Including these products in our diet can help to reduce the symptoms of this disease, apart from the fact that they are completely natural.

  1. L-tryptophan: As it was previously mentioned, tryptophan encourages the synthesis of serotonin.
  2. Group B vitamins: B Vitamins are essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system and the production of neurotransmitters.
  3. Magnesium: It regulates the nervous system that prevents certain disorders such as insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity, stress, and depression. It is one of the best remedies for panic attacks and phobias.
  4. Omega-3 fatty acids rich in EPA and DHA from fish oil. Fish oil is the best source of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (particularly EPA). EPA can lower depression rates up to a 10%.
  5. Vitamin D: A Vitamin D deficiency is more common than we actually think. Several studies have proven that a lack of Vitamin D can increase the risk of suffering depression.

Ways to combat depression

Depression - Why does it Happen and What can We do about it?

A negative event, like losing a loved one, losing a job, suffering a serious medical condition, hormonal changes, or undergoing stress for long periods of time, can be “triggers” for the onset of depression. This can lead to changes in our brain that hinder our capacity to adapt to internal or external events, which can produce depressive symptoms...

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