Ask the Experts

Chasing Away Depression Naturally

“I have been diagnosed with ADHD and moderate depression. Are there any natural therapies I should try that will improve my depression?”

There are a number of integrative natural treatments that can be helpful for depression. The first thing is to look at simple lifestyle issues. Are you getting enough exercise? Are you getting adequate and regular sleep? Do you eat a healthy diet? All of these can make a significant difference in one’s perspective on life.

Omega-3 fatty acids may have a positive effect on depression, without doing harm. For moderate depression, the herb St. John’s wort has been extensively studied. Its effect is comparable to that of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), like Prozac, with less risk of side effects. SAM-e (S-adenosylmethionine) is another supplement that has been shown to help with depression. Always work with a health-care provider who has experience using these supplements. Finally, counseling is often effective for moderate depression.

If your depression becomes severe, or if the above methods do not help, SSRIs may be needed.

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