This is a discussion on Treating Mental Illness Naturally within the Health and Fitness forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; Originally Posted by lokasenna Indeed, though I've come across a disappointingly small number of people who're aware of that. What ...
determining brain structure changes is inconclusive at this point so I'll wait on that.
What I will report is that I genuinely am very different from the person I was in 2011. Whether it's because of wisdom, life experience or just an entirely different brain structure due to therapy and daily practice of mindfulness is all guesswork at this point.
There's a few things that are kinda obvious:
- Therapy; and here whatever therapy works for you. We have good results with cognitive behavioral therapy but things like mindfulness also come into this topic.
- A healthy diet. I cannot stress this enough. Eating badly will worsen your psychiatric conditions. All of them.
- Physical exercise. Pretty straightforward here. Endorphins are released and also the body is healthier.
- Regular sleep schedule. Sleep has a massive effect on mood.
- Regular activity schedule. Lack of structure and long periods of time without anything to do - eg staying all afternoon alone doing nothing - usually don't help, particularly in things like depression.
Bear in mind though, that while you can help a lot and sometimes even treat people exclusively with those measures - like cases of light depression - all of that doesn't necessarily remove the need for medication. If there's schizophrenia, or things like bipolar disorder or grave depression, there's no way around it. You'll need medication to help.
Access nature. Limit Internet. Cultivate and follow one's own circadian rhythm. Seek balance in all activities (rather than over-consumption/addiction). Pursue healthy hobbies. Set appropriate goals.
you can do therapy without taking drugs
Proper balanced diet
Ensuring enough exposure to UV
Vitamin Bs help with mood
Magnesium helps with nervous system for anxiety/panic disorders
Just mean, keep blinds/curtains etc open
Socializing and hobbies and interests which require getting out and about
And also there are stand by drugs which can be more so a PRN for extreme cases of anxiety or panic attack. Instead of daily use. Stand by use is always an option they have stuff which is not narcotic and can assist. (I have these because I refuse to take daily medication but realize sometimes my insomnia or hyperactivity or anxiety can turn to mania and I learned in such cases it’s better just to have stand by PRN. Avoids panic attacks or emotional distress from exertion. This is more so reserve for when I can’t get proper sleep with a few days. Better to just tranquilizer myself temporary instead fight it
Last edited by Sensational; 04-24-2019 at 12:45 AM.
For people with non severe forms of mental illnesses, I believe self reflection, taking responsibility for the mind's wanderings and practice will help a lot. This depends on the severity and type of mental illness too. Not every case is the same.
For people with extreme and severe mental illnesses (true psychosis/schizophrenia/etc), I really am not sure if they can "survive" without medication and other forms of external help.
Personally, I have social anxiety disorder and some symptoms of depression but only a diagnosis for the former. I would describe it as moderate in its intensity now but it was quite severe until I started taking meds
There are several natural things that I have changed:
- I eat well. Healthy fats, lean protein, fruits and veggies, lots of water
- I take supplements like omega-3 and magnesium. I don't know how much this helps but it hasn't hurt
- I'll admit that exercise is hard. It's difficult for me to find the motivation to do it. Until late last year, I lived near this beautiful park with a trail that stretched for several miles, wooded areas and a lake. I looked forward to going there even when it was cold. I haven't found a replacement for it, unfortunately
- Talking to my friends. This is an important one for me
- Taking care of myself. My skin, my hair, not too much or too little sleep. Even if it's something as simple as using makeup-removing wipes before bed
It was easier to do these things after the meds. I guess they gave me a push and made me feel more, idk, human. But to those who can become well without meds, that's great