Antidepressant Medication

Common Thread

In the past few years, addressing the common issue of mental health, depression, anxiety, and other disorders has permeated our society. From popular Netflix shows that display realistic portrayals of experiencing them to national campaigns for suicide prevention, the conversation is active to make sure anyone feeling at risk can receive the help they deserve. Yet, as thousands of young, middle-aged, and old patients visit their local doctors to seek help, often they find themselves stuck in the corner of relying on antidepressants to improve their psychological disorders. While antidepressant medications are powerful substances, sometimes there are more effective holistic therapies that can help boost a person’s health. Along with finding great support from others, I can attest from my own personal experience that taking the natural route actually helps give your body, mind, and spirit more clarity and strength.

What are Antidepressants?

Depression is more prevalent in our society than ever before, with a growing group of people unable to handle the intense hurdles it brings. For some, antidepressant medications can work well to decrease symptoms of their mental disorder. Antidepressants are a popular treatment choice for depression in patients from all ages. Although antidepressants may not exactly cure depression, they can reduce certain symptoms that are disturbing their current mental health. There’s a wide variety of antidepressant medications that operate in slightly different ways in your body, so a doctor will usually analyze each patient’s specific symptoms, assess possible side effects that could be emphasized by weight or lifestyle, and whether it was used by another close relative. Most of these medications attack symptoms of depression by connecting to neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine. Although they sound complicated, the basic idea behind these powerful hormones is that they affect how the mind processes emotions like anger, happiness or stress throughout the day. However, easing into a prescribed medication is no walk in the park as many people deal with some kind of change in their physique, mood changes, or focus levels as a result.

Natural Antidepressants

If you’d rather try your shot at seeking holistic alternatives, you’ll find that there’s many options available that best suit your lifestyle and can jumpstart your mental health. It’s in your best interest to see if you are missing any vital vitamins or enzymes, and get help from a psychiatrist who treats depression to get better advice on what alternative methods to take. Starting by just cleaning up your diet can drastically improve your mood levels by making mindful choices throughout the day. For example, consuming more omega-3 fatty acids can strengthen your mood and memory over time. These helpful acids can be found in common foods like fish, nuts, and seeds which make a perfect and healthy snack. Foods that contain loads of vital nutrients and minerals are chia seeds, sweet potatoes, avocados, quinoa, bananas, chocolate, and flax to name a few. The wide variety of ingredients that benefit your body can make it extremely easy to get a natural boost without constantly taking pills every day.

Another great method to improve mental health is to take up a hobby that can occupy your mind instead. In fact, according to recent studies, over 80% of people who even choose knitting as a new activity reported that they felt much happier after participating in it with others for a long and consistent period of time. Whether you choose to draw, read interesting books, try out your favorite DIY recipes, or join a local sports group, engaging in a productive activity helps create dopamine in your brain. Over time, those increased levels boost your happiness along with feelings of satisfaction for learning a new skill!

The treasure of summer

It’s A Personal Choice

As someone who comes from a family with several cases of depression, I can attest to the pros and cons that taking medication for a long period of time can bring upon a person. For example, after going through a painful divorce early on as a single parent, my mother was prescribed an antidepressant to improve her mental health by a doctor. While in the short term she felt increased levels of happiness, she remembers often feeling side effects of intense withdrawal effects if she occasionally forgot to take the pill. She also spoke of experiencing large weight gain and quick mood shifts without making any changes in her diet or daily lifestyle.

Meanwhile, during my freshman year of high school I experienced intense symptoms of depression for around half a year. Since I was so young, I immediately went straight to a doctor to help solve my issue; one that was destroying almost every aspect of my physical, emotional, and social life at the time. Although I expected to receive a helpful plan to improve my daily habits and overall mood, I was almost automatically suggested to take a medication that brought harsh side effects.

As a student athlete and stressed already from the heavy load of homework from my school, I feared going through an experience similar to my mother’s and sought out holistic therapies instead. In order to rebuild my mood, I plugged into daily running exercises, a church volunteering group for a sense of community, and mindfulness practices to prevent a downhill turn. While bringing myself out of the house was incredibly hard, remembering why I started and being around supportive people was the anchor that carried my rehabilitation process through. After a few months, I already felt better from the natural endorphins and the lifelong friends who provided positivity I will never forget. Remember that people care, and that a way get better is not a one size fits all. If you feel that the antidepressant method for improving mental health isn’t for you, trust that there’s another one out there that is perfect for who you are.

Final Takeaway

Going through any kind of mental disorder is tough without a recovery community who provides support, enough discipline, and a determined focus. This may come in the form of online support groups, or your nearest AA program. When it comes to battling depression, anxiety, or even PTSD, remember that you are not alone and thousands of people are experiencing the same feelings you are at the moment. Every person has the strength within them to fully recover, even if it seems impossible at first glance. Make sure to research what alternatives are available to help improve your mental disorder and get on the road to a stronger sense of mind!

























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