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This is a long post, so prepare yourself. I wanted to share some ideas I've found online to help your depression naturally. I too suffer from depression and I know how dibilitating it can be.

Aromatherapy: The following essential oils can promote calm and soothe stress: chamomile, clary sage, lavender, sandalwood, and ylang ylang.

For depression: bergamot, geranium, jasmine, melissa, neroli, and rose can be helpful, since they act as natural antidepressants.

Biofeedback Training: Biofeedback training can result in dramatic improvements in patients' ability to manage stress, thereby improving overall mental health symptoms. In addition, research has shown that biofeedback is also helpful for dealing with various mental health problems, including anxiety, chronic phobias, and hyperactivity.

Biological (Holistic) Dentistry: According to pioneering biological dentist Hal A. Huggins, D.D.S., many mental and emotional problems, including anxiety, depression, irritability, and suicidal tendencies, can significantly be improved, and in many cases completely eliminated, by removing toxic dental amalgams that contain mercury.

Diet: A healthy diet is a vital component of any overall program for addressing mental health disorders. If you suffer from mental health problems, be sure to get tested for food allergies. Also avoid all foods that contain additives, coloring, flavoring, pesticides, and preservatives, as well as foods that are commercially processed and refined, including all refined carbohydrates, sugar and sugar substitutes, trans fats and hydrogenated oils. Also minimize your intake of milk and dairy products, as well as alcohol and caffeine.

It is essential to eat a steady and diverse daily diet of health enhancing fruits such as apples, berries, stone fruits, and vegetables, especially dark greens, salads, small daily quantities of high quality protein sources, such as wild fish, organic poultry, bison, lamb, eggs, beans, legumes, tempeh and tofu, essential fatty acids, whole grains, such as quinoa and brown rice, nuts and seeds (preferably soaked), and wholesome, rather than refined treats. Be sure to vary the foods you eat at each meal to ensure a plentiful supply of nutrients and enzymes and to avoid the risk of developing food sensitivities, and be careful not to overeat during meals. Also drink plenty of pure, filtered water throughout the day.

If you suffer from hypoglycemia, avoid high glycemic carbohydrate foods. Eat meals that are high in a variety of vegetables, small and consistent portions of quality proteins and low in carbohydrates. In addition, eat healthy snacks such as all vegetable juices or raw vegetables with a handful of soaked nuts or seeds, or a hard boiled egg, a slice of protein such as turkey wrapped in lettuce leaves, or a fresh fruit smoothie mixed with essential fats and a quality protein powder, such as Hemp or raw organic whey protein powder. Eat something every two to three hours between meals to keep your blood sugar levels stabilized.

Energy Psychology: Energy psychology combined with techniques from acupressure and kinesiology, often in conjunction with affirmations and healing breathing techniques can resolve blockages or disturbances in a person's “bioenergy field,” sometimes referred to as the “aura.” According to the theory behind energy psychology, a large degree of mental and emotional problems have their root in the bioenergy field, where they affect us in much the same way that faulty software can cause problems in a computer's hard drive. Practitioners of energy psychology have their patients think about or emotionally re-experience the mental and/or emotional problems that are causing them difficulties. As they do so, they also tap specific acupuncture meridian points in order to balance out and free trapped energies. Once this occurs, patients often find that they are completely free of their problems.

There are a variety of healing therapies that fall under the energy psychology umbrella, such as emotional freedom technique (EFT), Thought Therapy, and Energy Diagnostic and Treatment Methods (developed by Fred Gallo, Ph.D., who coined the phrase “energy psychology”). In recent years, such therapies have gained widespread acceptance among mental health professionals in the fields of both conventional and alternative medicine because of how effective they are for rapidly resolving a wide variety of mental health disorders.

Energy psychology has been shown to be particularly useful for treating addiction, anxiety, depression, panic disorders, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorders, and unhealthy feelings of chronic anger, guilt, loneliness, rage, and rejection.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): Developed by psychologist Francine Shapiro, Ph.D., in 1990, EMDR has become one of the most rapidly growing therapies in the field of mind/body medicine, and is used by more than 20,000 psychotherapists as a primary treatment for a variety of mental health disorders, including addiction, anxiety, stress, and, most especially, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research has shown that EMDR has up to a 90 percent success rate for resolving PTSD caused by rape, natural disasters, catastrophic illness, the loss of a loved one, or other traumas. In most cases, complete resolution of PTSD occurs with three sessions or less of EMDR.

Herbal Medicine: Useful herbal remedies for treating mental health problems include St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum), which has been shown to act as a mild anti-depressant and to be useful for cases of anxiety and mild depression, as well as for sleep problems related to mental health disorders, and walnut tea, which contains high amounts of serotonin, a natural mood elevator. Other herbs that may be helpful include chamomile, ginkgo biloba, milk thistle, passion flower, Siberian ginseng, and valerian root, all of which promote calm and can help mitigate against the effects of stress.

Hydrotherapy: Contrast applications of hot and cold water can be helpful to relieve stress, as can soothing hot baths.

Journaling: By regularly writing down your thoughts, beliefs, and emotions in a journal, you can help yourself to better understand the underlying issues in your life that can be contributing to your mental and emotional problems, gaining new insights in the process that can empower you to heal. Research has also shown that the daily practice of journaling can also help to improve physical health symptoms.

In addition, journaling can be an effective way for releasing yourself from the chain of negative emotions linked to past traumas, as well as phobias. A specific journaling technique known as desensitization can help you to accomplish this. To deal with traumas, simply allow yourself to re-experience all that you can recall of the traumatic event. Write down everything that occurs to you as vividly as you can, so that you use all of your senses. Initially, you may feel the fears and other emotions you associate with the event. By writing about the event on a daily basis, however, eventually you will find yourself becoming detached from or desensitized to the event so that it no longer affects you. In the process, you may also discover elements of the experience that escaped you when the event happened, which can provide you with further clarity and peace of mind. You can work with phobias in a similar fashion. Instead of “reliving” a past event on paper, imagine an experience that would typically trigger your phobia. Over time, you will find that whatever you imagine has only the power over you that you give it, making it easier to let go of your fears.

Cleansing and Detoxification: Moderate cleanses are an excellent way to lift mental stress and depression. It is very important to cleanse after one has stabilized into eating a primarily organic whole foods diet. Read through the cleanse section and consider a 3-30 day colon cleanse as a healing protocol.

Juice Therapy: It is highly recommended that one does colon cleansing prior to juice therapy. Juice therapy involves juice fasting under the supervision of a holistic health practitioner. These short fasts can often improve overall mood, as well as aid the body in eliminating toxins that can trigger mental health problems.

Magnetic Therapy: According to Dr. Philpott, M.D., a variety of mental health disorders can be caused by electromagnetic imbalances in the body. If this is the case, then you can use magnetic therapy to correct and restore balance to your body's electromagnetic system using magnets that are placed on various acupuncture meridian points on the body. In the field of psychiatry, magnetic therapy is replacing electro-convulsive therapy for depression and other major mental disorders. In addition, magnetic therapy is replacing tranquilizers, antidepressants and anti-seizure medications in the treatment of major mental disorders. Anxiety, tension, depression, obsessions and compulsions can be alleviated with a negative magnetic field application to the brain.

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What follows are guidelines for using magnet therapy to help resolve mental health disorders:

The treatment for mental illnesses is, first and foremost, to eliminate all exposure to any and all foods, chemicals, and inhalants that cause allergic reactions, and to simultaneously improve nutrition levels. It is also important to calm the electrical activity and excessive dopamine production in the brain. In order to accomplish this, bilateral placement of a negative magnetic field on the right and left temporal areas provides maximum control. Usually, most mental symptoms can be controlled within ten minutes by using ceramic or neodymium disc magnets in this manner.

All those with mental illnesses should sleep on a magnetic bed pad, composed of 1 7/8 x 7/8 x 3/8 inch mini-block magnets placed 1½ inches apart. Also, place magnets at the crown of the head (four 4 x 6 x 1 inch magnets placed ¾ inches apart). These can be raised or lowered, depending on the height of the pillow, with the top of the head as close as possible to the magnets.

At night, sleep with a 5 x 12 inch multi-magnet flexible mat crosswise on the lower abdomen. In the center of this mat, place a 4 x 6 x ½ inch magnet lengthwise on the body, held in place with a 4 x 52 inch body wrap. This placement will help rid the body of any viral, fungal, or parasitic infections anywhere in the pelvic area. It will also stimulate the intestinal wall to produce melatonin, an important hormone for sleep and mood. At night, place a 5 x 12 inch double magnet, multi-magnet flexible mat with six mini-blocks 1½ inches apart on the positive pole side over the front of the chest; hold in place with a 4 x 52 inch body wrap. This treats the heart, lungs, thymus gland, and, in women, the breasts.

It is important to treat the heart with magnets because the water and oxygen flowing through the heart will be magnetized and carried to the entire body. Also, when sitting down, use a comfort chair pad with magnets in the seat and back.

For treating most mental symptoms, use the 1½ x ½ inch ceramic disc magnets; a headband can align the magnets bi-temporally. This treatment usually requires about ten minutes to relieve major symptoms, but the more hours of negative field magnetic exposure, the better.

For obsessive-compulsiveness, place a 4 x 6 x ½ inch ceramic magnet on the back of the head. An alternative is to place a 4 x 6 x 1/8 inch plastiform magnet directly over the occiput (base of the cranium at the back of the head), with a neodymium disc magnet over the center, as well as a ceramic disc on the left temporal area.

For anxieties and phobias, place a 1½ x ½ inch ceramic disc magnet on the left temporal area and another on the forehead. A negative magnetic field applied to the forehead encourages relaxation, increases alertness, and improves memory. The usual treatment is bi-temporal placement (just above and in front of the ears) of 1½ x ½ inch ceramic disc magnets, held in place with a 2 x 26 inch headband. This treatment is also effective for tension, depression, and obsessions.

Depression, delusions, and hallucinations are usually best handled with bi-temporal (in front of and near the top of the ears) placement of ceramic disc magnets. Centered in the temporal areas of the head are the amygdala; treating the amygdala can calm down the entire brain.

Nutritional Supplements: Useful nutritional supplements for mental health disorders include B complex vitamins, especially vitamins B1, B3 (niacin), B6, and B12, as well as vitamin C, calcium, magnesium potassium, and zinc. Omega 3 oils and other essential fatty acids, such as evening primrose oil, are also recommend to ensure good brain health. Amino Acid formulas as well as specific Amino acid therapy can also provide relief of symptoms. Hydrochloric acid (HCl) supplements should also be used for people with low stomach acid in order to promote effective digestion and assimilation of other nutrients. There are a wide variety of specialized amino acids available from alternative Drs. that focus exclusively on mental health issues. Specific amino acid testing is recommended.

Orthomolecular Medicine: Orthomolecular medicine uses diet and nutritional supplements to treat mental health disorders. The term itself was first coined in 1968 by two-time Nobel Laureate Linus Pauling, Ph.D., to explain the connection between proper nutrition and mental health. However, the use of nutritional supplements to treat mental health conditions dates back to the 1950s and the work of physicians such as Carl Pfeiffer, Abram Hoffer, and Humprhey Osmond, who discovered that nutritional imbalances were often involved with mental health conditions, including schizophrenia, which is often accompanied by deficiencies of vitamin B3 (niacin). Since that time, numerous scientific studies have demonstrated the link between nutritional deficiencies and mental health problems, and have also shown that proper nutritional supplementation-sometimes at dosages far beyond those of the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI)-can significantly improve overall mental and emotional health, as well as cognition and mental function, and can also result in healthier personal behavior. Despite the abundance of research that validates orthomolecular medicine's effectiveness in this regard, conventional physicians and mental health specialists continue to ignore the powerful, positive effects it can provide.

Orthomolecular medicine requires the help of a health care professional trained in this field. In addition, the supplements that are used, along with their dosages, are individualized and based on each person's unique biochemical and nutritional needs. To determine each patient's nutritional requirements, orthomolecular physicians employ a variety of diagnostic tests to ascertain the values of as many as 120 different nutritional factors, based on blood, urine, and hair analysis, as well as such other factors as amino acid, protein, vitamin, mineral, enzyme, electrolyte, and histamine levels, as well as thyroid, kidney and liver function, and any possible food and environmental allergies.

Alternative Professional Care
Other helpful therapies for treating mental health disorders include Acupressure, Acupuncture, Applied Kinesiology, Bodywork (Massage, Reflexology, Shiatsu, Feldenkrais, and Rolfing), Chiropractic, Craniosacral Therapy, Detoxification Therapy, Energy Medicine (electrodermal screening, Ondamed), Environmental Medicine, Guided Imagery, Hypnotherapy, Mind/Body Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Sound Therapy, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Yoga. See Glossary for descriptions.

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A Quick Action Plan for Mental Health Disorders
Have yourself screened to rule out food and environmental allergies, hypoglycemia, and histamine and hormonal imbalances.
Also screen for possible viral infections of the brain. Virus implicated in many cases of mental health disorders include cytomegalovirus (CMV), Epstein-Barr virus, human herpes virus 6 (HHV6), and infectious mononucleosis.
Avoid psychiatric drugs due to the serious side effects they can cause, including suicide and homicidal tendencies. Instead, seek out the help of a holistic health practitioner who specializes in the treatment of mental health disorders using safe and natural methods.
Eliminate all commercially processed foods and foods that contain chemical additives, colorings, flavorings, pesticides, and preservatives from your diet. Also avoid alcohol and caffeine, as well as refined carbohydrates, sugar, and artificial sugar substitutes, and minimize your intake of milk and dairy products.
If you suffer from food allergies or sensitivities, eliminate the foods that trigger such reactions.
Emphasize an organic, whole foods diet that is rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, free-range meats and poultry, and wild caught fish. Also drink plenty of pure filtered water throughout the day.
If you suffer from hypoglycemia, eat meals that are high in quality protein foods and low in carbohydrates. Remove all refined flours and sugars from the diet. In addition to eating three meals each day, also snack on healthy foods such as nuts, seeds, and raw vegetables every 2 to 3 hours between meals in order to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. A good rule of thumb is three meals and two snacks.
Useful supplements include B complex vitamins, especially vitamin B1, B3 (niacin), B6 and B12, as well as vitamin C, calcium, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. Omega 3 oils and other essential fatty acids are also recommended.
If you suffer from severe mental health disorders, seek the help of a physician trained in the field of orthomolecular medicine.
Consider the use of Bach flower remedies and/or magnetic therapy, both of which are excellent self-care therapies for mental and emotional health problems.
Useful herbs include chamomile, ginkgo biloba, milk thistle, passion flower, Siberian ginseng, St. John's wort, valerian root, and walnut tea.
Take steps to minimize stress and learn how to more effectively manage stress when it occurs.
Try keeping a journal, making it a habit to daily write down the issues that concern you in order to gain a better understanding of them.

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