• 19 May
    Oyindrila Basu

    Natural Remedies for Depression

    natural remedies

    Depression is affecting almost 120-million people all over the world. The disease which can be the root cause of other severe problems like bipolar disorder and suicidal thoughts is taking over a serious platform for concern because the rates of suicides are increasing every year in India and internationally, hence every Government and society is changing their attitudes towards mental health issues.

    Depression is a common problem these days and counselling experts are trying hard to fight with this problem globally.

    In modern times, depression can have several factors-

    • Hectic life-style
    • Sleeping problems
    • Self-Despair
    • Expectation failure
    • Stress
    • Hormonal imbalances
    • Inflammation in the body and brain
    • Nutrient and healthy oil deficiency
    • Toxic environment and pollution

    Sometimes, we feel low in mood without any practical reason because of the strange weather conditions around these days. Hence global warming can be termed as a causative too.

    While medical treatment for depression is available, we can always support it with home remedies. In not-so-serious cases we can avoid medication. We can try natural treatments but we must always inform our consulting psychaitrist about them if you are on medication.

    While most of us want to keep ourselves free from invasion of foreign elements and avoid visiting doctors, what are the natural options that you can try and achieve a perfect mental health balance along with your body? For every illness, we search for home remedies on the web; imbibing naturals glorify your body; organic foods make you healthy. So let’s discuss some of the organic formulas which can act as Natural Antidepressants-

    Get to the basics first.

    • Exercise- working out in fresh environment everyday can always cure depression by uplifting the mood. Since exercising regulates the levels of norepinephrine and serotonin secretion in the brain, hormones and chemicals responsible for mood and other emotions reactions. Experts and doctors suggest working out at least two to three times a week for 20-30 minutes for better recovery. High cardio-vascular movements can be extremely effective like speed-walking, jogging or cycling, however a moderate rate of exercising will also help rather than being idle.

    light therapy

    • Light Therapy- Darkness is dissipated with light. Sitting or lying down under a brightly illuminated box or chamber can give relieve you from the pain of depression though it cannot completely cure it. The created chamber poses of giving natural light which strikes the senses of satisfaction immediately.


    • Acupuncture- Though it is a medical treatment applied by experts with a clean single-use needle, it is natural and dissuades usage of drugs. In Latin acus means needle and punctura means puncture or disable the area of pain. This Chinese medication technique was applied on three females in a research organized by Kurland, suffering from severe mood disorders. They were treated with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) and electro-acupuncture therapy (EAT). EAT is a form of acupuncture in which 1 or more pairs of needles are stimulated by applying small electrical currents. All 3 patients had severe depression and had not responded to multiple trials of different psychotropic medications and psychotherapies. ECT reduced depressive symptoms but was associated with profound memory loss, confusion, and disorientation. Acupuncture administered with EAT resulted in significant remission of depression and was better tolerated by all 3 patients.


    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy- This is a form of counselling called CBT which means “sophisticated education” for people with depression. When you are aware of the feelings or thoughts that trigger the respective emotions, you can learn how to control and channelize them.


    • Talk to friends- If you are depressed, join groups and friends who are really caring and concerned. Good friends often enliven your mood with other talks and stories which are inspiring. You can also share your problem with them, and we have already discussed in our article on Anxiety, that talking out loud can cure.


    • Meditate- Mindfulness always calms your senses by letting your weary thoughts pass off.

    These were the preventive measures you can take for depression and mood swings, or practise to reduce the symptoms. Let us now know something more about the natural remedies which actually serve as powerful medicines for your depressed mind-What you eat everyday affects your mood a lot.


    • Fish oil- Natural oil from fish contain Omega 3 fatty acid, which is good fat and is very much essential for an active brain. Fishes like salmon, cod, mackerel and shelled fish which are also containers of Vitamin B, can check the levels of serotonin without adding to your weight.magnesium
    • Magnesium- It is the 4rth most abundant mineral in the body that is supplemented through diet, and is a cofactor in over 300 enzyme systems that regulate a wide range of biomechanical functions in the body; it regulates heart beats and DNA functioning. We do not produce it automatically; we have to eat them as a nutrient. Banana, soybean, spinach, cashews and almonds are rich in magnesium. Increase amount of it in your diet.


    • Green tea- there are various beneficial effects of this light green liquid. It speeds up metabolism, reduce cholesterol and helps you attain a slim belly and glowing skin as suggested by Shraddha Kapoor in favour of #LiptonGreenTea right? Beyond these advantages, green tea is a positive stress reducer as it is caffeine-free and the bearer of L-theanine which holds psychoactive properties, and reduce stress as well as boost dopamine and the brain inhibitory transmitter GABA.


    • Natural herbs and chemicals- Different kinds of herbs have different medicinal values. Since ages, Ayurveda uses herbs and natural chemicals to treat various physical ailments naturally. A few herbs can be strong antidepressants.
      st johns wort
    • St. John’s wort- Mostly available in Europe, western Asia, and northern Africa, this weed is scientific name Hypericum perforatum and is popularly known as “ghost plant”, because in ancient times it was used for exorcism of spirits. Researches have shown that depression sufferers who have a long-term chronic type of depression called dysthymia often do the best with this herb. For regular depression disorders with symptoms like fatigue, loss of energy and low mood in work-life, this can be a great emotional balancer for regaining a positive spirit and self-esteem.


    • Saffron- Oh my God! Now you know why these red strands are no expensive all over the world. If you love the rich aroma of #MughlaiCuisines and the lightly crimson desserts, you are doing your best, because the dried portions of Crocus flower have been found to reduce moderate stress and depression.


    • Zinc- Besides magnesium, zinc is also an important mineral for the body. Zinc is a nutrient linked with mental functions like learning and behaviour. Low levels of blood zinc are more associated with depression, according to Biological Psychiatry. According to Nutrition Neuroscience, taking a 25 mg zinc supplement daily for 12 weeks can help reduce depression symptoms. Taking zinc supplements can also increase the amount of available omega-3 fatty acids in the body.


    • Sunflower seeds- Rich in folate, these help enrich the body and brain with antidepressant treatment. Taking 500 mcg of folic acid has been linked with improving the effectiveness of other antidepressants medications. Lentils, fortified cereals, beans, avocado and dark leafy vegetables can be alternate supplements.

    While some herbs and minerals are helpful, not all of them are valuable for your body and mind. The following are often believed to act positively with stress and depression but according to a report published in BJPsych Advances, it is completely a myth.

    • Crataegus oxyacantha (hawthorn)
    • Eschscholzia californica (California poppy)
    • Ginkgo biloba
    • Lavandula angustifolia (lavender)
    • Matricaria recutita (chamomile)
    • Melissa officinalis (lemon balm)
    • Passiflora incarnate (maypop, or purple passionflower)
    • Piper methysticum (kava)
    • Valeriana officinalis (valerian)

    Better to stay away from them, as they have been proven ineffective and are often misused in doses.

    You can consult a doctor or an expert for advice on how much to consume, of the above.

    eWellness expert is also there to help you on these issues.

    Staying natural is the best way to stay healthy, so you can follow the above remedies for mental wellness too.

     Image sources:1 2 3 


  • 14 May
    Oyindrila Basu

    What to eat, when we are stressed?

    mood boosting foods

    Are you under stress? Feeling nervous or anxious? Are you completely down today and don’t want to get up at all?

    Wake up and make yourself a whole and hearty breakfast. Yes, I mean it. You still think it’s nonsense? Halt before you grab your antidepressant pills and take a look at the #MagicIngredients which you need to include in your breakfast dish.

    mood boosting foods

    Image source

    It is a common saying that chocolate can improve your mood and it is not wrong at all.

    Certain kinds of food products can actually relieve you from various mental setbacks, especially bipolar mood swings, anxiety, stress and depression.

    Most importantly, they are easy to grab and takes lesser time to make than you can imagine, hence you can be safe with your work life balance.

    When you are irritated and disgusted try the following to boost yourself up in the respective situations-

    mood boosting foods

    Image source

    Oats- nowadays, oatmeal is a part of breakfast in almost every household, and people believe oats are healthy and it can help you stay slim. But quite a few of us know that oat is a form of soluble fibre which supports reduced cholesterol hence heart disease, but besides that oats contain phytochemicals which can control blood sugar levels that are affected by stress.

    Banana- taking a banana with you while you rush for office is a good idea. It is a form of carb which is rich in potassium as well. It generates serotonin in the brain which calms and relaxes your hyperactive senses, and at the same time, it relieves you from insomnia, fatigue, breathlessness and keeps heart muscles healthy.

    Amla – Indian gooseberries; the green colour itself acts as a coolant to the senses. It is rich in Vitamin C which keeps the walls of capillaries flexible so that when they tend to be constricted by stress or increased blood sugar level, the ill-effects can be fought with the nutrient.

    mood boosting foods

    Turkey- if you are a lover of western meal, good news for you. Turkey is rich in tryptophan which is a catalyst for serotonin and actively participates in reducing anxiety in a person.

    Egg,nuts- Some studies claim that green leafy vegetables, nuts, rice, legumes, pork, chicken or eggs are rich in Vitamin B and lack of it can lead a person to depression without reason. 

    Whole wheat bread- whole grain cereals and breads are rich sources of good carbs and they can automatically make you happy.

    Salmon- It is a fish which is loaded with minerals and can become a part of lean protein and useful fat in our daily diet. The DHA (docosahexanoic acid) in Omega 3 fats help to nourish the brain while mitigating stress hormones. Plus, the Omega 3 in salmon can reduce inflammation and promote healthy blood flow, both of which are compromised with chronic stress.

    mood boosting foods

    Foods you should avoid in stress and depression-

    Refined Sugar- the sweet gives you an instantaneous energy which may last for 20 minutes but it actually blood glucose levels to plummet, resulting in a sugar hangover that disrupts our mood, depletes our energy, and is linked to sleep disorders.


    Caffeinated beverages- They keep you awake and intervene with normal sleep processes which can later cause mood disorders. Especially the energy drinks which promise of making you fly like #Superman are actually loaded with caffeine equal to 14 cans of soda beverages.

    Alcohol- Alcohol is a central nervous system depressant and it generally numbs your senses of thinking, understanding and reasoning. The central nervous system which is responsible for controlling emotions is greatly affected with alcohol.

    Hydrogenated oils- solid fats are worst for blood sugar level and cholesterol. They can clog arteries and prevent blood flow to the brain.


    So now you know which great ingredient can make you a miraculous meal and give you a fine bright morning; which things you can avoid to keep away from a gloomy mood. So eat healthy and be happy.

    Please feel free to ask questions and post comments.

    -eWellness Expert

    Read more: 

    Stress Free: A quick guide to stress relief

    10 Habits that help Change Your Attitude from Negative to Positive

    Image souce

  • 12 May
    Oyindrila Basu

    How to cope with suicidal tendencies?

    Suicide tendencies

    Are you planning to commit suicide?

    Please go through the following instruction manual before proceeding. 

    Are you tired of your life, bored with your work, depressed that your ex-lover has ditched you, and want to commit suicide? Wait a minute, what’s the rush! Let’s know about some people and their stories.

    John Michael Ozzy Osbourne is an English singer and musician, also a lyricist, and also a television personality. He came into prominence with his vocalist band, Black Sabbath. Osbourne himself acknowledges, that he has been into severe depression, and has tried to kill himself several times, when he was 14 years old. But he recovered from his mental state with a positive spirit, and developed his popularity over the years. The total sale of his albums with Black Sabbath, along with his solo works number to about 100 million, and that is too huge a count for any singer.

    But perhaps his love for suicide has led to the composition of the song, “Suicide Solution”, but nevertheless, Osbourne is a focused person today, and cannot remember why he had this absurd tendency in his teenage years.

    “I was sitting in my car, and I knew the gas was coming when I had an image of my mother finding me," Oscar winner actress, Halle Berry, tells the magazine. She refers to her gruesome experience in marriage, which led to her attempt to suicide, in her interview to Parade Magazine. However, her will power, her love for her family, helped her redeem self-love and love for life.

    So now you know, that celebrities, whose lives appear sparkling as the starry night, perhaps is not so glorious. They have common tendencies like we do. They suffer from same victimizing mental illness that affects us commons.


    Why people commit suicide?

    Suicidal tendency is a habit.

    • It can come from depression.
    • Attempt to suicide comes in you, when you cannot find a solution to a problem, and ending yourself seems the only option.
    • Sometimes, people use attempt to suicide, as a weapon to blackmail someone. 

    How to deal with this?

    • Develop love for yourself and for others. Suicidal tendencies can attack you in a moment, but if you are strongly bonded to your family and loved ones, and have a high self-esteem, you will never commit it.
    • Keep objects that are harmful like scissors, knives, rat kills etc. away from your reach, if you feel you are having such tendencies.
    • Suicidal tendencies come, when you think there is no solution to a problem. Think again, suicide cannot be the solution. Infact, if your attempt fails, you are left with utter embarrassment.
    • Whenever you think of suicide, think of its consequences, like pain, dirt, dinge, then your focus will shift.
    • You probably can’t see for a solution, but solution will come. Till then motivate yourself to live. Grab some new passion like painting, music, or handicraft, and start the new work on it. Set a goal, that you will finish the work, before you die. By the time you finish your work, your will for suicide will die down, in your new passion and love for your acquired hobby.
    • Learn to appreciate life. Turn to photography, take clicks of people and nature, or anything that has life. Your vision towards it will change. Through the lens of your camera, you will see many who are more fortunate, many who are much lesser than you, then you will feel lucky that you have atleast some good things with you still. The beauty of nature around you will inspire you to live longer, breathe longer.
    • Worship your body everyday. Engage yourself in yoga or some form of exercise. Keep yourself neat and clean, make it a habit, a ritual. Then you will never think of harming your body.

    Keeping humour and positivity within you is the best self-help. But even if that doesn’t work much for you, try consulting a good Doctor who can also be your friend. Most of the causes for suicidal tendency, have cure, you have to will for the treatment.


  • 13 Sep
    Jennifer Scott

    Beneficial Habits for Those with Bipolar Disorder



    Living with bipolar is often like living a lifelong roller coaster ride. And though bipolar disorder cannot be cured, it can be very efficiently managed with medications and positive practices.


    While seeking treatment from a doctor is critical, you can begin to stabilize yourself with a few good habits that can help limit the symptoms of bipolar. I recently helped a friend diagnosed with bipolar disorder — I, myself, have struggled with depression for many years — experiment with a few of these positive habits, and we made some exciting progress. Here are a few changes we tried and that you may want to consider if you’re struggling with bipolar symptoms.


    Set a Consistent Daily Routine


    Even people without mental illness benefit from routine. The human brain naturally seeks consistency in our daily schedule and is far happier when it can find it. For people who are living with a mental illness such as bipolar disorder, it becomes even more important to create and stick to a set routine. When bipolar people experience a shift or disturbance of their routine, they become more at risk for an episode.


    Some key aspects of a good daily routine include a sleep schedule, a work schedule, set mealtimes, scheduled exercise time, and regularly scheduled social time. We found that although the first few days or weeks of such a schedule can be quite the adjustment, once your body and mind have become accustomed, you will see stabilization in your moods. Though my friend still sees the occasional episode, she said that the consistency of knowing exactly what to expect each day — and when to expect it — has kept her on top of her schedule and eliminated a lot of unnecessary anxiety.


    Engage in Stress-Reducing Activities


    Excess stress can trigger episodes, meaning reducing your stress is key to coping with your illness. While avoidance of stress altogether is best, it isn’t exactly feasible. Instead, schedule some time for stress-reducing activities like coloring, meditation, and exercise. Yoga is a great way to fit both meditation and exercise into one session. We combined steps one and two here, adding a weekly yoga class into our set schedules so we never have to worry about “having time” for it. Swimming is also a great form of exercise and has a meditative quality.


    And if you have a four-legged friend, spend a little extra time with them. Doing so can help boost your mood and reduce anxiety and stress. Or if you want to make a little money while you’re eliminating some stress from your life, you might try your hand at dog walking or pet sitting. Both options will allow you to take advantage of the mental health benefits that being around dogs can provide and will also boost your income in the process.


    Track your Mood Swings


    With the help of a loved one, it can be extremely helpful to your doctor if you take the time to track your moods every day. Identifying a pattern or potential triggers can aid your doctor’s attempts to stabilize your disorder and make daily life easier.


    Of course, it can be very difficult to track your own moods as you may not recognize when you are having an episode. Have a trusted loved one help take notes on your moods and behaviors throughout the day. Enlisting the help of a trusted friend or family member can improve your ability to recognize symptoms as well as manic or depressive episodes in time as you learn triggers and other signs that point to an exacerbation of your symptoms. There are even mood tracking apps if you prefer a technological approach as we do. We like having access on our phones so we never have to worry about forgetting a notebook at home, plus it adds a little discretion, especially at work — coworkers might notice you have a special notebook you always write in after a bad meeting, but they probably won’t think much of it if they see you on your phone.


    Living with bipolar disorder is no easy task for you or those around you. The best way to guarantee a normal, well-rounded life is to seek advice and treatment from a doctor. A counselor can also be very beneficial in mitigating the effects of the disease.


    In the meantime, you can be doing a number of things to ease your way into normalcy such as exercising, limiting stress, and keeping close track of your moods and episodes. If you engage in these positive behaviors, you also reduce your risk of addiction while simultaneously smoothing any hardships in your personal relationships. Experiment with a few different methods to discover what works best for you.


    Jennifer Scott experiences anxiety and depression on a regular basis. She started SpiritFinder.org in order to tell her story and empower others to share theirs. In her free time, she loves to write, study fashion, and spend time with animals.

    Image source

  • 10 May
    Oyindrila Basu

    Agoraphobia-How to deal with your anxiety?


    Phobia means ‘fear’. They are lots and lots in number, and new kinds are being discovered each day, because human mind is so complex, and each one of us is filled with one or the other phobia. Generally, we do not even acknowledge them as fear at all, because they are so common behaviours. Like fear of cockroaches, or lizards, it is so common, and often tagged as womanly fears, or getting scared when light goes off, these are very common, and we do not acknowledge them as problem, but each one is a kind of phobia, and has its causatives, and if treated properly, can ensure better mental health.


    Agoraphobia’ is an anxiety disorder, where a person feels anxious in situations, which he feels is dangerous, or unsafe.

    A place which has huge crowd like airports, market places, malls and theatres can make an agoraphobic, feel that he is unsafe there. Some danger can suddenly attack them.

    This phobia is termed as a sub category of panic disorder, but evidences suggest, that implying a casual relationship between panic attack and Agoraphobia, is not so correct.

    The term "agoraphobia" was coined by the German psychiatrist Carl Friedrich Otto Westphal, from Greek ἀγορά, meaning "large public square/marketplace" and -φοβία, -phobia, meaning "fear".

    Symptoms of panic attack in applied situations, may include palpitation, rapid increase in heart rate, sweating or uncontrolled emotional behaviour. Severity may lead to vomiting, trembling, nausea and dizziness. Generally, such attacks last for 10 to 15 minutes, with maximum extent of 30 minutes.

    Agoraphobia can be caused due to excessive stress, or as a side effect of some other disorder. A patient of agoraphobia, has low vestibular functioning rate, and depends mostly on visual cues. It can be caused due to high usage of sleeping pills as well.



    • People try taking safety measures, for protecting themselves from danger. ‘Safety measures’ refer to the instinctive actions and behaviour that people generally do, thinking that can protect them from their illusionary danger. The unsafe part is in your mind, and panic cannot make you safer. ‘Safety’ itself is an illusion in this case, and a part of the problem itself. To overcome the problem or fear, first get rid of your safety measures.


    • Do not avoid large open spaces. Try visiting more of malls, markets and airports, watch the flights soar. Avoiding these places will only deepen the fear within you.


    • Acknowledging that the problem is in you, and not in the situation is important. Once you know, that airplanes, and airports are not actually dangerous, but the feeling of danger is a fear within you, you can take measures towards cure of this.


    • Face your fear. Practice your phobic situation more often. Medical help can push you towards this goal, but it cannot instantly remove your fear. Be determined that you want to overcome your fear.


    • Firstly, you should learn how to calm down when you have these panic attacks, control your senses, relax your nerves. Try it with your courage. (Each one of us, have some in us, don’t worry.)


    • Do not use your car for saving a 2 min walk, because you have to cross the road. Walk down the crossing regularly, being alert and attentive to the traffic lights, so that you can follow the right signal for pedestrians. There is nothing to fear. Remember, no human being is going to intentionally hit you, for being jailed.

    Once you recover yourself,  you feel triumphant and that adds to your new mental health which is panic free, and outrageous to all environments.

    Please feel free to ask questions and post comments.

    -eWellness Expert

    Further reading: A new PHOBIA in Bollywood- Celebrities with different Phobias.

     References: 1 2 3

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