Depression - Exploring Three Popular Depression Treatment Options


With over 25 million men and women facing the daily challenges associated with depression it comes as no surprise that many have tried antidepressant medications. That said, not everyone suffering from depression chooses these harsh medications opting instead for safer alternatives such as counseling, light therapy, mind body solutions (yoga, meditation), and/ or herbal and homeopathic remedies.
Antidepressant pharmaceutical solutions are more widely used to treat serious depression than mild depression and come in a number of different types, all of which attack depression in a slightly different way. One of the most often prescribed varieties of prescription medication for depression are SSRIs, which is short for serotonin reuptake inhibitors. These types of medication target the brain chemical serotonin which is an essential component for maintaining a healthy frame of mind. Four commonly prescribed SSRIs are Paxil, Prozac, Luvox, and Zoloft.
Another type of antidepressant regularly prescribed are MAOIs, which is short for monoamine oxidase inhibitors. MAOIs are usually for those whose symptoms are not typical or have not responded as expected to other forms of treatment. Most medical professions use MAOIs only as a secondary treatment option. MAOIs work by blocking the action of a chemical substance in the nervous system called monoamine oxidase. Monoamine oxidase is the substance that breaks down brain chemical messengers such as serotonin and norepinephrine that play a key role in regulating mood. The idea is that by reducing the amount of monoamine oxidase in the brain chemical balance will be restored thus improving mood. A couple of MAOIs are Nardil and Parnate.
While antidepressant prescription medications like those listed above work well for some they also have the potential to produce a number of unwanted side effects including nausea, sexual dysfunction, headaches, and upset stomach. MAOIs also carry the really scary additional warning of triggering suicidal thoughts. This is a particularly worrisome symptom that seems to be more prevalent in young patients.
Diet must also be monitored carefully by those taking MAOIs. Eating the wrong foods or drinking the wrong beverages can trigger dangerous reactions such as sudden spikes in blood pressure and an elevated heart rate. Examples of foods and beverages should be avoided are chocolate, very ripe fruit, aged cheese, sauerkraut, beer, and wine.
Many have become disenchanted with the side effects and diet restrictions associated with antidepressant medications opting instead for safer more natural solutions. What you may be surprised to learn is that in some parts of the world certain natural remedies have produced such good results that they actually outsell prescription medications.
St. John's Wort, for example, is very popular in Germany outselling many major antidepressants. This herb is believed to boost serotonin levels in the brain while limiting serotonin absorption naturally improving mood and reducing feelings of depression.
While St. John's Worth is perhaps the best known natural solution for depression there are other herbs which have long been associated with regulating mood and supporting general wellness. This list would include herbs like passion flower, kava kava, and ginkgo biloba.
While there is no doubt depression suffers of all ages are embracing the idea of safely and effectively treating their symptoms with natural remedies it is still important to remember that depression is a very serious condition that generally requires the help of medical professional. This is especially true when beginning or ending any treatment plan.
If after weighing all the options you have come to the conclusion that treating depression naturally is right for you keep in mind natural solutions do take time to work so a certain amount of patience and perseverance will be required in order to achieve the anticipated results.
Robert D. Hawkins is an enthusiastic consumer advocate for natural health and natural living with over 10 years experience in the field. To learn more about depression along with information about safe and effective herbal and homeopathic depression remedies Click Here

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