According to the Merriam-Webster online dictionary, depression is a “psychoneurotic or psychotic disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal tendencies.”
In other words, it is a state in which you feel sad and hopeless, and it often affects your normal way of life.
There are many reasons why a person gets depressed. Issues with your family, problems inside the home, difficulties at work and even conflict with your partner can be stressful and bring a person down.
The good news is the feelings of “everyone hates me,” or “I feel so unimportant and unwanted,” can get better. If you are lucky, popping some antidepressant pills and doing something new and exciting in your life can cure everything.
The sad part is not everyone can work that way, which explains why suicidal tendencies are so high and even celebrities are willing to take away their lives. Luckily, experts found cures for depression that will surely blow your mind, literally and figuratively speaking.
Here are five treatments for depression that can make you go even crazier, hopefully in a good way.
1. Ultrasound For A Better Mood
When you hear or read the word ultrasound, the first thing that pops into your head is something diagnostic. You’re pregnant and you need to check your baby, go for an ultrasound.You think something is going on inside your body, schedule for an ultrasound.In other words, you will need one to show bat-magic images of your body, which the naked eye is not able to see.
Aside from that, did you know that these machines, with their high-frequency sound waves, can cure depression, too? In the animal world, ultrasound is used on animal skulls to help change their behavior.
Probably due to depression, a scientist from University of Arizona had an Einstein moment and decided to try it on humans, making himself a guinea pig. He used an ultrasound on his own brain and lo and behold, he experienced an elevated mood afterwards.
That’s not all. Because he was feeling generous and wanted to contribute something to this depressing world, this dude decided to get approval, so he can try this thing on others and make sure that his discovery really worked. Maybe the approvers were so depressed, too. They gave him a go-ahead signal.
Of course, his study showed that ultra-sounded heads had better moods for 40 minutes after the experiment, although temporarily. The reason behind this is that ultrasound operates in the same way and frequency in the brain that affects your mood. As strange as it may seem, imagine yourself being pumped up when you hear your jam on the radio. You get excited, right?
That’s how ultrasound works. It triggers your brain to light up and feel giddy. And yes, it can focus on small areas, which means ultrasound can also target certain parts in your brain to help get rid of depression.
Go ahead. Buy your own ultrasound machine.
2. Walk Away From Depression
Okay, for this one, you have to take it literally and figuratively.
It may sound simple, but walking is one of the most effective depression-killers ever discovered. If you want to go back to basics and keep it simple, yet effective as possible, then go ahead and take a walk.
Experts noted that walking for half an hour everyday could reduce depressive symptoms by almost 50 percent. In fact, regular walk is about as effective as antidepressant pills. So, why is that?
Well, aside from keeping you fit, which eventually helps you feel better about yourself, walking stimulates the production of norepinephrine. It is a neurotransmitter, which is excellent in boosting your moods. At the same time, it increases blood flow in your brain to help in nerve cell growth. And the best part about this? It has zero side effects while making sure you have healthier and leaner body.
So, what are you waiting for? Grab your walking shoes and get yourself a walk. You can even walk around with your dog, if you happen to have a canine companion. It may be a challenge to motivate you to get up and walk, but at least try, right?
3. Nicotine As A Depression killer
Hmm, this one is another shocker. When you think of nicotine, you always picture cigarettes and tobacco, which are bad for your health. How in the world can it be a depression killer?
Well, if you notice, people, especially the depressed ones, smoke in order to self-medicate. As absurd as it may sound, nicotine is excellent in fighting depression, based on 2006 study.
According to this study, depressed non-smokers wore either nicotine patch or a placebo bandage. Researchers found that those who wore nicotine patch for eight straight days recorded a significant decline in depressive symptoms.
This is because nicotine stimulates that part of your brain responsible for you mood. Further, it increases dopamine and serotonin, which can combat depression.
Does this mean you can smoke all you want? No. Of course, you need to weigh the risks involved. You don’t want to end up with lung cancer. But the truth is, once you take out nicotine in the tobacco industry, nicotine isn’t that bad.
What about nicotine patches? Well, experts recommend not to use patches for self-medication, since the long-term effects have not yet been studied. In the meantime, stay away from it for now unless there is a go signal from doctors or fellow experts. Don’t worry. The nicotine-drug will come out soon, so just wait for it.
4. Anti-Inflammation To End Your Depression
Do you have red spots on your arms where your dog bit you? What do you use to get rid of insect bites from last summer’s camping trip? Did you just sprain your ankle, which explains why it is swollen?
These refer to inflammation, aka the protective response by your body. You may not notice it, but too much inflammation can make you depressed, too.
Based on a recent Harvard study, an anti-inflammation diet such as olive oil, vegetables and wine can reduce depression by 41 percent. At the same time, certain anti-inflammatory drugs can ease symptoms of depression and send them back right where they belong, which outside of your body of course.
How Does Anti-Inflammatory Work?
Every time your body deals with infection, toxins and bacteria in your body, your immune system releases cytokines. Cytokines produce sickness behavior that looks a lot like depression and lower your serotonin levels.
It may be a crappy move for your immune system to make your body deal with depression. However, inflammation is important when fighting an infection and fixing the damage done to your body.
Believe it or not, feeling sickly and mentally crappy is a good thing. This is why depression is also referred to as a sickness behavior that messes up your entire body.
Oh, and if you think depression is something you develop, think again. Interferon is one of the effective treatments for those who have Hepatitis C virus. It pumps up the person’s immune system and as a result, one in every four patients who receive this type of injection will develop episodes of depression. So yes, depression can also be injected.
5. Electrocution For Major Depression
Just when you thought things are about to get better. If you think the first four treatments are weird enough, wait until you read this one. You already know that ultrasound is one of the bizarre ways to cure depression.
Apparently, there is even more bizarre than that – electrocution. Yes, you read that right. Since when does electrocuting your brain make it beneficial?
Well, there is a process called electroconvulsive therapy or ECT. Basically, it is sending electricity on your brain to make ever hair in your body stand up. Okay, just kidding, although the concept is more like that.
ECT is a form of psychiatric treatment wherein anesthetized patients are electrically induced to provide therapeutic effect on them. It is often used on individuals with severe depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and catatonia.
Experts are divided on this one. Since when is it okay to electrically induce someone? Nonetheless, those who believe in the power of electricity argue that ECT is an effective treatment for depressed individuals, especially when other treatments were not effective.
In fact, an estimated one million people from around the world receive ECT for six to 12 times every year.
As to its effect, well, you should personally ask someone who had ECT to know what really happens afterwards.
Who says you need Prozac or whatever antidepressants that can make everything worse? Some may sound bizarre, but it only shows that you don’t need expensive treatments just to make you feel better about yourself. Yes, it will take some time but you have to be patient, especially when your body is so used to that state.
More importantly, always remember this: don’t let your depression take over your mind and body. You are stronger than that.