Depression impacts 7.1% of children aged 3-17 annually. Anxiety affects 3.1% of children according to CDC statistics. That’s millions of children who experience depression and/or anxiety. Millions of adults are affected as well. While many people believe it’s just simple biology, and that it’s genetic, there are others who recognize that in some cases, depression and anxiety are present when there are nutrient deficiencies and other issues happening. Fortunately, there are many treatment options available. In many mild to moderate cases, depression and anxiety can be treated using natural methods as opposed to pharmaceutical medications.
Magnesium deficiencies can manifest in countless ways. From digestive issues to muscle twitches, headaches and sleeplessness, this nutrient is a powerhouse. But common signs of magnesium deficiency are depression and anxiety. Because of the way that magnesium impacts the brain, a deficiency can leave people with low serotonin levels which leads to feeling depressed and/or anxious. An easy solution is to supplement with the right amount of magnesium. Some doctors will check all the nutrient levels in the body to ensure the accurate amount is given.
What is TMS for depression? It’s called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation and is often used for people with depression. It’s a short session that lasts less than 20 minutes at a time. It can be used in addition to or in lieu of depression medications. Some people cannot take these medicines because of the side effects. TMS treatments have fewer and less severe side effects than medications and can give positive results within weeks. The stimulation to the brain improves brain function and helps it operate more normally.
Have you ever gone for a walk when you felt overwhelmed? Imagine how kids must feel being cooped up in school all day and not getting in any movement. Exercise is one of the most natural ways to combat anxiety and depression. The hormones that get released help promote feelings of joy, happiness, and well-being. Of course, exercise improves other areas of health including heart health and helps children maintain a healthy weight. Walking is a great way to get daily exercise. Allowing younger kids lots of time to play outdoors also helps.
The right diet is essential for proper brain function. Kids need a variety of meats, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats for their health. Diet is a great way to reduce depressive and anxious feelings. Organic foods are best because the chemicals in conventional produce can impact the brain and nervous system as well. A nutrient rich diet helps children to rest better at night and have more energy during the day. Too many processed foods can leave them with body aches, brain fog, and memory challenges.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
One of the most natural ways to manage and treat depression and/or anxiety is around learning new habits. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy helps children with some mental health issues learn and apply new methodologies to cope with stressful and sad circumstances. CBT is best for children who have not experienced trauma. For those with depression or anxiety due to a traumatic event, they would need a different therapeutic approach. Learning new behaviors is very natural and can help kids make significant strides if they struggle with depression and anxiety.
In some cases, aromatherapy can ease the symptoms of anxiety and depression. If you don’t know about it, aromatherapists use essential oils to help people with a variety of conditions. The volatile oils from things like orange peels and plant leaves have countless therapeutic uses. Use with extreme caution and with the assistance of a professional around children.
Reduce Exposure to Technology
Growing brains are especially susceptible to the effects of technology. Studies show that social media use and prolonged video game usage in young people can lead to symptoms of depression and anxiety. One of the healthiest things you can do is limit the use of technology for your children. Technology can make children more cranky, prone to anger, disrupt sleep and so much more. Reducing exposure to technology is a natural way to treat anxiety and depression.It’s important to work with your healthcare providers to come up with a treatment plan that works for you and your children. The great thing about all of these options is that they can improve your child’s overall health.