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Three Ways to Mitigate Your Symptoms of Depression Without Turning to Medication

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Millions of Americans suffer from depression at some point in their lives. For some people, it's a temporary disorder that they can cope with relatively well on their own. In other cases, the disorder can be completely debilitating and uproot your life.

No matter where you fall on that spectrum, you probably are searching for every tool you can find to help alleviate the depressive symptoms you experience. You should start by seeing your doctor so they can diagnose the severity of your disorder and prescribe the proper medication if necessary. However, if your doctor gives you the go-ahead, there are a number of ways you can treat your depression without turning to the pharmacy.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a branch of psychology that his been shown to be extremely effective in treating depression. Essentially, you work with a therapist to become more mindful of the roots of your disorder. You also learn to identify the short-term and long-term behaviors that are exacerbating your symptoms.

Most of those behaviors are likely subconscious. By working with a therapist, like those from The Center for Family Counseling, Inc., you can begin to identify the problematic actions and habits that are underlying your disorder. Through that awareness you can begin to eliminate those behaviors and overcome your disorder.

A Good Night's Sleep, Every Night

It may seem trivial, but poor sleeping habits can play a large role in exacerbating your symptoms of depression. Think about how groggy and in-the-dumps you feel in the morning when you only get a few hours of sleep. That's a short-term example of the negative effects of sleep deprivation. If you're missing out on even an hour of sleep, or not adhering to a regular sleep schedule, the more minor effects can add up and worsen your long-term depressive disorder.

Make sure you get enough sleep every night. Experts generally suggest eight hours, but some people require more to be fully recharged. When you have some days off of work, try sleeping without an alarm to find out how much sleep your body naturally craves. Also, improve the quality of your sleep by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day.

Food for Thought

The food you put into your body is what feeds your mind. An unhealthy or incomplete diet can throw the neurological chemicals in your brain out of whack. In people who suffer from depression, that can mean a worsening of the symptoms. Consult nutrition guides and use apps to track everything you eat and ensure that you're feeding your mind and body with all of the nutrients it needs every day.