Ten doctor-recommended holistic treatments for depression | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Ten doctor-recommended holistic treatments for depression

Dr. Wes Irwin

About the author

Wes Irwin, MD, MS, is founder and medical director at Tahoe Ketamine. With over 15 years of experience in the operating room, Dr. Irwin brings years of clinical experience to the Lake Tahoe area. He is currently on staff at Barton Memorial Hospital, Carson Valley Medical Center, Lake Tahoe Surgery Center and St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center. He completed his residency in anesthesiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. Inspired by the possibility of helping the thousands of individuals suffering in the Lake Tahoe and surrounding areas, Irwin established Tahoe Ketamine in 2019.

About 17.3 million adults in the U.S. will suffer from a major depressive disorder in any given year.

That is approximately 7.1% of the entire adult population … and what’s worse is that the majority of these people will never seek professional treatment for their symptoms, whether because of the stigma associated with mental health disorders, insurance coverage woes or any other number of reasons.

However, many of the individuals who do seek treatment are immediately prescribed antidepressant medications, and are almost always encouraged to engage in psychotherapy. However, every individual’s situation is unique and there is no miracle “one size fits all” treatment path.

Supplementing your mental health care plan with these doctor-recommended holistic treatments could improve your outcomes and put you on the path toward health and happiness faster, and more efficiently:

Get moving

Exercising helps to release endorphins and other mood boosting hormones that act as natural anti-depressants. If you’ve ever heard of a runner’s high, or felt on top of the world after a 30-minute high intensity workout, then you know what we’re talking about. These post-workout feel-good hormones play a major role in your biochemical makeup and psychological mood!

Don’t skip a meal … ever

How many of you get “hangry” when you don’t eat? This trendy term was coined for the rise of irritation associated with a drop in blood sugar levels. If this happens to you, then there is a simple fix: eat!

Eat a serotonin-enhancing diet

A few popular antidepressants work by inhibiting the re-uptake of serotonin to the brain: simply put, the medications increase the levels of serotonin in your brain. There are foods that naturally cause the body to release serotonin, so try consuming more foods like mackerel and salmon (high in omega-3 fatty acids), avocado and coconut oil (high concentration of healthy fats), and free-range turkey (high in protein and tryptophan).

Consider why you feel depressed

Ask yourself “why?” Is there a circumstantial reason, not biochemical, behind your mood? Perhaps you’re going through a divorce, experiencing financial hardships, suffering from an injury or grieving a death in the family? Be honest and try to get to the root of your temporary mental lull.

Avoid caffeine

You might love your morning coffee, but when it comes to depression, the caffeine is doing you more harm than good. Since caffeine naturally reduces your body’s serotonin levels, try a supplement of L-tyrosine for an energy boost instead.

Go outside and expose yourself to Vitamin D

Sun-exposure has been linked to an improved mood in multiple studies, and a little supplementation may go a long way. Are you interested in diving deeper? Consider a therapeutic light box!

Meditate or try guided imagery

Meditation can be used to reset your mind and/or help you refocus your thoughts. There is plenty of evidence supporting this idea, so why not give it a go? The mind is powerful, it can be our greatest strength or our greatest enemy. Meditation can help make it an asset, rather than a liability.

Try getting your hormones balanced

There are a few hormones that may contribute to an unstable mood, like the adrenal, thyroid and sex hormones. You can see an integrative medicine doctor to check for an imbalance using specific tests.

Acknowledge your struggle and be the authentic you!

Too many people hide their true self behind a mask, because they fear judgement, laughter or dislike. Whatever the reason, try taking classes about how to reveal the true you, and be proud of the person you are. Get rid of the masks and watch your mood turn around!

Talk therapy

Find someone you can trust — like a therapist, psychologist or life coach — and open up. They may be the key to beginning to work through the issues at the root of your depression.

If you have tried everything, holistically speaking, and nothing seems to work, your problem may be biochemical. Do not be ashamed of this — clinical depression is serious, and there are many effective treatment options, such as ketamine infusions.

Ketamine infusions have been around several decades now, and improve symptoms in up to 70% of patients, even those who have resisted other treatments in the past.

Call our Lake Tahoe area ketamine clinic and wellness center today if you are interested in a free consultation. Our staff will gladly answer any questions you may have about ketamine infusion therapy, or any of the treatments we offer.

We look forward to helping you become the best possible version of yourself.

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