While we’re not suggesting that anyone toss out their prescription antidepressants, there seems to be some evidence that chiropractic care may be linked to helping to lower levels of depression.
If you are experiencing depression, there is help available. You can find SAMHSA’s website here.
What Is Depression?
Before we can dive into how chiropractic care may help with depression, it’s important to first understand what depression is. We’ll give a brief overview in this article, but for a comprehensive definition of depression, click here.
Major depressive disorder (MDD) is a psychiatric condition that affects a person’s mood. With depression, a person may feel sad, tearful, and empty. Their depressed mood must persist most of the day, nearly every day for two weeks to meet the full criteria for a depressive episode.
Additionally, they must meet five or more of the criteria described in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5) in order to be considered a depressive episode.
How Does Chiropractic Help?
Chiropractic care is not a replacement for psychiatric medication, but there are many physical benefits that may provide some relief from depression. So what are some of those benefits?
Sleep. Quality of sleep can have an impact on mood. This WebMD article explains the connection between sleep and depression. A great way to improve the quality of your sleep is to seek the care of a chiropractor. For more information about the relationship between sleep and chiropractic care, check out our blog on the topic.
Reduce pain. Pain and depression often go hand in hand. The Mayo Clinic published this article, which states that pain and depression are linked. Persistent pain is enough to make a person irritable and, for someone who has depression, it can be a terrible burden. If you’re looking for relief from unwanted pain, take a look at our blog here.
Lower blood pressure. Chiropractic care has been shown to lower blood pressure, which can have an effect on mood. Lower blood pressure can help a person feel more at ease, helping their mood.
Can Chiropractic Care Alone Treat Depression?
Some of the benefits of chiropractic care that we’ve described may be of help to a person experiencing depression. But it’s best practice to check with your mental health professional—your psychiatrist, primary care doctor, or therapist—to discuss what may be the best treatment option for you.
Many patients report feeling better after chiropractic care. It may not be an alternative to psychiatric care, but it can be a beneficial addition to your health regimen. Many patients find that a range of efforts—from diet and exercise to medication and therapy—can help contribute to a healthy clinical outlook.