Getting HelpNondrug Therapies
- Exercise. A large amount of research shows that aerobic exercise elevates mood, relieves anxiety, and improves appetite, sleep, and self-esteem. Studies show that it also normalizes chemical imbalances in the brain linked to depression.
- Herbal medicines. Several medicinal herbs have antidepressant effects. The most powerful is St. John's Wort, a natural SSRI and mild MAOI. In addi tion, kava-kava, ginkgo, and SAM-e may also help.
- Dietary supplements. Certain vitamin defi ciencies, notably B 1 , B 2 , B 6 , and folic acid, can cause depression. However, keep in mind that too much of certain vitamins can also cause problems.
- Alternative treatments. The United Nations World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as an effective treatment for moderate depression. Other helpful treatments include mas sage therapy, music and art therapy, yoga, and meditation.