Both the Anxiety and Depression Association of America and the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance agree that major depression affects almost seven percent of the American adult population aged eighteen and older during any given year. As that many people cope with depression on a regular basis, it’s no surprise individuals continue to seek outside help and alternative answers.
Traditional advice for managing depression often involves increased exercise, healthier diet, medication, and professional counseling, but sometimes diagnosis misses important imbalances that can contribute to chronic symptoms. Diet and exercise are an attempt to rebalance the system, but it’s important to pinpoint which natural biochemicals are out of sync in order to reach the root of the problem.
Mentality Toward Depression and Anxiety
Unfortunately, the conversation to convince the general public that anxiety and depression can be debilitating health impairments is an ongoing battle, and many people still perceive manifestations of mental illnesses as pseudo-symptoms. As such, the conversation surrounding depression and anxiety is an uncomfortable one, which can make finding relief even more difficult.
Serotonin’s Contribution to Chronic Depression
Serotonin is a natural biochemical in the body that lets brain and nervous system cells communicate, and low levels of serotonin are thought to be one cause of depression. While a number of instigators can lead to decreased serotonin levels, it’s generally understood that exercise and appropriate diet alterations can help raise levels and reduce the risk of depression.
In addition to traditional recommendations, common natural depression and anxiety treatments can include:
- Mood induction – Some have had success with mood induction treatments, often involving psychotherapy of some sort, to raise serotonin levels.
- Light treatment – Studies have suggested that light treatment, the same kind used to help alleviate seasonal affective disorder, could do the same for depression.
- Vitamins and mineral supplements – A number of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and amino acids all have proponents who claim they affect serotonin levels and in turn influence depression and anxiety.
Additionally, quick prescription of drugs known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) can be used as blanket depression and anxiety answers, but just like low serotonin levels are bad so too are high levels (serotonin syndrome – negative symptoms of elevated serotonin levels). Natural, non-synthetic options do less damage to the body but can be more controversial.
Increasing B6 Intake Can Combat Anxiety and Depression
If increasing serotonin levels sounds too complicated, a more accessible way to induce the same effects is to introduce higher levels of B6 to the body. Although further research is needed, the University of Maryland Medical Center attributes B6 to serotonin production, agreeing that some researchers agree low levels of B6 and serotonin contribute to depression.
As such, individuals who exercise more and change their diet but want to avoid unnatural, prescribed SSTI drugs often turn to anti-anxiety supplements and formula blends meant to relieve stress and directly address biochemical imbalances. These types of supplement blends usually have vitamin B6 complementing other anti-anxiety and anti-depression ingredients that work together to help raise serotonin levels.
There’s Always Help for Those Suffering from Anxiety and Depression
Dealing with anxiety and depression can feel like a never-ending struggle, one that gets harder to deal with day after day, but it’s important to know help is always available in one form or another. From serotonin supplements to professional psychotherapy, regular exercise, and prescription drugs, as long as treatment choices are available – if you feel like depression or anxiety is too much – find an answer. Suicide is never an option.