According to the World Health Organization, over 264 million people all around the world (and of all ages and backgrounds) suffer from depression. In the UK alone, it’s thought that 3 in 100 people experience it at any given week. Depression is one of the most common mental health issues.
Depression is a mood disorder that can leave you feeling sad, lonely, and withdrawn. There are many reasons why you might experience depression, including chemical imbalances in your brain such as hormone imbalances, physical changes to your brain such as injuries, life changes such as dealing with the loss of a loved one or stress or genetics. Luckily, there’s a number of ways to help combat and relieve symptoms of depression.
If you suspect that you are suffering from depression, the first thing to do is go see your doctor. Your doctor will be able to determine your diagnosis and will create an appropriate plan of action for recovery. Your plan of action might include taking antidepressants, and/or attending therapy sessions to help you talk through the way you’re feeling, and also changes to your diet or exercise routine.
Three Types of Supplements That Might Help Your Depression
In addition to your plan of action for recovery, you can also ask your doctor if he/she thinks it’s beneficial for you to take supplements to help boost your wellbeing. 54% of those with severe depression reported using some type of complementary therapy in the previous year. Because herbal and dietary supplements are among the most popular forms of complementary therapies,
“Herbal and dietary supplements are the most popular complementary therapies when it comes to depression, with 54% of people with severe depression relying on traditional treatment (such as medication and therapy) and complementary therapy.” Supplement expert and the founder of Sundt.uk, Dannie Hansen, explains. “However, you should always consult your doctor first before taking any supplements, as some may prevent current medication from working, such as St. John’s wort.”
St. John’s wort: St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a herb that grows in Europe, and in parts of Asia, Africa, and the United States. St. John’s wort has been used for centuries to treat depression and other health conditions. The FDA hasn’t approved St. John’s wort as a depression treatment. Some studies have concluded that this supplement might not be effective for those with moderate to severe depression. However, other studies have found that it might benefit those suffering from depression.
You can buy this supplement in the form of capsules, tea, tablets, tinctures, and liquid extracts. This herb supplement might make other medication your taking less effective so always make sure you talk to your doctor first before taking St. John’s wort.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are good for heart health and they may also be helpful in relieving symptoms of depression. Omega-3s are essential for our bodies to function and they help with neurological growth. They can be found in certain foods such as fish, nut oils, and plants, but it’s not uncommon for many people to not receive enough omega-3s from their diet, which is where supplements can help. Studies are inconclusive of how effective omega-3 fatty acid supplements are for fighting depression. Some studies found that they are effective alongside taking traditional antidepressants.
SAMe: S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe) is a compound that occurs naturally in the body, but can also be made in a laboratory. It helps to produce dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin. SAMe is prescribed for a number of conditions, including depression, heart disease, and ADHD. More studies are needed to confirm the effectiveness of SAMe, however, many believe that it can relieve symptoms of depression. You can get SAMe supplements over the counter, but you should make sure your doctor knows that you’re taking it.