Holistic and Homeopathic Methods for Teen Mental Health

For centuries, Eastern practices such as acupuncture and herbal medicine have taken into account natural or holistic methods of treating various illnesses including psychological ones. For instance, many non-Western health traditions have a whole-systems approach, taking into account the emotional, physical, and spiritual parts of an individual when treating a psychological symptom. It’s only recently that the West has begun to adopt these alternative views of treating illnesses. For instance, in the West, homeopathic and naturopathic medicines are also considered to be whole or holistic systems.

 

Below is a short list of alternative ways of treating mental illness in adults and adolescents. These options are presented as a means of introduction if you are new to complementary medicine. However, you can find more detailed information online, in conversations with your psychiatrist, and in many books about herbs and various mind-body practices.

 

Should you decide to use any method of alternative medicine, be sure to share it with your psychiatrist or psychologist. Certain forms of complementary medicine can interfere with the effectiveness of psychotropic medicine, such as antidepressants, and therapy.

 

Alternative methods to consider include:

 

Depression

  • Chromium
  • Cranial Electrical Stimulation
  • Folate (can enhance the effectiveness of antidepressants)
  • Inositol
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (can help stabilize mood and enhance the effectiveness of antidepressants
  • Rhodiola (for mild to moderate depression)
  • S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAM-e) for depression and to enhance the effectiveness of conventional anti-depressants
  • Yoga

 

Anxiety, Stress, Panic Disorder, and other Anxiety Conditions

  • Cranial Electrical Stimulation for anxiety
  • Inositol for panic disorder
  • Meditation
  • Rhodiola
  • Yoga

 

Sleep Disorders

  • Cranial Electrical Stimulation

 

Brain Health

  • CDP choline
  • Folate (can enhance the effectiveness of antidepressants)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids (can help stabilize mood and enhance the effectiveness of antidepressants
  • Rhodiola (for mild to moderate depression)
  • S-Adenosyl-L-Methionine (SAM-e) for depression and to enhance the effectiveness of conventional anti-depressants

 

In addition to the above alternative options, there have been numerous studies that have found the enormous influence nature has on one’s physical and psychological well being. Spending time near a raging river, a calming shoreline, or along a rocky trail can positively affect your emotional, psychological, and even physical health. In June 2010, the Journal of Environmental Psychology published the results of a study that showed being outside in nature facilitated feeling more alive. And it has been shown that those who have a high level of vitality in life also tend to have more resilience to physical illness.

 

What was unique about this study is that they attempted to identify that it was nature itself that led to feeling good, and not the endorphins that are released when doing physical activity outside. The study revealed that individuals consistently felt more energetic when they spent time in nature or if they imagined themselves in natural settings.

 

Additionally, other research indicated the following:

  • Students who were in windowless rooms did worse on their exams.
  • Simply looking at photos of nature can lower blood pressure.
  • Those who worked on the green-facing side of a building in Oregon took 19% fewer sick days.
  • If your hospital room is naturally lit, you are more likely to be discharged several days sooner.
  • In the United Kingdom, those who lived in greener neighborhoods seemed to experience a boost in mental health benefits.

 

Again, it is advised before trying any of these for the first time or providing them for your teen for the first time, consult with a doctor and take into consideration any known side effects. You may also need to consider any contraindications that may appear as a result of using both alternative forms of medicine along with any medication you’re already taking.

 

There are many very effective forms of alternative medicine. At the same time, many of them have not been tested and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and for this reason, you should take precaution before using them.

 

 

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