Effective mental health treatment doesn’t have to mean prescription drugs and hours of therapy. There are alternative methods for dealing with things like stress, depression, memory issues and even age related issues like Alzheimer’s and dementia. So why don’t we hear more about them? A lack of understand on the part of many doctors keeps the public from being educated and aggressive marketing by drug companies keeps prescriptions flowing.
This is not to say that there isn’t a time and place for mental health treatments like prescription drugs or therapy. Those can be helpful for certain things, but it may be that we are too quick to turn to them for mild to moderate forms of stress, depression, etc. Often there are alternative mental health treatments available.
While the category of alternative mental health treatments can be broad, the primary method that can be of benefit is natural supplements. Secondary treatment methods would include lifestyle changes such as exercise, altering diet, etc. Research has recently been done in both those areas that has opened the door to new thinking on how to address illness of the mind. Some of the change in thinking involves treatment, the rest prevention. However, it is the primary method of supplements that is the focus of this article.
Mental health treatments that are truly effective deal both with prevention and treatment. Supplements are a powerful tool to address each. Studies have been done showing that many herbal supplements are as effective as prescription drugs in dealing with various aliments. For example, a study on Passion Flower found it to be as effective as a leading anti-anxiety medicine for helping people suffering from anxiety disorders.
Ginkgo Biloba is another example. In a study done on Alzheimer’s patients the results demonstrated that Ginkgo may be as effective as a commonly used Alzheimer’s medication in delaying the symptoms of dementia in people that have the disease. It also seems to be effective as a preventative mental health treatment to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s in those who may be predisposed to it.
The thing about these alternative mental health treatments is that the findings of these studies are not likely to get public press and acceptance of the information by both medicine and the public alike is slow. However, they are far more cost effective and have fewer side effects than most prescription drugs. This is not something drug companies like very much so much is done by them to over emphasize their products.
Newer supplement products containing compounds like huperzine A, choline, L-Tyrosine and 5-HTP are also promising in their ability to support a healthy mind. They work to help the body produce and sustain neurotransmitters, the chemicals your brain needs to function. Many mental issues like depression, anxiety, Alzheimer’s, etc. involve reduced levels of certain neurotransmitters or destroy them outright. These compounds help counter that effect thereby sustaining brain function. Studies have been done on these, but more research is underway.