Improving Mental Health: Alternative Treatments for Depression

April 28, 2011

Treating depression with magnet therapy

Magnets and Electrodes are two alternative treatments for depression!

The cause of depression is often overlooked in favor of medication, to the tune of 160 MILLION prescriptions for antidepressants yearly. Of those who are depressed, only about a third suffer from major depression, which is treatable with medication. The rest are more likely to suffer side effects than find help.

Fortunately, there are a number of alternatives for treating depression, most of which have considerably less risk than antidepressants (which can cause fertility problems, affect heart health, cause weight gain, and, least helpfully, suicide).

The first step is to try and address the needs of the individual, and find the cause of depression. Mental health is complex, there should not be a “one pill fits all” mentality.

Addressing diet, lifestyle, emotions, spirituality, and chronic inflammation can all help improve depression symptoms. Beyond that, there are a number of physical treatments that work in conjunction with therapy to treat depression.

When your skin is cold, it triggers the nervous system to make chemicals that lead to reduced depression. Temperature therapies (which may recommend a brief cold shower daily) have been shown to be a long term help to sufferers of depression. Of course, seek a doctor’s guidance, especially if you have other health risks, including pregnancy.

Taking care of other health problems (improving quality of life and overall mental health) can ease depression. A chiropractor, acupuncturist, and nutritionist are all good to consult beyond our general practitioner.

More radically, there are new treatments that target depression in the brain, including magnets, and deep brain stimulation (using electrodes).

Not without risk, magnet therapy is a non-surgical way to treat the brain for chronic depression. It works by using electricity and magnets to create a magnetic field that can be targeted at different areas within the brain, changing how the neurons fire. Although it’s not super practical (only major hospitals offer it), chronic depression sufferers may be able to find relief.

Deep brain stimulation is a bit more involved, but has dramatic results for treating hard to cure depression. The majority of patients experience an improvement, lasting for a year or more in their depression.

Do these depression alternative treatments sound hopeful, scary, or silly? Weigh in by commenting below!

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