Natural ways to beat depression | Shreen El Masry

“Tears are streaming down my face. I clench the pillow over my mouth, desperate for my partner not to hear my tears.  I stare out of my bedroom window looking at the stars, hoping, praying. Please don’t let me wake up tomorrow. I can’t do this anymore”

Depression is a serious mental illness. It is one of the most widespread mental disorders in the world and is most predominant in women.   1 in 5 women in Australia will experience depression in their lifetime.

I was one of those women.

Five years ago I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and an eating disorder. I can’t even find the words to explain how painful the experience was, but I got through it and I came out even better on the other side.  I want to share my experience and journey to wellness with you in the hope to educate, inspire and set you free.

THE JOURNEY TO WELLNESS

Wellness is more than just being free from illness.  It is a “state of complete physical, mental and social well-being”.  It is about the whole person and all aspects of their lives. To achieve wellness, you need to embrace life and well-being naturally, and connect to your spiritual and creative self. Attaining wellness can help you beat depression.

DEPRESSION AND ANTIDEPRESSANTS

Antidepressants are the main medical treatment for depression. They have been proven to be effective in moderate to severe depression. However, they may not be for everyone and can have side effects. They may help in making you feel better but they don’t necessarily get to the root of the problem.

There are many different treatment options for depression and it is important to find the right option for you. I discovered natural therapies which led me to recovery.  Natural therapies are becoming more common with many of us now looking for organic approaches to assist with recovery.

WHAT ARE THE NATURAL: THERAPIES FOR DEPRESSION ? 

Natural medications- St John’s Wort

St John’s Wort is a natural antidepressant that works in a similar way to standardised antidepressants.  It has been proven to be just as effective for mild to moderate depression but without as many side effects. However, severe forms of depression generally need to be treated with antidepressant medication. St John’s Wort can also interact with antidepressants and the contraceptive pill. Please seek advice from your GP before taking.

CONNECTING WITH NATURE

We are so lucky to live in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. There are 10,685 beaches and over 500 national parks in Australia. Connecting with nature will not only increase your happiness in life, it will also support your recovery. Go outside and let yourself be free in nature.  Walk barefoot in the sand, listen to the birds sing, smell the flowers and play with the trees.

HAVE FUN

In the depths of your depression it can be hard to motivate yourself. Try to remember the things that used to bring you joy and force yourself to do them.  These life experiences will improve your psychological wellness.  Have fun, live, laugh and smile. Be yourself again. You can do it.

EAT FOR A HEALTHY MIND

Nutrition plays a vital role with depression. Eating natural foods high in omega fats (think fish, avocado, nuts, and olive oil) as well as fruits and vegetables, can prevent and treat depression. Studies have found that the consumption of processed and fast foods can increase the risk of developing depression.

CONNECT TO YOUR SPIRITUAL SELF

Research has shown that connecting with your spiritual side enhances mood, reduces depression and heightens serenity. To find spirituality you need to be able to connect with yourself, those around you and with the world. You can practice spirituality by being compassionate, forgiving, accepting and grateful. Make a start today by keeping a daily gratitude journal.

Depression is a serious and complex illness and taking the journey to recovery is no easy feat.  Every recovery journey is unique.  The first step is getting help. If you feel you may be depressed, please seek professional advice or contact beyond blue on 1300 22 4636.