May 16, 2011
Treating Depression without Medication as a Single Parent
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Single parents often struggle with depression because of stress and lack of a support system. Single parents take on the role of both father and mother, which increases the responsibility, time and effort required for parenting. This added work and responsibility is a lot for a person to handle; it is not surprising that many single parent struggle with depression.

A non-medicated method of treating depression may be chosen for many reasons but the most common are to avoid the side effects that often accompany these depression medications. Side effects such as increasing blood pressure, nausea, insomnia, anxiety, restlessness, decreased sexual drive, fatigue, dry mouth, tremors, sweating or headaches. These side effects may decrease after a few weeks but many continue to experience them and they can even worsen over time.

Single parents need to control depression without feeling side effects because life is complicated enough without having to deal with unnecessary issues. It is also important to control depression while still being able to function so anything that may have fatigue as a side effect is especially undesirable.

Alternative treatments and modification therapy are two non-medicated methods for treating depression that may appeal to single parents. One alternative treatment is the use of herbal supplements to heal depressed moods. The most commonly used herbs used in the treatment of depression include St. John’s wort, SAMe, and Omega-3 fatty acids. These are all nutritional supplements and are not approved or monitored by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

There is much to be said about the mind-body connection in the treatment of depression. Many alternative methods such as acupuncture, meditation, guided imagery, massage therapy and yoga make use of this method to help relieve depression.

Single parents can also make changes at home that may aid in healing from depression such as improving the quality and quantity of sleep, avoiding alcohol, illicit drugs, and getting plenty of exercise. Most people will agree that spending time outdoors in the sunshine can help lift your mood. Physical exercise such as walking, swimming, gardening or playing tennis outside can help reduce the symptoms of depression.

Single parents may find it helpful to try to simplify life by cutting back on obligations outside of the family and by learning to say no when asked to do extra activities. It may also be helpful to keep a journal about your feelings. An outlet like this can often release pent-up emotions that might add to depression.

Search out and join support groups for single parents or those dealing with depression. Support groups are a source of information about natural therapies for dealing with depression, can be a great time of sharing and finding out that you are not alone.

It is important to take good care of yourself by eating a healthy diet, spending time relaxing, getting more rest, and by making sure that you are caring for your health needs. Single parents often neglect their own needs because they are spending so much time taking care of their children. Neglecting self can lead to depression.

Isolation can also lead to depression so make a point to join other single parent groups in your community, join a church or volunteer in your community.

All of the above mentioned methods can help a single parent deal with depression without medication but if depression lingers or worsens you should seek help from your doctor.

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