5 Ways to Stop Feeling So Depressed
Did you know that Abraham Lincoln suffered from depression? Historians discovered that our 16th president actually considered suicide and couldn’t even get out of bed on some days. Does this sound like you or someone you love? You may take heart in knowing that as Lincoln aged, he learned to use laughter to help overcome his dark moods. He found that when he told jokes and laughed, it helped him keep the bad feelings at bay.
Today, if you tell your healthcare professional you feel depressed, you’re likely to walk out of their office with a prescription for antidepressants. But these medications don’t always work, and in some cases, they can make you feel even worse. Fortunately, there are things you can do to improve the chances of getting medication that works for you. And like Lincoln, you can also take advantage of other ways to push sadness and negativity away.
1. Eliminate foods that drag you down.
Jeff, 53, had spent years suffering from depression as well as other issues. After attempting suicide, he went to several healthcare professionals and was put on a variety of medications, but they weren’t helping. He eventually eliminated potential allergens—such as gluten, soy, corn, dairy, sugar, and MSG–from his diet.
When he added the foods back one by one, he realized that one of them was triggering his suicidal thoughts. When he ate corn—popcorn, tortilla chips, corn chips—he almost immediately got an image of putting a gun in his mouth and pulling the trigger, something that had not happened since before he went on the diet. By kicking corn out of his life, he greatly improved his moods. You can boost your moods too by eliminating foods that are potentially harmful for you and only eating those that serve your health.
2. Eat foods that boost your moods.
On the flip side, getting your diet right can help you feel better. For example, omega-3 fatty acids—found in foods like wild salmon or in nutritional supplements— have been found to reduce symptoms of depression. Similarly, several studies have found that a saffron extract was as effective as antidepressant medication in treating people with major depression.
3. Start every day by saying, “Today is going to be a great day.”
This is a simple way to start training your brain to focus on things that are going right in your life rather than on things that are going wrong in your life. It also sets a positive tone for the remainder of the day. At the end of the day, ask yourself, “What went well today?” This helps you end the day on a positive note. This strategy is quick—only about 3 minutes our of your day—and helps decrease symptoms of depression in just 30 days.
4. Check for biological issues.
Did you know that there are many biological issues—such as hormonal imbalances and blood flow problems—that can cause mood issues? Having a full workup that includes lab work is one of the keys to determining the root cause of your depression. With this important information, you are more likely to find the right treatment for your specific needs. In some cases, taking care of the physical issue can decrease depression symptoms.
5. Know your depression type.
How can you know what’s happening inside your head if nobody ever looks? Psychiatry remains the only medical field that rarely looks at the organ it treats. It doesn’t have to be this way. Brain imaging technology called SPECT offers psychiatrists critical information about the overall functioning of your brain. It also shows that depression is not a simple or single disorder. In fact, brain scans reveal that there are 7 types of depression.
Type 1: Pure Anxiety
Type 2: Pure Depression
Type 3: Mixed Depression
Type 4: Over-focused Depression
Type 5: Temporal Lobe Depression
Type 6: Cyclic Depression
Type 7: Unfocused Depression
When you know your type, you are much more likely to find the targeted solutions that will work for your specific needs.
With the world’s largest database of functional brain scans — 150,000 and growing —Amen Clinics physicians are able to more accurately diagnose and more effectively treat the 7 types of depression than any other healthcare professionals.
If you’re looking for the least toxic, most effective ways to treat depression, contact the Amen Clinics today at 888-288-9834 or schedule a visit. We take the guesswork out of psychiatry.