10 Ways to Improve Depression and Anxiety without Meds
As a psychiatrist trained in psychopharmacology, it would be easy for me to rely exclusively on psychiatric medications as the be-all, end-all treatment option for patients with mood disorders. Psychiatric medications work, and they work fast, and I use them regularly in my practice to treat a host of problems and conditions, from depression and anxiety to bipolar disorder and chronic insomnia. That being said, I am always mindful of other, equally significant ways to enhance mood and wellbeing, specifically methods related to our ways of thinking and daily behaviors. Here then are my top 10 recommendations for improving depression and anxiety, sans medication:
1. Limit Your Time on Facebook
A recent cover article in The Atlantic magazine asked, “Is Facebook Making Us Lonely?” and confirms what I have been seeing in my own practice over the last several years. When Facebook is used as a casual tool to keep in touch with friends or stay in the social loop, it can be a useful distraction. However, when Facebook is used to keep constant tabs on others or to promote a certain self-image, it can lead to an unconscious need to compare ourselves to everyone in our social network. This frequently leads to jealousy, insecurity, misplaced feelings of superiority or alternatively, feelings of inadequacy. Limiting time on ubiquitous social media sites like Facebook may be hard at first, but it may be one of the best things you do for your mental health.