In 2017, more than 7% of American adults experienced at least one major depressive episode. If you’re one of the millions of people in the US with depression, you understand how it can impact your life.
It’s critical to seek treatment because without it, depression can be life-threatening. However, conventional treatments for depression, particularly pharmaceuticals, can have undesirable side effects.
This leaves you with a conundrum. No treatment means living with a potentially life-threatening condition, negative impacts on both your professional and personal life, and increasing difficulty in simply carrying out your normal activities. Treatment presents its own tangle of problems.
In one study that investigated why people with depression didn’t seek treatment, more than 15% answered that they were afraid they’d be forced to take medications. There are plenty of valid reasons you may not want to take medication for depression, yet no treatment at all is not a good option either.
At Family Acupuncture and Wellness, we approach treating depression differently. We first seek to find the cause of your depression, then build a treatment plan designed specifically for you and your unique circumstances. Often, that treatment plan may include herbal medicine.
You may think that herbal medicine is the same as pharmaceuticals, but the two treatments work fundamentally differently. Pharmaceutical treatments often work by suppressing your symptoms rather than addressing the underlying cause of those symptoms.
Traditional Chinese herbal medicine induces your body to heal and return to proper function. In other words, it stimulates your body to heal. In many cases, depression is accompanied by or even caused by a malfunction in your digestive or endocrine systems. Herbal medicine can help to return you to proper function.
Herbs, vitamins, and supplements
Along with herbs, your treatment plan may include vitamins and supplements. Proper nutrition is vital for good health, including good mental health.
Vitamin D deficiency has been identified in some studies a risk factor for depression. Vitamin D is crucial for proper brain function, so the link between deficiency and depression is not altogether surprising.
S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is produced naturally in your body, and is available over-the-counter in synthetic form. This compound helps produce serotonin, melatonin, and dopamine in your brain, all of which are important when it comes to depression.
Omega-3 fatty acids offer benefits for your heart, and also for your brain. Fish, nut oils, and some plants contain omega-3 fatty acids. If you don’t consume an adequate amount of omega-3 fatty acids in your diet, you may need a supplement.
There are many other herbs, vitamins, and supplements that can be used to treat depression successfully. The only way to know for sure which ones will benefit you most is to work with a trained expert, such as our staff at Family Acupuncture and Wellness.
We tailor your treatment to your unique needs. Through lab tests, a thorough examination, and a discussion of your medical history, we can pinpoint likely deficiencies and help you find the most beneficial herbs and supplements, as well as identify the most high-quality sources on the market.
If you’re ready to learn more about an herbal approach to treating your depression, book an appointment at Family Acupuncture and Wellness. We offer a free consultation, and you can schedule online or by phone.