Medication is probably the first thing people think of when listing tools for the body, but there is much more to consider in addition. One of the first things you should do if you slip into depression is conduct a discovery of what medical conditions might be causing your depression. Schedule yourself in for a comprehensive physical …
and do some research first on Google or some other search engine using the words “medical conditions that can cause depression.” You’ll find there are numerous medical conditions that can bring on depression in adults. The most common one is a thyroid condition. Both an overactive thyroid and an underactive thyroid can lead to depression, and a simple blood test can determine that. For men, a low testosterone level can cause depression; the testosterone level becomes lower naturally as one becomes older, so it’s an important condition to check. I know of a person who was profoundly depressed, found out she had a thyroid condition, had that treated, and the depression left.
Now if you need medication to become stable, especially if you are at a 1, 2, or 3 (see the blog posts “Stability First! Parts 1 and 2”) and unable to function for weeks at a time, don’t be stubborn and fight depression on your own; you’ll most likely lose the battle. Seek out a psychiatrist who best understands depression or a family doctor who specializes in depressive conditions.
Below is a general list of other tools you can use from a body standpoint. You can do the research on your own.
- Find a nutritionist that is aware of how different foods can affect depression, go through an assessment of the food you are presently eating, and receive counsel on what changes may be beneficial to you. This is not a cure all, but it will help alleviate symptoms. You can also check out with him/her natural alternative medicines to counter depression symptoms – like certain herbs, St. John’s Wort being a primary herb in this category. And a regimen or vitamins that address the symptoms of depression. You’ll be surprised at all the things you ingest that can help or hurt depression.
- Exercise, even if you don’t want to, because vigorous aerobic or weight exercise releases endorphins into your blood stream that are natural chemicals to control depression.
- Walking, gardening, and other outside hobbies can be beneficial to depressive states. So can dancing.
- Physical labor
- Chiropractic, acupuncture, massage, and yoga can put your body in a calm state.
- Music can also put your body in a calm state.
- Take time outs to relax your body, maybe in conjunction with a warm bath before you go to bed.
- Find physical places where you feel safe – a couch in the lower level, a beach, a playground, a library, or a hundred other places.
This is not a complete list, but it gives you some ideas of tools you can use to help in the healing of your body. The next post will be on tools for the soul (mind, will, and emotions).