If you suffer from depression, then your physician may recommend certain types of medications such as antidepressants or antianxiety drugs. While effective in treating mood disorders, these medications can produce significant side effects. In addition to this, many psychotropic medications used in the treatment of depression can take weeks or even months to work. Because of this, your doctor may recommend complementary therapies to augment your pharmaceutical treatment to help enhance the effects of your medications. Here are some complementary treatments to consider while undergoing depression therapy.
Mental health professionals sometimes recommend nutritional interventions to help enhance the effects of antidepressant and anxiety medications. For example, fish oil is often recommended to help those with mood disorders because it is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are thought to relieve certain symptoms of depression.
In addition to salmon, mackerel, and tuna, omega-3s are also found in walnuts, flaxseeds, sardines, and canola oil. While incorporating more omega-3 fatty acids into the diet is considered safe, you should talk to your doctor before consuming them. Omega-3s can interact with certain medications such as anticoagulants, or blood thinners. Like prescription anticoagulant medications, omega-3 fish oils can make your blood platelets less sticky, raising your risk for abnormal bleeding. Some doctors use this type of therapy when you want to have fewer drugs or you want a more natural approach.
For many, chronic pain is a source of depression. The exercises performed during physical therapy help promote optimal circulation while helping to release endorphins and are often used in depression therapy. These peptides are also known as "feel good" hormones or even "happy hormones" because they help boost your mood. They also have analgesic-like effects that can help decrease pain. During physical therapy and other exercise programs, serotonin levels rise, further enhancing the mood. People participating in physical therapy programs may respond so well that they can lower their dosages of prescription pain medications.
Not only can opioid-based narcotic pain medications cause side effects such as drowsiness, dizziness, vision problems, and gastrointestinal symptoms, but they may also contribute to depression. While physical therapy can help improve your mood and reduce pain, do not stop taking your prescribed pain medications until the prescribing physician tells you that it is safe to do so.
If you suffer from depression and take psychotropic medications, consider the above complementary therapies to augment your pharmaceutical treatment plan. While depression can have a major impact on your well-being, it can be very well-managed so that you can look forward to the future with anticipation and hope. Reach out to a professional for information about depression therapy.