Have you ever wondered “can I cure my mental health problems on my own?”
The short answer is “no.” There’s no replacement for certified professional therapy; the first line of defense for any mental health issues. Mental health professionals can provide an accurate diagnosis, evidence-based counseling, access to appropriate medication, referrals to other resources and more. All things you can’t (and shouldn’t) do on your own.
However, you play a critical role in your own well-being. Although it is unsafe to attempt to cure your own mental health issues solo, you can surely supplement your mental health using vitamins and minerals and by making other lifestyle changes.
Vitamins and supplements to cure mental health issues
Although taking supplements may seem like a fad, there is clinical evidence that backs up the effectiveness of natural vitamins and minerals to cure mental health. Check out the following natural ways to support your wellbeing and the facts that back them up.
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, or PUFAs, have been proven to reduce symptoms of depression according to a meta-analysis including 2,160 participants published in Translational Psychiatry.
Fish, chia seeds, flaxseed, walnuts and seafood are all-natural ways to get PUFAs. Typically marketed as fish oil soft gels, you can get PUFAs at most grocery stores.
Vitamin B9 and vitamin B12
Patients with depression have been found to have low levels of vitamin B9 (also called folate or folic acid) and vitamin B12, and supplements should be added to a treatment regimen according to a study in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The same study also found that folic acid improves the body’s response to antidepressant medication.
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, folate is found in leafy vegetables, beans, fruits, eggs and seeds. Having a diet high in folate or supplementing with 400 micrograms of dietary folate equivalents is an easy way to boost your mental health.
N-acetylcysteine, or NAC, has been found to be effective in helping treat various mood disorders, including schizophrenia according to a meta-analysis published in BioMed Research International. NAC can also reduce craving for drugs and alcohol, helping to prevent relapse.
Furthermore, a study of 571 participants in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry found that NAC can decrease symptoms of depression and can improve daily functioning. There is promising evidence that NAC can help reduce symptoms of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but more research needs to be conducted.
One of the best mental health cures is time spent soaking up the sun. Your body can absorb vitamin D through sunlight, through food or through dietary supplements. However, vitamin D is difficult to get entirely through food intake, and people may struggle to get enough vitamin D if they live in climates with little winter sun or have darker skin pigmentation, so supplements are a good bet.
A study in Issues in Mental Health Nursing found that supplementing with vitamin D was a cost-effective and beneficial adjunct treatment for patients with depression, decreasing symptoms and improving the overall quality of life.
According to Magnesium in the Central Nervous System, in recent decades magnesium has been processed out of most foods, causing drastic effects on mental and physical health. Low levels of magnesium have been linked to major depression, and supplementing can reverse the negative effects of a deficiency.
In fact, studies have found comparative effects of magnesium and antidepressant medication. Taking magnesium can not only help prevent depression but supports treatment, too.
Here are a few extra supplements to consider:
- St. John’s wort
- Maca root
- Kava kava extract
Lifestyle changes to cure mental health
Taking supplements is one path for how to cure mental health issues, but it’s best supported by a healthy lifestyle.
Exercise: Regular exercise has been shown to decrease anxiety and depression by benefiting self-perception and brain functioning according to the Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Moreover, a regular workout routine has also been proven to offer improved sleep, relieve stress, increase energy and contribute to mental alertness.
Sleep: The Harvard Medical School states that poor sleep affects those with mental health concerns more so than the general population, and insufficient sleep can exacerbate negative symptoms. Aim for eight hours a night to improve your mood and feel more relaxed during the day.
Invest in your wellbeing
The role of nutrition in mental wellbeing is becoming more widely recognized, and it’s time to take advantage of the scientific evidence around supplements helping to cure mental health issues. Be sure to add vitamin B, folate, magnesium and more to your routine, but don’t forget to get professional treatment, too.
In your search for mental health cures, check out Pyramid Family Behavioral Healthcare. At Pyramid, you’ll find the help you deserve and be one step closer to peace of mind. Call 678-274-4936 today.