According to the National Institute of Mental health, major depression disorder is the leading cause of disability among U.S. teens and adults (15-44 years of age).Of the 33,000 Americans who commit suicide 90% have a diagnosed mental disorder of depression or substance abuse disorder. Pretty sad numbers don't you think.
Every where you turn someone is on antidepressants or a mood altering medication. That has become the normal treatment of depression…a pill. I am not saying antidepressants have not helped a lot of people in very stressful times of their life, and as a nurse I do support the need of medications.
However, in some cases antidepressants appear to actually increase the risk of suicidal thoughts certainly not a desired response for someone who is already depressed.
It is so rare for a doctor to suggest alternative treatments. Research is finding it can be just as effective.
There are many levels of depressions. From mild to severe. Observing hospitalized patients that have major depressive disorder, that cannot function in a simple day to day routine. Getting out of bed is a traumatic event. Eating breakfast takes to much energy and self care is out of the question and not their concern. Severe depression requires staff to step in and give them a nudge in the direction of recovery assisting and encouraging a daily routine of eating, bathing and socializing.
A mildly depressed person who could be going through some changes in their life with a loss family member, lost a job, divorce, sick child could benefit from alternative treatments that are safer than medication.
As much as people hate to hear the words exercise – it has a lot more benefits than fat removal. As a walker, I slack in the winter time due to the cold weather and almost become a inbound ole bear instead of hitting the gym. In the drab, cold cloudy winter months even I notice a mood change in myseIf when I do not exercise. Fresh air and movement gives the brain a boost of endorphins that fight against depression.
What is Depression?
It saddens me to see a person come into the hospital with all the signs of depression. We all have days where we feel bad, or just not on top of our game like we normally are. However, when it gets to the point you do not want to get out of bed, and sleep more than normal, feel hopeless, useless, negative thinking, loss of normal appetite or eat way over your normal, or you find the daily task just more than you can handle. You could be suffering from depression.
What can you do to help with depression?
Of course the first thing most people do is go to the doctor and with out hesitation he hands over a few scripts of pills. Do they work? Yes for alot of people. Are their side effects – yes most of the time. Once again I am not saying you should not listen to your doctor but try other things to help naturally lift your mood with out the side effects of a drug – that once on – so many people can not get off of.
I ask Mari Ann Lisenbe the creator and CEO of The MARI Method where they teach “Mindful Actions for Radical Improvement!”.
What type of exercises she would suggest to someone struggling with depression. Her practical approach to weight loss is helping people who’ve struggled with weight their whole lives, finally lose the weight, and keep it off.
One reason for Mari Ann’s success with her clients is her belief that “weight loss begins in your mind”. So, she sets out to help clients change the way they think about food and exercise. She went on to say more about how your brain thinks.
Meditation vs Medication
How can two words that are separated by one little letter be so vastly different?
Medication (Ambien) side effects: Diarrhea; dizziness; daytime drowsiness; "drugged" feeling; dry mouth; headache; nausea; nose or throat irritation; sluggishness; stomach upset; weakness; abnormal thinking; behavior changes; chest pain; confusion; decreased coordination; difficulty swallowing or breathing; fainting; fast or irregular heartbeat; hallucinations; memory problems (eg, memory loss); mental or mood changes (eg, aggression, agitation, anxiety); new or worsening depression; severe dizziness; shortness of breath; suicidal thoughts or actions; vision changes.
Meditation side effects: peace, calmness, joy, better sleep, better relationships, weight normalization, health
I don't know about you, but just reading the above is enough to make me choose meditation over medication!
But, for some people, the word "meditation" conjures up weird images of out of body experiences, and people sitting around chanting "ooommmhhh".
Actually, meditation does not have to be weird at all!
My favorite way to meditate is to first find a scripture, such as Zephaniah 3:17. It says
"For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
From this I grab hold of the fact that God is happy with me. He calms my fears. And he even sings over me!
Then, I'll lay down, or sit quietly, just repeating these words over and over in my mind.
Quite often, I'll add-in deep breathing while meditating. Deep breathing helps to oxygenate your blood, and calm your mind.
While deep breathing, breath in through your nose. Then, consciously open the back of your throat, and breathe out through your nose. You will hear an almost funny sound resonating in the back of your throat as your do this.
Focus on keeping your breath slow, and steady and focus on breathing out longer than breathing in. For instance, breathe in for a count of 8 and breath out for a count of 16.
You can also try repeating the scripture to yourself, like this:
Breath in while repeating to yourself "God delights in me with gladness".Breath out while repeating to yourself "God calms me with his love".Breath in while repeating "God even sings songs over me".
Angela Brooks has worked in a state-funded psychiatric hospital in Kentucky for 21 years as a nurse, assisting sometimes-dangerous patients who come in shackled and cuffed. At AngelaBrook.com, she offers stories of life on the inside of a psychiatric ward, and the site, as well as her company, offers support for nurses in the mental health field and helps them bring passion into their role at work.
She is a natural health expert with 24 years as a nurse she can show you holistic approach helps the entire family physically, emotionally, spiritually and financially. Clients enjoy getting back to the road of recovery using health alternates for them and their family
Everyday we share insights, strategies and even some of our biggest secrets to nurse entrepreneurs on our Facebook page! Join the fun and connect with like-minded business owners and Nurses EVERY single day! Click here and "become friends" with Angela's NOW!
* Please note: I am not here to CURE, DIAGNOSE, Treat or suggest replacements for what a doctor prescribes. The names used in this post are not the real names of the people being mentioned – I am sharing my nursing adventures with you.
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