TYLER (KYTX) - More than 30 million Americans cope with depression with medication.

"I started taking them after a series of events," said Pat Boudreaux who started taking anti-depressants in 1999.

"I just kinda broke down I got to the point where I couldn't do anything," Boudreaux said.

Doctors with the Center for the Mind-Body Medicine say medication shouldn't always be the first coping option.

They say getting active and being social could be the remedy. For those suffering from depression that may be difficult. But Boudreaux said it works.

"I actually took them for about two years, then thought ok, maybe I can do without them."

Specialist say depression isn't always avoidable but actually getting out and moving and exercise can actually help you feel better, but another thing: what you eat can also affect how you feel.

Tyler dietitian and owner of My Signature Nutrition, Sara Upson said, "It's not realistic to think you're only gonna eat dark leafy green vegetables and that's it. That really doesn't work for the majority of people."

Upson said processed foods can make things worse.

"Those specific foods can definitely affect your mood and your energy."

She said whole grains, salmon, tuna and almonds are a few foods that can improve your mood, energy and brain function.

Boudreaux said, "To me anti-depressants are really more of an option.You made the choice to seek help to get it.You can make the choice to get off of it too."

Upson said it takes about two to three weeks to feel the emotional benefits of a more balanced diet.

Click here to find out more about alternative depression self treatments.