Depression isn’t something most of us like to talk about, and ways to overcome depression are even harder to come by these days. Depression affects millions of women every single year, including teenagers. I began suffering depression when I was as young as 13 years old, and didn’t understand what was going on inside of me, or how to stop it. I thought it was my hormones, and I'm sure some of it was. However, the waves of depression lingered until I was 19 years old, in small pieces throughout my whole entire teenage life. When I went to college my first year, I was so overwhelmed with the changes, loneliness and uncertainty of my future, that I found myself in a full blown state of depression for two years, causing me to suffer panic attacks, extreme sadness, and the inability to cope with the loss of my friends moving away, a recent breakup, and my parents' divorce, which all happened the same time I moved to college. I was terribly embarrassed and had no idea how to cope. At first, I began to take medications prescribed from my doctor, until I found none of them worked for me and only made me feel worse. I felt hopeless until I began to seek alternative, natural treatments instead, on my own. What I discovered amazed me and ultimately saved my life. While I can’t say these will work for everyone, I can tell you that they are definitely worth trying. I discovered true happiness, strength within myself, independence and an incredible zest for life after implementing all of these natural ways to overcome depression into my life. Ditching prescription meds for natural solutions was the best thing I ever did for my confidence, health and my mind. I wanted to share these with all of you so that if you ever find yourself in such a state, you can feel empowered with options to try before seeking medication. I am not a medical doctor, so as always, do what works for you, and talk to people you trust, including a trusted physician.
Trust me, I know what it is like to not even be able to pick yourself up out of bed or off the floor in tears, much less to think of exercising as one of the best ways to overcome depression. In fact, I gained 20 pounds my first year of depression, and it wasn't from the “Freshman 15.” I gained my weight from sadness, not from the cafeteria dining hall. I had never exercised much in my life outside of playing high school sports, and had just never seen the point. However, when I found myself overweight, I knew I had to do something. I started just walking 30 minutes a day and adding a few weight training exercises. Pretty soon, I found that it became a wonderful outlet for me to release anger, stress and even get an endorphin boost from something outside of food for once. Try to incorporate whatever exercise you can into your day. Don’t expect overnight results, but what you’ll find is that, over time, you begin to take pride in yourself because you’re exercising, and it rolls over into other areas of your life. Finally, I stopped seeing the need to diet and binge after I started exercising. It made me want to be healthy again, and it also warded off my bad moods. Sometimes I walked twice a day if it meant taking away my sadness. Do whatever you can, just do something.