Natural Alternatives for Depression When There Is No Pharmacy
Natural Alternatives for Depression When There Is No Pharmacy By Cat Ellis for The Organic Prepper
Depression impacts millions of Americans every year. Most of these people are taking some form of antidepressant. In an SHTF situation, pharmacies will not be available. This article will cover alternative ways to manage depression where prescription drugs are not an option.
What Is Depression?
If we are going to form a backup plan, we need to understand what depression is. Depression is more than just sadness and grief. According to Psychiatry.org:
Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
- Feeling sad or having a depressed mood
- Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
- Changes in appetite — weight loss or gain unrelated to dieting
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Loss of energy or increased fatigue
- Increase in purposeless physical activity (e.g., hand-wringing or pacing) or slowed movements and speech (actions observable by others)
- Feeling worthless or guilty
- Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
- Thoughts of death or suicide
Depression is a complex condition without a single, root cause. It used to be thought that depression was just a lack of certain chemicals, neurotransmitters, in the brain. According to Harvard Health Publishing, however, depression is caused by a combination of factors.
It’s often said that depression results from a chemical imbalance, but that figure of speech doesn’t capture how complex the disease is. Research suggests that depression doesn’t spring from simply having too much or too little of certain brain chemicals. Rather, there are many possible causes of depression, including faulty mood regulation by the brain, genetic vulnerability, stressful life events, medications, and medical problems. It’s believed that several of these forces interact to bring on depression.
The article goes on to point out the importance of connective pathways, and not just the levels of the chemicals that travel them:
Popular lore has it that emotions reside in the heart. Science, though, tracks the seat of your emotions to the brain. Certain areas of the brain help regulate mood. Researchers believe that — more important than levels of specific brain chemicals — nerve cell connections, nerve cell growth, and the functioning of nerve circuits have a major impact on depression. Still, their understanding of the neurological underpinnings of mood is incomplete.
Other factors play a role as well. Genetic predisposition, hormonal shifts, diet, lifestyle habits, experiencing trauma and loss all can increase your risk of depression. Nutritional deficiencies, food sensitivities, and imbalances in gut bacteria are often ignored causes of depression.
Depression doesn’t discriminate either. People from all walks of life may develop depression. However, gender and financial security are two factors that increase the risks. Women are twice as likely to develop depression as men. Not surprisingly, people with more financial security experience less depression than those struggling to get by.