The first steps to combating mental health issues

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Struggling with a mental health condition, like depression, can make life difficult… not just for you, but also those around you.

Of course, as humans we all go through a range of emotions – joy, excitement, grief, fear, loss and loneliness. But then there’s that feeling of being “down in the dumps” that for some people just doesn’t seem to go away. In fact, it incapacitates them and can wreck their health, work and personal relationships.

Taking the first steps to lift your mood

Now, if you fall into the latter category, then you need to seek professional help and find support from an experienced mental health professional.

But if you occasionally experience low mood, then there’s no reason for you to grab the first prescription drug that comes your way. In fact, it’s a known fact that antidepressants are some of the most over-prescribed drugs in the world and according to a report recently published by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, it estimates that approximately one in 10 adults are taking some kind of anti-psychotic drug.

In many cases these drugs aren’t even prescribed for the conditions they are intended to treat. That’s because many doctors prescribe them for what is known as “off label use”.

Pain? Take an antidepressant. Side effects of menopause? Take an antidepressant. Stressed over diabetes? Take an antidepressant.

And it’s not just antidepressants, but also anti-anxiety and sleep drugs.

If you suffer with mild mood disturbances and your doctor has tried to prescribe antidepressants to help you manage, then maybe it’s time to seek a second opinion. A holistic approach to mild mental health concerns is a safer alternative and comes without any side effects.

These mood-boosters include:

Exercise: Physical activity has been proven to improve mood – and not just because getting a little exercise will help you sleep better. If you can get up and move any amount, the influx of endorphins can boost your mood and even relieve pain naturally.

Soak up the sun: Your body converts UV rays to vitamin D, one of nature’s best mood-boosters. If you can’t get the real stuff during the winter, invest in a specialised light box and supplement with vitamin D.

Make your gut happy: Probiotic supplements have been shown to reduce anxiety, stress, AND depression. They can even improve memory – and it only takes about four weeks to see major results.

Finally, don’t underestimate the power of talking about your problems. Whether it’s a friend, barber, or carer at the elderly care centre, making a connection – and feeling a little less alone – can make a world of difference.



Disclaimer: Bear in mind the material contained in this article is provided for information purposes only. We are not addressing anyone’s personal situation. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.

Sources:

1 in 6 U.S. Adults Use Psychiatric Drugs in a Year, medpagetoday.com/Psychiatry/GeneralPsychiatry/62018?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2016-12-13&eun=g1024616d0r&pos=11

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