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Natural Cures for Depression

Suffering isn’t ennobling, recovery is.

Natural Cures for DepressionChristiaan Baarnard sait that. He’s a medical doctor. I’m not. I don’t pretend to be one or even play one on TV. In fact, although I’m not some a anti-medicine fanatic, I have spent my life noticing the almost inherent arrogance of doctors who don’t seem to notice how very much of their science is art. Or opinion. Or guessing. Or magic. Or just plain wrong.

In 1998 — after months of seeing doctors and specialists and being tested for everything under the sun (including tuberculosis) — it was my 11-year-old daughter, Jessica, who (correctly!) diagnosed me with chronic sinusitis. Rather than years of medical school, she did it with a Consumer Reports article under her belt.

For years now, I’ve been interested in depression. Like ADHD, it seems everyone has it these days. I have multiple friends (some very close) and a handful of family members who have been diagnosed with depression and many are on long-term medication. It’s not so much that I doubt people are sad — even incredibly so — it’s that the epidemic numbers of diagnosis makes me think there’s more to it than a sudden rash of sever mental illness.

Seeing the debilitating affects depression has on good people and their entire families, has led me to study it off and on for the past seven years or so. Yesterday, an adult friend (and mother) shared how some nutritional changes had helped ease her depression greatly the past few months. This renewed my interest in the topic and I ended up at home with every book on depression written in the past six years housed in my local library.

Not only am I not a doctor, but I’m not a psychotherapist either. Action has always worked better to solve problem in my life than talking about the problems. In future posts, I’d like to share things that stand out as the most helpful, practical, and easily applicable things. Perhaps some readers will benefit from doing some of the things suggested in the books I’m reading.

Here are my favorites (so far):

The Mood Cure   Lifting Depression   Depression-Free Naturally

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Sarndee December 5, 2011, 5:40 pm

    This is such an important topic. I’m glad you are addressing it.

  • marg December 5, 2011, 11:36 pm

    I look forward to these posts. You seem to come from the same place I do. That last book looks really good and has great reviews. I’ll have to pick it up myself. I have a daughter who really struggles with depression. I would love to help her in any way!

  • chillin December 6, 2011, 1:37 am

    I’ve been using the Mood Cure book for a number of months. It’s been a miracle for me. That’s why I can use the handle chillin. 🙂

  • Krysta Radder December 6, 2011, 11:05 pm

    Hi! Even i have never really encountered depression, but i have had friends that have been facing such problems.. The best thing they have used to encounter this problem is through Meditation & Yoga.

    Thank you Alison for this wonderful post, i would certainly take out time to read these books!!
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  • Anna December 7, 2011, 7:08 am

    I prefer not to read books at all and I usually change my life or some part of it and it has always worked. I feel sad very often because life is too quick now and sometimes we can’t cope with it anymore and feel depressed.

  • Jane January 6, 2012, 2:15 pm

    I so agree with you – I had depression for 20 years, went from doctor to doctor and none of them ever helped. Then I read 2 of your recommended books, the Mood Cure and Depression Free Naturally, diagnosed myself with pyroluria, started taking the recommended supplements and after 20 years the depression went away.

    There are some good doctors – it took me ages to find one who knew about pyroluria but when I did he was excellent.

    I wish everyone with depression would read The Mood Cure and Depression Free Naturally. I haven’t read Lifting Depression but will have to get it. My other favourite is the Depression Cure by Stephen Ilardi. Its a different approach to The Mood Cure and Depression Free Naturally but very interesting.

  • Alison Moore Smith January 6, 2012, 5:29 pm

    Jane, thanks for adding your input and personal experience.

    For those of you interested, read more about pyroluria.

  • Rachel January 8, 2012, 11:37 am

    I am going through something similar, I have ADD and I have been experimenting with self medication. Its a vicious cycle of add which leads to anxiety then depression. I have often though about getting the prescribed medication but I am worried about the addiction factor and how it might change my personality while I am on it.

  • Matt February 16, 2012, 2:30 pm

    I competely agree. People need to become more aware of this problem.

  • Jason April 14, 2012, 5:48 pm

    I don’t think drugs are the best way to solve depression problems. In fact, they don’t really solve the problem. They just cover it up for a while. If there is a way to solve it naturally with foods that would be great. I also think that friends and family should get involved to try to figure out the underlying cause of the problem and help the person to work through it. If depression is locked up inside a person it can leave that person really miserable. Most problems will be better if they are talked through.

  • Andrei May 19, 2012, 4:27 am

    Maybe not all ways on how to cure depression will have a successful result for every person. Maybe there are different ways to cure it for every person. Like @Krysta Radder said, meditation and yoga is one of the ways that might really help. These books look very helpful too base from the comments.
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  • Janine Converse November 7, 2013, 7:19 pm

    I have fought with depression for most of my life (I can remember probs as far back as elementary school). At first I did nothing cause I didn’t understand what was happening. Then I did the medication way, which helped but I kept having to add more and more medication. Then I discovered my children were having problems too. They started meds and it was a mess. Then I got serious about looking for a natural way to solve the issues.

    Diet was the first thing I studied and tried. It made a huge difference! Then I was talking to my cousin about what she had found to be successful for her husband and two of her daughters. It was a “Mega” nutritional supplement. The reasoning behind it was that if our brains were getting enough of the nutrition our brains needed to make the proper chemical balances then our brains could do the job. This thought, as opposed to meds that pushed more of the chemical that was already in your brain into an uptake of some sort until you ran out of that chemical and then you went with another kind that pushed the uptake of a different chemical until you ran out of that one. (my “lay man” way of putting it)

    We tried the supplements with the diet modifications and we were able to go off all meds and function like real people. That was in 2001 and we are still doing well. Once in a while we have to make adjustments and sometimes there is some falling off the “healthy eating wagon”. Over that past several years, as long as we are doing what we know we should, We are pretty darn good.

    I do have to say, I am excited to read the books listed to see if there is anything else we could be doing better.

    Thanks for posting about such a huge life changing topic!

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