3 Ways To Supplement Your Depression Treatment

When you're depressed, sometimes therapy and medication just aren't enough. The good news is, there are things you can do to supplement your treatment. None of these are meant to replace traditional treatment forms, but when used in conjunction with therapy and medication you may notice additional relief from your symptoms.

1. Acupuncture

Acupuncture is a method of redirecting energy involving sticking thin needles into the skin. The ancient Chinese believed energy -- called chi -- flowed through the body and was occasionally blocked by stress or illness. Acupuncture seeks to unblock chi and restore the natural flow of energy throughout the body.

One study by the University of York in the UK found that acupuncture had a similar effect to counseling on depression. Furthermore, the effect lasted for three months after treatment. While acupuncture shouldn't replace traditional counseling, it may help provide additional relief from depression symptoms.

2. Meditation

Mindful meditation involves clearing the mind and focusing on the present moment. The meditation may be guided, free form, or even involve repeating a mantra silently. The goal is to increase mental awareness and to learn to redirect attention away from negative thoughts.

Studies have indicated that meditation may be a powerful tool against depression. One study is even looking into whether meditation causes physical changes in the brains of clinically depressed patients. It may not be a magic cure, but meditation is worth adding into your treatment regime if therapy and medication aren't doing enough to manage your symptoms.

3. Dietary Supplements

There are a variety of dietary supplements on the market that may provide relief from your depressive symptoms. It's important to note that you should check with your doctor before adding any new supplements to your regime to ensure they do not interact with your current medication.

Supplements that are useful for treating depression include fish oil (or flax oil), St. John's Wort, and folic acid. Fish and flax oil both contain Omega-3 fatty acid, which has been shown in studies to help fight depression in some patients. St. John's Wort has been shown to reduce the symptoms of mild depression, but should only be taken under a doctor's supervision as it may interact badly with antidepressants. Evidence suggests that folic acid supplements may also be effective at helping reduce depressive symptoms.

Clinical depression can be difficult to treat. Even with depression and medication many patients still require supplemental treatments in order to find relief from their symptoms. If you are struggling, ask a professional like Valerie J. Elsbree if acupuncture, meditation, and dietary supplements may be right for you.