Depression affects countless Americans today. That is one of the reasons for the increase in pharmaceutical drug use over the past several decades. Worse, still, from a survivalist standpoint, depression can cause people to be apathetic, unmotivated, and to not even do the basic things that they need to do to survive. And that’s if the depression isn’t so severe as to cause that person to be suicidal.
It’s a very real danger that many preppers will need to be prepared for. Fortunately, there are many natural, off-grid ways to deal with depression that can help you make it through. Amy O’Donnell suggests nine treatments that can help. Here they are along with our comments:
1. Sleep. Sleep deprivation has very real connections to depression. Many people don’t realize that depression is sometimes simply fatigue felt on an emotional level. If you’re feeling depressed, try getting a good night of uninterrupted sleep. It can do wonders for helping you to feel happier and more hopeful.
2. Exercise. Exercise increases both your body’s energy level but also your body’s serotonin level, both of which can make you feel happier. And it’s not just intense exercise that can make a difference. Get up from your seat and take a somewhat brisk walk for ten minutes. You will tend to feel more alert and energetic, both of which can help you to feel happier. Also, if you begin more intense exercise, as your body adjusts to your new habit of exercise (give it up to 45 days to adjust), you will find that you both have more overall energy and that you handle stress better. Again, both of these help fight depression.
3. Reduce or eliminate sugar. O’Donnell writes,
Cleaning up your diet can go a long way to feeling better. Eliminating grains and sugar (particularly fructose), or at least keeping it under 25 grams a day, will help reduce hypoglycemia. This also will reduce secretion of glutamate high enough to cause agitation, depression and other symptoms that increase the risk of suicide.
4. Omega-3 fats. Omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to better brain functioning, which, of course, helps with fighting feelings of depression. Foods high in Omega-3 fats include fish, sea vegetables, flax seeds, and grass-fed meats.
5. Magnesium. Magnesium impacts a wide variety of body functions, including, you guessed it, depression. Foods high in magnesium include spinach, chard, almonds, and bananas.
6. 5-HTP (5-hydroxtryptophan. This is an amino acid which your body can convert to serotonin (one of the “happy” hormones in your body). Ways to increase 5-HTP in your diet include eating cage-free eggs (especially the whites), pasture-raised poultry, organic (preferably raw) dairy products, sesame seeds, cashews, walnuts, whole grain outs, beans, potatoes, and bananas.
7. Vitamin D. Increasing the levels of this vitamin in your body is easy: Go outside and get some sunshine.
8. Vitamin B-12. The B vitamins affect your energy levels, which, of course, affects your mood. Many people don’t realize, however, that Vitamin B-12 is only available from animal sources, so, if you subsist on a vegetarian or primarily plant-based diet, you may want to consider supplementing this into your body. However, if you’re not someone who eats exclusively vegetarian, you can get Vitamin B-12 by eating feta cheese, grass-fed beef, eggs, and wild-caught salmon.
9. Eliminate yeast overgrowth. Some people deal with too much yeast in their body which can cause emotional issues. Sugar intake can increase yeast growth in the body, so eliminating sugar intake can help with this issue.
Even before you find yourself in a disaster situation, you may want to keep these options in mind as ways to address depression issues before defaulting to taking pharmaceutical products with their potential side-effects.
How do you plan on dealing with depression when off-grid? Tell us below.