Andrew Weil recounts how he managed and treated a recurring depression he had for a good part of his life in the article I’m excerpting below. His methods are in keeping with how I suggest people deal with all mental health issues. Holistically. What works for people is generally a combination of several things that varies from person to person. No two of us are alike.
This pattern in my emotional life was frequent in my twenties, thirties, and forties, then began to wane. It has steadily diminished ever since and now rarely recurs, seldom lasting more than a day or two, even when I encounter tough situations.
It’s difficult to pinpoint one reason for this welcome change. I think it is the cumulative result of many lifestyle changes I have made through the years. Specifically, I have
● made a concerted effort to be more physically active. Increased physical activity is perhaps the single most important lifestyle change one can make to reduce the incidence and severity of dysthymia.
● added more omega-3 fatty acids to my diet, through frequent meals of cold-water, wild-caught fatty fish, and high-quality fish oil supplements. Research has firmly established that adequate intake of these vital fats is crucial to optimal emotional health.
● got my vitamin D levels into the optimum range. Vitamin D deficiency correlates with suboptimal mood and brain function.
● made other dietary improvements, in line with my Anti-Inflammatory Diet. New research pinpoints a connection between inflammation and depression.
● began meditating each morning. The practice has helped me improve my attention and not get lost in patterns of thought that make me feel unhappy. (read the rest of Andrew Weil’s article)
I do all the things he lists above and more. These are ways to be healthy in general. It’s not a list just for people with mental health issues. What is your list for total wellness?
Andrew Weil shares his methods to be happy and healthy in Spontaneous Happiness.