Depression affects over 17 million adults in the United States every year and one out of six people experience depression at some point in their life.
In recent years, concerns about medications used to treat depression have motivated patients to look for natural alternatives.
NAD IV therapy is an effective drug-free treatment that works on the cellular level. It can improve your symptoms no matter whether you’ve been feeling down for a few days or you are suffering from long-term depression. Read on for more about this common disorder and the ways NAD treatment can help lessen its symptoms.
Acute and Chronic Depression
Depression is a complex mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness. It affects how you think, feel, and act. If left untreated, depression can have a profound negative impact on your health and social functioning.
Acute depression is a one-time occurrence with an emotional cause like dealing with a challenging life situation. It usually goes away on its own in a matter of days. Chronic depression, on the contrary, is a long-term consequence of an imbalance of brain chemicals that lasts for over two weeks. A depression that persists for two years or more is known as a persistent depressive disorder.
Although depression can occur at any age, it’s most prevalent in the late teens to mid-20s. Women are shown to suffer from depression more often than men. For many, depression is a life-long battle.
There are several different types of depressive disorders. Here are the most common ones:
- Major or classic depression. This is a condition where depression symptoms are experienced most of the day, every day.
- Bipolar disorder. Also called manic depression, this disorder is characterized by mood swings oscillating between extremes of high energy and depression.
- Seasonal affective disorder. This type of depression occurs during the winter months when there’s less sunlight.
- Depressive psychosis. This disorder includes the symptoms of major depression along with psychotic symptoms, such as hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia, for example.
- Situational depression. This depression type is triggered by a specific event like losing a job or a loved one, or moving to a new place.
- Atypical depression. This is a type of depression where mood temporarily improves in response to positive events.
A number of physical and environmental factors can contribute to depression, including:
- Personality. People with low self-esteem and individuals susceptible to stress are more likely to experience depression.
- Hormones. Changes in the body's hormonal balance such as pregnancy or thyroid problems can cause depression.
- Biochemistry. Reduced levels of certain neurotransmitters in the brain are among the contributing factors to depression.
- Genetics. Depression is more common in people whose family members also suffer from this condition.
- Environmental factors. Prolonged exposure to violence, abuse, or poverty may make some individuals prone to depression.
Symptoms of depression
The symptoms associated with depression include a range of physical and emotional changes that interfere with normal daily activities, such as:
- Feelings of sadness and hopelessness
- Loss of interest in regular activities
- Difficulty thinking, focusing, and remembering things
- Angry outbursts, irritability, and frustration
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Severe anxiety and panic attacks
- Fatigue, tiredness, and lack of energy
- Slowed movement and speaking
- Unexplained physical problems like a headache or back pain
- Changes in sleep patterns such as insomnia or sleeping too much
- Weight gain or weight loss that is unrelated to diet or illness
- Suicidal thoughts.
Depression affects everyone differently and symptoms can vary from mild to severe. Besides, men and women don’t experience depression in the same way. While women more frequently feel sadness and guilt, men more often have symptoms like irritability and anger.
Despite its sometimes severe symptoms, depression is a highly treatable disorder.
Conventional Treatments for Depression
The typical treatments for depression include psychological treatments, medical treatments, and a combination of the two, which is usually the most efficient way to lessen depressive symptoms.
A psychological treatment or therapy shows you how to change thinking patterns and improve coping skills so that you can deal with challenges in your life. Therapy can provide you with the necessary tools to identify and change any depressive thoughts and behavior.
Several types of psychological treatments are used to effectively treat depression:
- Behavioral therapy. This type of therapy seeks to identify and change self-destructive or unhealthy behaviors.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. It shows you how to identify and change destructive or disturbing thought patterns that have a negative influence on your emotions and behavior.
- Interpersonal therapy. This is a form of psychotherapy that focuses on relationships with other people.
- Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy. This type of psychotherapy combines cognitive therapy, meditation, and mindfulness to help you better understand and manage your thoughts and emotions.
Antidepressant medications target brain chemicals or neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, acetylcholine, cortisol, and dopamine. The most severe forms of depression, including bipolar disorder and depressive psychosis, are usually treated with medication consisting of one or a combination of antidepressants, mood stabilizers, and antipsychotic drugs.
Long-term medical treatments, however, are only effective in around 50-70 percent of patients suffering from depression. Although they are helpful in managing the most extreme cases of depressive disorders, studies show that in milder cases antidepressant drugs are often not much more effective than placebos.
Brain stimulation therapies
Brain stimulation therapies are suggested for treatment-resistant depressions where therapy and medical treatments are not working:
- Electroconvulsive therapy. This type of therapy aims to relieve the most severe symptoms of depression. It affects the brain's activity using a controlled electric current.
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation. This therapy uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain and ease depressive symptoms.
- Vagus nerve stimulation. Through a surgical procedure, a device similar to a pacemaker is inserted along the cranial vagus nerve to send mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain.
An increasing number of people who suffer from depression, however, are looking for drug-free and natural alternative treatments, such as NAD IV therapy.
What is NAD?
NAD or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide is an essential coenzyme present in every cell of your body. It plays a crucial role in helping repair damage within the body, provides energy, and serves as fuel for many biological processes. Scientists consider NAD to be the most powerful antioxidant in the human body.
NAD is indispensable for the function of proteins called sirtuins that protect the nervous system and brain from deterioration. Most mood disorders are partially the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain that occur due to changes in sirtuin production. Patients suffering from depression are shown to have low levels of this NAD-dependent enzyme.
Besides, NAD also has an essential role in the regulation of oxidative stress, the long-term accumulation of free radicals that causes cellular damage and can lead to the symptoms of depression.
While NAD is naturally produced in the human body, its levels inevitably decrease as we age. This decline is further accelerated by factors such as stress, poor sleeping habits, lack of healthy nutrition, and the use of drugs and alcohol. When NAD levels in the cells are low, the brain’s nutrients are depleted and you may experience depression and anxiety. Boosting NAD levels brings the brain to its normal balance and helps regulate your moods.
One of the safest and most efficient ways to increase NAD levels is through intravenous therapy.
How Can IV NAD Treatment Improve the Symptoms of Depression?
Whether it’s used as a standalone therapy or as a supplement to other treatments, NAD infusion can effectively help manage the symptoms of depression. Because NAD is administered intravenously, the solution bypasses the digestive system and gets directly into your bloodstream without any nutrients being wasted. This allows for faster and more efficient treatment and a 100% absorption rate.
The IV treatment increases the levels of NAD in your cells. In its turn, NAD helps restore normal levels of sirtuins. Correcting the chemical imbalance in the brain with the help of NAD may reduce the symptoms of depression.
What’s more, NAD therapy can reverse the effects of oxidative stress by binding free radicals and helping flush them from your body. The normal saline solution which is a part of NAD IV treatment helps your body discard free radicals and alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Reset IV therapy offers a number of add-ons in order to maximize the effectiveness of your NAD treatments, ranging from vitamin B12, B-complex vitamins and vitamin C to Meyer’s cocktail and glutathione. The addition of essential vitamins and minerals not only enhances the effectiveness of NAD, but allows you to enjoy benefits like increased energy, mental clarity, improved cognitive function, and overall well-being.
Although intravenous therapy with NAD can help manage symptoms of depression, a healthy lifestyle is important for a successful recovery.
Natural Ways to Combat Depression
Certain simple lifestyle changes can alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. Here are several natural ways to complement your NAD IV therapy and combat depression:
Eat a healthy diet
The type of food you eat can influence your mood. It is important to have a well-balanced diet that is rich in nutrients and low in saturated fat. Foods that may be beneficial when you’re suffering from depression include:
Fish contains plenty of omega-3 fats that help neurotransmitters like serotonin work in the brain. People who eat a diet high in fish are less likely to experience the signs of depression.
Nuts are another good source of omega-3 fats. Studies suggest that individuals who eat walnuts are 26% less likely to have depressive symptoms.
Research shows that probiotics can improve symptoms in patients with clinical depression and other mental health issues. Foods high in probiotics are yogurt, kefir, kimchi, and kombucha.
Low levels of this essential mineral are often associated with depression. Eating foods rich in zinc such as meat, poultry, and oysters, can help ease depression symptoms.
Studies have suggested that there is a link between low levels of the synthetic form of folate, also known as folic acid, and depression. Among folate-rich foods that may ease the symptoms are fortified cereals, beans, lentils, dark leafy greens, sunflower seeds, and avocados.
Saffron is effective in treating mild and moderate cases of depression. It has been found to work as well as some antidepressants by acting on serotonin metabolism, while at the same time being accompanied by fewer side effects.
Curcumin, the main active component in turmeric spice, works by increasing the levels of serotonin and the feel-good neurotransmitter dopamine. It can also help with major depressive disorders.
Your brain needs water for optimal performance. Dehydration can cause brain functions to slow down and lead to depression. Staying hydrated allows your cells to work normally and keep you energized throughout the day.
Alcohol is a depressant that may slow down and impair the activity of your brain and nervous system. While alcohol might seem like an easy way to escape negative feelings, it can actually make the symptoms of depression worse.
Exercise causes your body to produce endorphins that naturally boost your mood. Studies have found that 30 minutes of moderate exercise several times a week can be as effective for relieving symptoms of depression as antidepressant medication. Regular physical activity doesn’t only prevent and fight off depression but also makes it less likely to return.
Keep a regular sleep schedule
Depression is frequently accompanied by sleep problems. People with depression often suffer from insomnia, however, they may also have excessive sleepiness and sleep too much. At the same time, sleep problems can aggravate depression, creating a vicious cycle that may be difficult to break. Getting enough rest and keeping a consistent sleep schedule will help regulate your circadian rhythm and improve your mood.
Vitamin D deficiency may be one of the factors involved in developing depression. Because the vitamin D in the body is activated by the radiation from the sunlight, getting enough sun is essential for boosting your mood. If you are not able to get enough of this important nutrient through your diet and lifestyle, you may consider taking a supplement.
Exposure to artificial light
Although it doesn’t boost vitamin D production, artificial light simulates natural sunlight and may elevate your mood. Light therapy that uses light boxes to produce bright white light is the best available treatment for seasonal affective disorder.
Relaxation techniques can have a positive effect on your mood and are beneficial in reducing depression symptoms. You may want to try one of the following relaxation techniques:
- Progressive muscle relaxation—tensing and relaxing specific groups of muscles.
- Relaxation imagery—thinking of relaxing scenes or places.
- Autogenic training—a type of self-hypnosis.
Research shows that practicing mindfulness—paying attention to your present thoughts and feelings—is beneficial for mental health and managing anxiety and depression. In fact, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy was shown to be just as effective as medication in reducing depressive symptoms and preventing relapse. Mindfulness allows patients to accept their condition and distance themselves from depressive thoughts in order to live a happier and healthier life.
Practicing yoga increases the number of chemical messengers in the brain and affects the release of the stress hormone cortisol. It can reduce the impact of stress, help with anxiety and depression, and increase energy levels.
Surround yourself with family and friends
Depression can many times feel isolating and hopeless. Interacting with others can improve your mood and alleviate symptoms of depression. To spend more time with others, you may try the following:
- Schedule activities. Having routines is useful when you are dealing with depression. Create a schedule that includes regularly spending time with friends and family.
- Volunteer. This is a great way to meet new people while at the same time contributing to a cause you care about. Volunteering is associated with reduced depressive symptoms and better mental health.
- Join a support group. Talking to other people who are having similar experiences and challenges as you can be reassuring and informative.
Natural remedies and supplements
Natural remedies have been used in alternative treatments for centuries. Many herbs and supplements are available as natural mood boosters for people suffering from depression:
St. John's wort
St. John's wort contributes to increasing the amount of serotonin in the body and is effective in treating depression, including severe conditions such as persistent depressive disorder.
SAMe is a synthetic form of the body's natural mood-boosting chemicals, shown to be effective in patients with depression. SAMe tends to work more quickly than most other supplements and drugs, often lifting mood within days.
5-HTP is a naturally occurring amino acid found in low amounts in some foods like turkey, chicken, spinach, milk, bananas, and pumpkin seeds, but also available as a supplement. It is effective for people suffering from both depression and anxiety.
DHEA is a natural hormone and popular supplement that can affect the levels of other hormones in the body. It can be effective in lessening symptoms of some types of depression.