Depression: 4 alternative ways to tackle depression

by Marteka Swaby August 31, 2016

Depression: 4 alternative ways to tackle depression


What is Depression?


We all feel fed up, miserable and sad at times this is normal but feeling depressed for a period of time is experienced very differently to depression. Perhaps you are affected by low moods and you are struggling to overcome negative thinking. You are not alone around 12% of the population experience depression in any year.


It is estimated that 450 million people worldwide have a mental health problem. Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental health problem in Britain. One in five people suffer with depression and women are more likely to be treated for depression than men.


Stress, anxiety and depression account for one third of the 168 million working days lost in the UK. It is estimated that about 10% of our children are suffering with depression. Self harm statistics for the UK are the highest in Europe and suicide rates show that British men are three times more likely to die through suicide then women.


Depression Symptoms


Depression and anxiety are no small problem to contend with as they also affect our physical health. The Royal College of Psychiatrists reached a unanimous agreement that poor physical health can cause poor mental health and vice versa.


Depression symptoms include experiencing a loss of interest and pleasure in day to day living, excessive feelings of worthlessness and guilt, hopelessness, morbid or suicidal thoughts and weight loss or weight gain.


If you have recently experienced a bereavement, lost your job or are going through a relationship breakdown you may have experienced at least 2 or 3 of these symptoms for most of the day in the last two weeks. You could be experiencing depressive episodes classified as low, moderate or severe depending on your symptoms.



Depression Treatment


Treatment of depression can vary depending on the level of symptoms diagnosed. It is important to see your GP and get a proper diagnosis as you may need to be referred to a psychiatrist for a full assessment if you are suffering with severe depression. Mostly people are treated with medication like anti depressants and talking therapies such as CBT counselling or psychotherapy.


However, more and more people are looking towards exercise and nutrition, including supplements to improve both their mental and physical health. Exercise and nutrition have also been proven to effect moods with evidence demonstrating that you can improve depression from regular physical exercise and a balanced healthy diet.


Instead of just focusing on the presenting problems and treating symptoms we need to take a more holistic approach to healing the mind, body and soul to improve depression and other health conditions particularly inflammatory diseases, including chronic inflammatory conditions in the digestive tract.


4 alternative ways to tackle depression.


  1. The GAPS Diet derived from Dr Sidney Valentine Haas, an advanced meal plan of easy to digest foods so your gut and body can heal and rest itself. It is designed to repair the gut wall, rebalance probiotics and stop toxic overload so toxins do not enter the blood stream. Avoiding processed foods, grains, processed sugar, starchy carbohydrates and potatoes, artificial chemicals and preservatives, including some meats and diaries reduces inflammation. This is a diet that promotes a caveman approach drinking broths or stock made from bones, which is perhaps not so great for vegans or vegetarians. But has improved inflammatory bowel disease, autism, ADHD, depression, anxiety and autoimmune disease. Read Dr Natasha Campbell-McBride’s book Gut and Psychology Syndrome if you want to understand more about this diet.



  1. The power of prayer or meditation. The practice of meditation or prayer has been used for centuries to encourage inner peace and stillness helping to reduce the cortisol and adrenaline levels in the body that are responsible for increased anxiety. Researchers have found that people who prayed for others were less vulnerable to the negative physical health effects. Also, it was the focus on others that seemed to be contributing to the stress-buffering effects of prayer. Now a days, there are plenty of meditation and mindfulness apps you can download to your phone and complete a simple 10 minute relaxation or meditative exercise making it convenient on your lunch break or on the way home from work. You can also listen to many audio versions of the bible on your phone.



  1. Alternative Therapies such as acupuncture, reflexology and massage are proven to relax the body, improve circulation and flush toxins, helping you to relax and unwind. Decreasing anxiety, enhancing sleep quality, improving energy levels and concentration, increasing circulation and reducing fatigue.  Talk about an almost instant feel good factor. How could this not improve depression? Perhaps not something you can have everyday but worth scheduling in once per month as a treat. You can get great deals on Groupon. Watch out for the deals!



  1. Supplements and natural remedies have been used for thousands of years in several different cultures. Plants were a way of treating health problems before pharmacies became mainstream. There are many natural remedies that improve energy and that can help alleviate low moods, even if temporary due to being that time of the month. St Johns Wart, Valerian and Chamomile all have soothing qualities to enhance relaxation. Ginseng, Aloe and Royal Jelly can all help to increase energy, which may help to alleviate low moods and relieve depression.


You can also take your first 3 steps towards positive thinking by downloading my FREE e-book. Benevolent Health are raising awareness of alternative options to medication and talking therapies, helping you to improve relationships, reduce stress and increase happiness.

Marteka Swaby
Marteka Swaby