There are certain things we know about mental health issues today we didn’t know about in years gone by. Depression is far more understood today. Doctors claim to be getting better at diagnosing patients with dark thoughts. What causes depression, and there would appear to be a number of factors involved, is still being studied but recent studies suggest that difficult economic times are likely to add to the woes of people who are feeling down.

Doctors and charities report that more people are coming to them with issues of mounting debts, who are unemployed and are unable to find work, who have cancelled holidays and are literally struggling to make ends meet.  That in itself puts serious pressure on a person’s health and particularly someone who has dependents either young children or elderly parents. If those people have some form of depression as well, their mood is likely to become even darker.

The end result of all this is the rise in prescribed medication designed to assist people with depression. A piece by the BBC yesterday indicated that there has been a 40% increase in the number of people in the UK that have been issued with prescriptions for common anti-depressants such as Prozac in the last 4 years. But are there any alternatives? Are there any natural treatments which can assist a person with their depression in times of economic depression?

Job losses are unavoidable during economic crises. Some of the luckier ones will find new work pretty quickly after being layed off while others won’t be so fortunate. And no matter how well you manage money, for some, piling on debts will be inevitable. However, this does not mean life has to spiral into a depressionary phase.

The following suggestions, all natural remedies, are not intended to replace any treatment prescribed by a health professional but are given in the hope they will help a person avoid slipping into depression or into deeper depression.

Here is a synopsis of the natural remedies:

  • Exercise
  • Avoid being too busy
  • Stay healthy
  • Think positive
  • Procrastinate
  • Eat healthy
  • Shift blame
  • Volunteer
  • Sleep well
  • Shun alcohol

These are all practical steps you can take. Of themselves they may not help you avoid slipping into depression but if combined they create a powerful force which has many benefits and loads of positive vibes for a new, happier you.

Sensible exercise is a must. Regardless of your age or condition there is always some form of sensible exercise you can undertake. The key is to do things sensibly and regularly.


Stress is a no-no for anyone with a history of depression. Having too many tasks is not good. Check your timetable and check your list of responsibilities. You need a plan where you are not rushed, not under pressure to perform and where you can chill out whenever and wherever necessary.

Good physical health is the perfect partner for good mental health. Watch your weight, stay warm and look after yourself; the healthier your body, the healthier your mind.

Be positive. The old question of the glass being half empty or half full applies particularly to anyone with dark thoughts. Regard all situations in a positive light. The glass is always half full.

It seems an odd piece of advice to procrastinate but this refers to you putting off any major decision. If you are considering buying a house, changing career or moving interstate, now might not be a good time to take that decision. If it’s possible to put off such a decision, do so until things become less stressful and more successful.

Diet is such a controllable factor in your health. People who eat badly suffer the consequences. Overweight people put pressure on their heart and other organs. Plenty of fish, fresh fruit and vegetables and avoidance of bad fatty foods is one way you can take control of your life. That in itself gives your self-esteem a boost and the snowball of positive thinking begins to gain momentum.

Shift the blame. You don’t want to start to blame others for your current situation but you certainly need to shift the blame from yourself. It is not your fault. Think of yourself as a winner, as a person who is trying hard and who will succeed. You are not to blame!

Volunteer. Doing something worthwhile for others without pay is a brilliant way to boost your self-confidence and self-esteem. It could be helping at a local charity shop, working in a soup kitchen, delivering meals to the elderly or anything helpful to those in need. You’ll meet all sorts of people, stay busy and maybe even learn some new skills. This is a perfect natural way to avoid depression.

A good night’s sleep is worth a great deal. Your body needs to unwind, it needs restful sleep. Give yourself every chance of a good night’s sleep with proper bedding and few if any distractions.

Alcohol is never a friend to someone with health issues. It is not a relaxant, it is a stimulant. A little wine for your stomach might sound okay but the less alcohol you consume the better.

1) BBC
2) NHS



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