What is Depression?
Depression is one of the most common types of mood disorders that affects every race, age and gender without bias. In fact it affects about 340 million people worldwide. However, around half of all cases of depression go un-diagnosed and untreated, yet depression is the most treatable form of mental illness. Depression is more common in women, affecting 25 percent of women compared to about 10 percent of men. Additionally, depression also affects around 1 out of every 20 teenagers. It's important to know the differences between situational depression, which is a normal reaction to events around us, and clinical (AKA "endogenous") depression, which is triggered from within and is not related to external situations. Situational depression is very common and normally is linked to a stressful situations or loss. It is best to work through this type of depression with help from psychotherapists or counselors, verse suppressing these feelings. Clinical depression is a diagnosis that only a medical professional can determine.
Symptoms and Causes Of Depression
The signs and symptoms of depression include:
- A gloomy mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, guilt and anxiety
- Loss of interest in things
- Change in appetite
- Change in sleeping patterns
- Inability to concentrate
- A lack of energy or feeling run-down
Clinical depression can be brought on by a recent loss or other stressful/upsetting event, but then grows out of proportion to the situation and persists longer than situational depression, affecting your emotional and physical health. While there are many theories about mood disorders, the actual causes of depression remain unclear. It is believed that most mental problems are from imbalances in brain chemistry. There are many reasons for a imbalance to occur in the brain: situations or events, poor physical health, poor diet, and many more. Those with a family history of depression are much more likely to experience its effects at some point in their lives.
Recommended Lifestyle Changes for Depression
There are many things that can help to improve depression that you can do on your own. The daily practice of meditation or pray is perhaps the best way to address the root of depression and change it. Finding a way to create a soothing and healing environment in your life is highly important. Putting this with the following remedies can have great affects on depression.
- Exercise. For more immediate results there is no better method than regular aerobic Many studies have shown the efficacy of a daily workout for improving emotional health and boosting self confidence. It's recommend to do 30 to 45 minutes of continuous activity, at least five days a week for best results.
- Support groups are a great way to help on the road to recovering from depression. Knowing that there are other people who understand what you are going thru is a great relief. They can help by giving you advice or being there to do activities with. Isolation is the worst thing you can do when you are struggling with depression. Support groups will give you an outlet that will keep you connected and give you tools to overcome the battle. Check with your local church or family support service office for groups near you.
- Check your meds. Some over-the-counter or prescription medications can contribution to depression. Avoiding antihistamines, tranquilizers, sleeping pills and narcotics will help to limit symptoms if you have any tendency toward depression. The use of recreational drugs, notably alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, downers, marijuana and ecstasy will cause extreme fluctuation in mood and mental health. These substances may provide a temporary sense of relief, but are likely to intensify depression to dangerous levels.
- Cut caffeine. Addiction to coffee and other forms of caffeine often interferes with normal moods and can aggravate depression. Anxiety and insomnia are 2 of the most common things that can occur with caffeine. This would include energy drinks or shots, sodas, chocolate, and some teas.
- Limit your SUGAR intake. Sugar increases your blood sugar (glucose) suddenly. After your body burns up the glucose you are in for a sudden crash. This can cause you to feel moody, achy and tired. Sugar also can cause you to gain unwanted body weight, the health of your body affects your mental health as well.
- Try acupuncture. This has proven itself to be very useful in treating several mood disorders, including depression. However it is not for everyone and you should speak with a professional about the process.
- Seek professional help. Find a psychotherapist, mental health professional or grief counselor who can help you explore the elements contributing to your depression and facilitate recovery. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be especially helpful. Sometimes just having someone to talk to that is objective can help you see the whole picture and find a solution.
Nutrition and Supplements For Depression
- B vitamins, especially folic acid and vitamin B6, can be extremely helpful in mild depression.
- St. John’s wort is an herbal remedy that has long been used in treating mood disorders. Before using St John's wort talk to your doctor. Certain illnesses and medications can have a severe reaction to this herb. Try 300mg three times a day. It’s full effect will be felt in about eight weeks.
- SAMe (S-adenosy-L-methionine). Has the advantage of working more quickly than St John’s wort. Try 400-1,600 mg once a day on an empty stomach.
- Fish oil. Recent preliminary studies suggest that omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil may be helpful in maintaining a healthy mind. Fish oil is an excellent source of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an essential fatty acid found in nerve and brain tissue.
- D Vitamins from the sunshine is one of the best way to kick depression. Plus you get out of the house and into the fresh air which can help to inprove your mood as well.
- In addition, follow a well-balanced diet and include an antioxidant multi-vitamin/mineral supplement to ensure you are meeting your nutritional needs for all the essential nutrients. There are 16 vitamins, 72 minerals, 24 amino acids and 3 omegas that are essential to your physical and mental health.
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