Depression symptoms: Natural remedies


Depression symptoms: Natural remedies  

Depression symptoms: How to handle them naturally © Thinkstock - Depression symptoms: Natural remedies
Depression symptoms: How to handle them naturally © Thinkstock
No one is happy all of the time - but if your mood is at an all time low it could be that your run of low days has turned into depression.

And while depression sometimes has physical symptoms, it is a registered mental illness and is a lot more serious and complex than simply feeling lack-luster.

The World Health Organization have predicated that by 2020, depression will be the second leading cause of disability in the Western world. A slightly depressing thought in itself.

It's fairly likely that you know some one who has suffered from this life changing mental illness, but turning to prescribed drugs to manage the problem is not the only way to deal with depression.

We're fans of all things natural here at, so we've asked the experts for their natural remedy recommendations to combat the symptoms of depression.

Dr Sarah Brewer is a Licensed Doctor, Qualified GP, Registered Nutritionist, and Registered Nutritional Therapist. We spoke to her to find out more about depression symptoms and how they can be treated with natural remedies.

What are the symptoms of depression?
Few people are blessed with a happy mood all the time. One day you may feel cheerful and the next you are down in the dumps for no obvious reason. This is a normal part of everyday life, but if your mood swings too low, you may develop a full-blown, depressive illness.

Typical depression symptoms include:

Difficulty concentrating
Crying for no apparent reason
Comfort eating weight gain
Loss of appetite
Difficulty sleeping
Waking early in the morning

What triggers depression symptoms?

Dr Sarah Brewer says: "Depression results from an imbalance in the level of brain chemicals, such as serotonin, noradrenaline and dopamine.

"These chemicals, known as neurotransmitters, pass messages from one brain cell to another by crossing the tiny gap (synapse) between each brain cell.

"Once across the gap, they trigger an electrical response in the next brain cell so the message continues on. If neurotransmitter levels fall too low, however, messages are not propagated from one brain cell to another and clinical depression develops.

"Your lifetime risk of a major depressive illness is 1 in 10 if you are male, and 1 in 4 if you are female."

What kind of prescriptions do doctors prescribe for depression symptoms?

Dr Sarah Brewer says: "There are a number of different classes of anti-depressant drug are available, each with their benefits and drawbacks.

Tricyclic antidepressants
Tricyclic antidepressants block the re-uptake of both serotonin and noradrenaline, to prolong their effects once released. They are an ‘older’ class of antidepressant and are now less often prescribed due to their side effects and dangers in overdose.

SSRI drugs 
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors raise levels of serotonin in the brain by blocking its absorption back into brain cells. If you are making very little serotonin, however, SSRIs may not produce a significant response, or may do so only slowly. If you still have symptoms after 4 to 8 weeks treatment, another class of antidepressant treatment may be indicated - talk to your doctor.

NaSSA drugs
Noradrenergic and Specific Serotonergic Antidepressants (eg mirtazapine) increase the release of two neurotransmitters, noradrenaline and serotonin. This means messages are more likely to pass from one brain cell to another. This class of drug tends to work quickly, often improving symptoms as early as the first week of treatment. They also improve the quality of sleep so alertness during the day is often restored (although they may increase daytime sleepiness during the first few days of use).

SNRI drugs
Serotonin Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitors (eg venlafaxine) block the re-uptake of both serotonin and noradrenaline after they are released. As they work via two different neurotransmitters, they appear to be more effective than the SSRIs.

NRI drugs
Unlike other antidepressant drugs, the selective Noradrenaline Reuptake Inhibitor, reboxetine, just increases levels of noradrenaline, without affecting serotonin. It may therefore be added in when someone has not responded to treatment with an SSRI alone.

Melatonergic agonist drugs
The antidepressant drug, agomelatine, enhances release of melatonin, noradrenaline and dopamine to improve circadian rhythms, sleep patterns and depression. It is a relatively new drug that is used to treat major depression.


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