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Natural Remedies For Fighting Fatigue and Depression

Fighting Fatigue and Depression

Fatigue and depression can interfere with people’s ability to work and make it hard for them to do activities that they usually enjoy. Experiencing fatigue and depression can also harm a person’s physical functioning, mood, memory, and communication. 

People have been leaning on more natural remedies to fight fatigue and depression including lifestyle changes, physical therapies, as well as taking supplements and herbal remedies. This article will provide us with more information about the common causes of fatigue and depression and the natural remedies to fight them.

Why do people experience fatigue and depression?

Depression is a mood disorder that can leave a person feeling sad, disinterested in things, and tired. It often results from a combination of events and characteristics including challenging life events (abuse, loneliness), drug abuse, genetics or family history, and a chemical imbalance in the brain. Fatigue is a term used to describe a lack of energy or feelings of tiredness. Some of the causes of fatigue include obesity, drug abuse, stress, lack of exercise, and alcohol dependence, among other things. Some people with fatigue also have sleep disorders such as insomnia or sleep apnea. 

Fatigue and depression are also said to have a bidirectional relationship. This means that people with fatigue can be depressed, and depression can cause increased fatigue. Since people with fatigue commonly have sleep disorders, they are often unmotivated and exhausted. This results in people with fatigue becoming depressed. And while depression doesn’t exactly cause fatigue syndrome, it can cause a person’s fatigue.

How is it usually treated?

Therapy or counselling can help treat depression along with prescription medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and mood stabilizers. However, taking antidepressants can sometimes make the fatigue symptoms worse. People with fatigue are also advised to develop better sleeping habits and avoid foods and drinks that can prevent them from sleeping well.

If you prefer a more natural approach to medications, these treatments can help people with both fatigue and depression such as:

  • Yoga
  • Stretching
  • Massage
  • Tai Chi (a type of martial arts)
  • Deep-breathing exercises 

Natural Remedies for Fatigue and Depression

Below are some of the different ways you can use natural remedies to help you combat your fatigue and depression.

Lifestyle Changes

Treating fatigue and depression is more than taking medications. The more you change your lifestyle to ensure a healthier body and mind, the more you’ll be able to cope with the challenges that come with depression and fatigue. Below is a list of ways you can improve your lifestyle.

  • Eating healthy (foods with amino acids, complex carbohydrates, and fatty acids)
  • Be physically active
  • Lose weight
  • Meditate
  • Develop a better sleeping routine

Nutrition and Supplements

In addition to antidepressants and therapy,  your health care provider may recommend you to take vitamin supplements such as:

  • Omega-3 fatty acids. These fats are found in cold-water fish, flaxseed, flax oil, and walnuts. They are being studied as a possible treatment for depression and depressive symptoms in people with bipolar disorder. 
  • 5-HTP Supplements (5-hydroxytryptophan). 5-HTP supplements may play a role in improving serotonin levels, which is a chemical that affects mood. However, 5-HTP at very high doses may lead to serotonin syndrome. Serotonin syndrome can cause tremors, sweating, and diarrhoea. Due to this, more research is needed to know how a person should take 5-HTP as it may cause complications related to serotonin syndrome.
  • St. John’s Wort. This herbal supplement may be helpful for mild or moderate depression. However, it’s not yet FDA-approved. It may also interfere with medications, including blood-thinning drugs, chemotherapy drugs, and HIV/AIDS medications.
  • Vitamin D. Studies have shown that low vitamin levels are linked to depression and taking vitamin D supplements may help improve depression symptoms.
  • B vitamins. Low levels of B vitamins may be linked to depression. B vitamins play a role in producing brain chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions. 
  • Zinc. Studies have shown that zinc supplementation together with antidepressant drugs improves major depressive disorders more effectively.
  • CBD. Cannabidiol is a natural compound from the hemp plant that has gained popularity in recent years due to its potential health benefits, including treating anxiety, chronic pain, and depression, among others. It is known to have a positive interaction with serotonin levels in the brain. It works by interacting with serotonin receptors in the brain, which influences mood, sleep, learning, and appetite, among others. Unlike THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD does not cause any psychoactive effects.

Herbal Remedies

The use of herbs is known to strengthen the body and treat certain diseases. Herbs that help with symptoms of fatigue and depression include:

  • Saffron. Saffron may improve symptoms of depression by increasing the levels of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. They are also found to be effective in reducing depressive symptoms like antidepressant medications.
  • Rhodiola. Rhodiola is a herb linked to a variety of potential benefits. It is known to reduce depressive symptoms and improve stress response which can help the body adapt to stressful situations.
  • Ginseng. Ginseng may help improve energy levels. It is also known to increase immune response in the cells.

Physical Therapies

Physical therapy can do more than treat pains and aches related to injuries. Contrary to some beliefs, depression is not purely a psychological condition as chemical imbalances and pain can trigger depression. Physical therapy can often help people who suffer from depression especially when medications and therapy fail. Individualized courses of exercise therapy show strong results in combating depression. This is because endorphins are released by the brain during exercise and have been shown to reduce pain and improve mood.

Additionally, one of the common treatments for fatigue is physical therapy. Physical therapists will usually provide an individualized treatment plan that will focus on improving short-term endurance and strength that can help with pain, weakness, and fatigue.

The Takeaway

Depression is a serious disorder that affects millions of people around the world, and most people living with depression have symptoms of fatigue. Depression affects our sleep, as well as our level of motivation which can make simple tasks become physically and mentally exhausting. 

There are many things you can do on your own to treat depression and alleviate its symptoms including fatigue. This includes changing your lifestyle by eating right, being physically active, getting plenty of sleep, and trying out supplements and natural remedies to help combat depression. However, it’s best if you talk to your health care provider first to know what the best way is for you to treat your fatigue and depression as some medications may cause unwanted side effects.