In today’s world it’s likely that you know someone who has suffered from depression. According to the CDC, about 1 in 10 Americans have a depressive disorder and the World Health Organization estimates that depression affects 350 million people worldwide. These numbers are staggering and even though antidepressant use is on the rise, there are some natural, drug-free steps people can take to help manage this common illness.
Dr. Katrina Ordóñez, D.C., Chiropractic Director of Chiro One Wellness Center of River North, has a lot of experience working with patients suffering from depressive disorders. As a result of her experience and her studies while earning her doctorate in chiropractic, she knows great ways to manage depression naturally—and has seen success with her patients.
Multiple studies link poor nutrition and depression, including a study published in the Journal of Society of Biological Psychiatry. Dr. Katrina finds those suffering from depression are often lacking in important nutrients, including B6, B12, folic acid (B9) and Omega-3 fatty acids. These vitamins can be found in whole, non-processed foods and supplements. Also, Dr. Katrina advises focusing on one change in your diet at a time—you’ll be more successful that way.
Dr. Katrina believes exercise is absolutely critical to treating depression. “Many times people suffering from depression are more sedentary,” she says. “Getting exercise, even a few minutes a day, increases your blood flow, oxygen levels and increases endorphins and enkephalins.” Also, a recent study in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience found evidence suggesting exercise is as effective in treating the symptoms of depression as antidepressant drugs.
Changing how you think is an important aspect of treating depression as well. Dr. Katrina recommends focusing on life’s balance by acknowledging and accepting that there is good and bad, and happiness and sadness in life. She also tells her patients to record goals or create a vision board, and keep a written gratitude list. “The gratitude list is also great for people who are feeling depressed due to a specific event,” Dr. Katrina explains. “For example, if you lost a loved one, consider making a list of 100 reasons why you are grateful for them being in your life.” As you relive fond memories, you may find some relief in the grieving process.
Dr. Katrina has seen many of the symptoms of depression improve through chiropractic care such as mood swings, lack of motivation and physical activity, and nutrition and sleep issues. “Treating a subluxation (nerve interference) at the C1 or atlas vertebrae will increase blood and oxygen flow to the brain,” she explains. “This allows your brain and body to operate at their full potential.” And chiropractic as a method of depression symptom management is catching on; a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry concluded that people suffering from self-defined severe depression are seeking out complementary and alternative treatments, like chiropractic, more than conventional therapies.
If you are suffering from severe depression or feel suicidal, please reach out to a medical professional immediately.
Also, please discuss supplements with your primary physician before adding them to your diet.