In recent years, the incidence of depression in the population is deteriorating. In the United States, the number of deaths due to suicide far exceeds the number of shots, and the suicide rates in various states in the United States are on the rise. According to US CDC data, the number of suicide deaths has increased by 30% since 1999, and there is a similar trend in Canada. The researchers said that the increase in morbidity and mortality occurred precisely during the period of surge in antidepressant use (an increase of 65%), and by 2014, about one in eight Americans over the age of 12 said they have recently taken antidepressants. All shows a fact that overdose of antidepressants is common for people with depression.

In a review report published in 2004, the researchers pointed out that when compared with the active placebo and based on the statistical data, antidepressant drugs have almost no obvious effect. Studies comparing antidepressants with placebo showed that antidepressants did not seem to have much effect. Then what therapies should people with depression adopt? Luckily, it was recently found that natural treatments such as antidepressant exercise and diet can also effectively improve the symptoms of depression.

Natural therapy may play a role.

Many studies have shown that most non-pharmacological treatments are actually effective, and the following methods may help to effectively alleviate or treat depression.

1) Exercise

In 2017, researchers from Duke University School of Medicine randomly assigned participants to walk or jog three times a week (30 minutes each time), taking antidepressant Zoloft or placebo. The results showed that exercise is more effective than medication. In a 2016 study, researchers conducted a retrospective analysis of several articles examining the effects of exercise on depression and found that exercise may be an effective antidepressant therapy.

2) Bright Light Therapy

We all know that after bathing in the sun for an hour, you will feel refreshed. Of course, there is also a reason. Bright light therapy is a treatment that replicates the sun's light effect in a controlled way. When taking this therapy, usually patients will be required to sit in front of a light box that can produce 10,000 lux units (for 30-60 minutes). Another review article pointed out that bright light therapy did produce significant effects. The largest study showed that patients with this therapy had a 2.5-fold decrease in HDRS, which was comparable to the effects of taking antidepressants.

3) Mediterranean Diet Therapy

Researchers from Australia asked people with depression to receive nutritional counseling or social support from a placebo. Nutritionists recommend a Mediterranean diet for depressed patients (including improved local unprocessed foods). The results of the study showed that 32% of depression dieters had their symptoms relieved, while only 8% of depression dieters received social support, which was much more effective than antidepressant trials.

4) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is currently recognized as the best natural treatment for depression, and the evidence associated with it is indisputable. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is almost as effective as antidepressant drugs, but it is more expensive in the short term; however, when a patient with depression stops taking the drug, then the drug does not improve the symptoms of the disease. In such as case, the benefit of CBT therapy is that it continues to bring the good to the patient.

Antidepressants are expected to generate nearly $17 billion in annual revenues for the global pharmaceutical industry by 2020, but jogging and the Sunshine industry may never have the resources to fund large-scale clinical trials, based on which researchers believe that these natural treatments may be as valuable as antidepressants in the future, and clinicians should also provide patients with appropriate antidepressant natural treatments.

Author's Bio: 

This article is written by the research team from BOC Sciences, a company that starts and specializes as a chemical supplier of inhibitors, APIs, metabolites and impurities since 2005. Having been well-established, BOC Sciences now directs more focus on drug discovery via offering a wide range of related services, including virtual screening, custom synthesis, chiral resolution, antibody drug conjugates service, drug design, screening libraries, compound screening platform, fluorescent labeling, formulation service, isotope labeling service, etc.