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10/10/2014 04:46 EDT | Updated 10/14/2014 06:58 EDT

Cures For Depression Don't Necessarily Have To Mean Pills

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Every person in the world knows what it's like to feel sad, but when that sadness becomes a more pervasive problem, it's easy to feel like there's nothing that will shake it.

At least eight per cent of Canadians have experienced major depression, according to the Canadian Mental Health Association, and that doesn't include the many people who are affected by minor depressive episodes. And it's this less severe condition that can be helped by some natural cures.

"If I have a client with mild depression, who's feeling down, negative, or not sleeping, there are some things they can do that can make a difference and they won't need medication," says Toronto-based psychotherapist Nicole McCance, author of 52 Ways To Beat Depression Naturally.

McCance notes many people are nervous about taking medication, whether it's due to potential side effects or a concern about long-term dependency.

She classifies depression as having five or more of the following symptoms for a period of two weeks: not sleeping, agitation, sadness (lasting all day), lack of appetite, lack of pleasure or interest, fatigue, feelings of worthlessness and guilt, a sense of restlessness, recurrent thoughts of death, and problems with memory and concentration.

While some healthcare professionals have general suggestions like getting into a routine or getting enough sleep, McCance has flagged five separate options to try to cope with these feelings, and points out these can also be used as a proactive measures for those who are at risk for depression as well.

Read on to find out what can help:

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