Depression has long been a primary cuing mechanism for alcohol abuse, drug abuse and addiction. As people fall deeper and deeper into depression and self-directed efforts to overcome their pain, they begin to hibernate, abandoning interaction with the stimuli of nature and all forms of exercise. Additionally we get pure forms of Vitamin D from sunlight, and it is believed to trigger the release of serotonin, a dynamic source of stress relief from the brain.
Showing great promise as effective and evolving treatment components to combat depression and its often co-occurring partner, substance abuse, are wilderness and eco-therapy. As a result, wilderness and eco-therapy for treating depression and subsequent substance abuse are becoming a vivid new option with exciting interest within the treatment community. Both therapies are far from new, yet their recent clinical applications have successfully moved them beyond simple activities, into psychological platforms for change and renewal.
Psychologist Oliver James is quoted in an article in The Alternative Daily as saying "... nature heals itself by putting us in touch with our natural, evolutionarily-based patterns of lightness, darkness, sounds, and smells." He continues to explain the effectiveness of wilderness therapy, for adults who normally turn to food, alcohol, prescription medication or technology to placate them, as benefitting the people being removed from these strategies and behaviors.
In a study by the University of Essex mentioned in Psychology Today, approximately 75% of a recent control group experienced significantly less depression after walking through a country park on a regular basis. Moreover Harvard biologist Edward O'Wilson's groundbreaking therapy of biophilia has found traction in the wilderness treatment community. His conclusion - "Nature makes us whole."
To learn more about the benefits of wilderness therapy, call (855) 329-8732.