The Natural Alternative to Antidepressants

Antidepressants have increased in popularity over the past 15 years.  Some natural health practitioners have even expressed the view that the modern world has lost its connection with negative feelings and that the pursuit of “up feelings” and “happy feelings” was now what most people espoused and viewed as normal.

The western world seems almost obsessed with getting happier, getting more positive, feeling better all the time…as if negative or “down” feelings are a problem and something to be constantly fixed and removed from life and experience.

But is this really the case?

Negative Emotions Serve a Purpose

While chronic or longstanding depression is problematic and debilitating, I warn my patients against simply going on antidepressant medications such as Prozac or other SSRI’s unless they have first tried some natural alternatives or natural remedies[1].

I also explain to patients they need to separate depression out from a host of quite normal and necessary “negative emotions” such as those listed below:

  • Grief
  • Sadness
  • Anger
  • Worry
  • Listlessness
  • Panic

These feelings are in fact a part of the human condition and human makeup and are necessary for our overall life experience, spiritual growth and development. Psychotherapist and writer Thomas Moore speaks about this issue in his book “Care of The Soul,” and reminds us all that many of these feelings are true human rites of passage that need to be experienced and passed through on the journey called life[2].

A Balanced Approach

The key is to find a balanced approach that keeps us functioning optimally but without dispelling with all our negative feelings. Natural remedy solutions that can help with extremely negative moods include

  • Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Kinesiology
  • Ayurvedic Medicine.

These modalities, along with a balanced diet, exercise and plenty of water and fresh air can help enormously. You may even wish to consult a nutritionist about specific dietary advice as this can help your body receive the vitamins, minerals and proteins and carbohydrates it requires for proper functioning.

Some of the natural cures and natural herbs that can help to lift your mood can be sourced through your local naturopath or health food outlet. For starters here is a brief list of some beneficial herbs that can alleviate depressive bouts and anxiety as well as feelings of lethargy and uselessness:

  • Magnolia bark- contains biphenyls compounds that reduce anxiety and regulate cortisol
  • St. John’s Wort
  • Philodendron Bark
  • Valerian
  • Lemon bark
  • Skullcap
  • Hops powder
  • Gingko bilboa
  • Siberian ginseng
  • Passion flower

If you incorporate some of these herbs into your daily regime or diet, you may certainly experience the benefits. But always consult a natural therapies practitioner or naturopath.

Have a great day.