For years medication was known as the best way to treat mental illness, along with therapy and hospitalization. A change is happening, however, to a more holistic way of treating these illnesses. There are reasons people step back from traditional medications, side effects top the list, with many people feeling they are simply taking too many medications and what they can to do to our bodies. In many cases, the drugs cause irritating side effects, which in turn is treated with more medication to alleviate the symptoms.
The search for different treatments has been my goal in recent years, with my own mental illness; I have been on too many medications to mention and often they came with debilitating side effects so I would not be able to take them, this lead me on a journey to find another way. i still take a couple medications and they do help, but there are ways to treat these illnesses without making weekly trips to the pharmacy.
One of the best I have found is simply being out side in the fresh air and sunshine. A short 15 minute walk can change your outlook on the day or situations that are ruminating in your mind. I have discovered over time that when I am not able to be outside my moods tend to cycle more and I become moody. I am a simple person, I enjoy the woods most of all, surrounding myself with the sounds of birds chirping and trees rustling around me. During a hike the distractions are only a memory and my mind will once again focus on serenity and peacefulness of what is around me. In addition, we receive Vitamin D from the sun which is also known to help the mind.
in addition to spending time outside there are other medical treatments that do not include medication. ECT (electric Convulsive Therapy) or TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) are common ways to treating mental illness. ECT has received a bad rap over the years after movies and the media have shown it as barbaric, when it is a simple procedure today lasting no more than a few minutes while the patient in under anesthesia. TMS uses a simple MRI type machine that stimulates the brain with magnetic pulses.
I think one of the best treatments, next to be outside is journaling. Writing down feelings and thoughts keeps them from ruminating and clears the mind of disturbing thoughts and ideas.
There are many other treatments including vitamins and supplements to help stave off the symptoms of many illnesses. The trick is to find the one that works best for you and you alone.