Depression affects millions of people in the U.S., but according to a report done by the Ken C. Garden Policy Institute at the University of Utah, Utah is the state hit the hardest by mental health disorders. In Utah, suicide is the number one cause of death for those aged 10-24 years old, with veteran suicides accounting for 13% of all suicides. However, the rate of depression in Utah isn’t even the worst part…more than half the people with mental illnesses in Utah do not seek professional help.

The problem is that mental health needs are growing rapidly in Utah, but the number of mental health counselors and depression treatment centers are not meeting the demand. Adding insult to injury, the shortage in psychiatrists, mental healthcare providers, and counselors makes it hard for people to gain access to depression treatment in a timely manner.

If you are feeling depressed and having a hard time getting professional help, here are some holistic approaches that are evidence-based for treating depression:

1. Exercise. Exercise has been scientifically proven to boost the mood, regulate emotions, and improve cognitive function. Studies show that doing moderate aerobic activity 3 times per week alleviates symptoms of depression.

2. Massage. Massage has been shown to alleviate depression symptoms by releasing serotonin and dopamine. Research has shown that massage decreases cortisol, improves mood, and promotes relaxation. It releases the tension and stress accumulated in your body, and brings about a better mind-body connection.

3. Meditation & mindfulness. Meditation is a practice of mindfulness; it teaches you about controlling your breath and living in the moment. It produces physiological and chemical effects, such as decreased heart rate, blood pressure, and cortisol levels.

4. Art therapy. Art therapy is a form of therapy that uses art to express, communicate, and convey feelings. Using creativity to convey emotions, the patient can paint, draw or use art in ways to achieve personal and treatment-related goals. It can be a therapeutic way to learn about and manage complicated feelings positively.

5. Acupuncture. Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese practice where needles are inserted in specific points of the skin. The stimulation of these points increases the release of chemicals like endorphins, which are naturally-produced pain reducers sand mood boosters. A study of acupuncture on quality of life found that those who did acupuncture had significant improvements including improved energy, better social and emotional function, and mental health.

In addition to these holistic treatments for depression, ketamine infusions have been known to alleviate severe depressive symptoms within just 1-2 infusions. Once known as a party drug, ketamine infusions now give people a new opportunity to feel joy in their lives. Ketamine infusions aren’t appropriate for everyone, but if you have tried several depression treatments and nothing has worked, ketamine may be a good fit. Find out if ketamine for depression is the right solution for you or a loved one. Request your free consultation today.

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