What is depression?
From a medical standpoint, depression is defined as, “a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of depressed mood or sadness and loss of interest in activities causing significant impairment in daily life”.
Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to variety of emotional and physical problems.
It can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior and motivation, feelings and sense of wellbeing. In simple words depression is a disorder that can affect everything you do in your daily life.
Depression can impact every area of your life, including but not limited to how you sleep and eat, your education and career, your relationships, health and concentration.
As per WHO reports, it is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
Even though one understands depression as mood fluctuations and short lived emotional responses to challenges in every day life, it’s crucial to treat it, if it continues for a kind time, as it becomes a root cause of many other medical conditions if not treated on time.
National Network of Depression Centre, had found that one in five Americans will be impacted by depression during their lifetimes. In fact, depression is the leading cause if disability among those between ages 15 to 44 according to Center for Disease Control.
It is estimated that 10% to 15 % of the general population will experience clinical depression in their lifetime. The World Health Organization estimates 5% of men and 9% of women experience depressive disorder in any given year.
Symptoms of Depression
Its very common and obvious for a person to go through periods of deep sadness and sorrow. These emotions often fade away after few days or weeks. But If sadness and depression lasts more than two weeks it affects normal function ability of humans.
The most common symptoms of depression are as follows
• Dark moods
• Lack of interest in things one used to enjoy
• Lack of energy
• Excessive consumption of alcohol
• Feelings of sadness, tearfulness, hopelessness or worthlessness.
• Increased fatigue and sleeping problems
• Changes in appetite and weight.
• Looking at death or suicidal thoughts
• Thoughts of self harm.
• Feelings of irritability.
• Slow responses during conversations.
• Feeling worthless or guilty.
• Hallucinations, delusions.
• Reduced sexual desire or lack of sexual performance.
• Lack of focus and concentration.
• Withdrawing from family and friends.
• Headaches and muscle pains.
• Digestive issues.
• Breast tenderness.
• Feeling out of control
Causes of depression
It an extremely important complex disease. No one knows exactly what causes it, but it can occur for various reasons
• Depression does not gave a clear pattern of inheritance in families. People who have a first degree relative like siblings or parents with depression appear to have a two to three times greater risk if developing the condition than the general public.
• A British research team recently isolated a gene that appears to be frequent in multiple family members with depression. The chromosome 3p25-26 was found in more than 800 families with periodic depression.
• Scientists believe that as many as 40% of those with depression can trace it to a genetic link. Environmental and other factors make up the other 60%.
• Researchers have found that having a parent and grandparent with depression doubles the risk of it.
• The lesser the active the front love of the brain, the higher is the risk of developing depressive disorder. Structural brain MR imaging research suggests that a decreased frontal lobe volume (8-10) may also be present in depression..
• Researchers have noted differences in the brains of people who have clinical depressions to those who do not. For an example, the hippocampus, the small part of the brain that is
important to the storage of memories. Appears to be smaller in some people with a history of depression than in this those who never have been depressed.
• A smaller hippocampus has fewer serotonin receptors. Serotonin is one of many brain chemicals known as neurotransmitters that allow communication across circuits that connect different brain regions involved in processing emotions.
• Clinical depression is often said to be caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, and this what most drug treatments are based on.
• Any past physical, sexual or emotional abuse can expand the vulnerability to clinical depression later in life.
• Studies have shown that several emotional abuse can be as powerful as physical abuse. Overtime both can contribute to both low self esteem and depression.
• Depression may result from personal fights or clashes with family members or with friends.
• Unresolved intra personal conflict gives rise to anxiety, and a multitude of self-defeating behaviors.
Death or a loss
• Sadness or grief arising from the death or loss of a loved one.
• Even major incidents or events such as loss of job, divorce, retirement, getting a new job, graduating or getting married can lead to depression.
Physical health and certain medical conditions• Sometimes depression co-exists with a major illness or may be triggered by another medical conditions
• You may be more likely to undergo symptoms of it, if you have a chronic illness, sleep disorder, or thyroid condition. Depression rates also likely to be higher among people who have chronic pain, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.
• Depression is a mental disorder frequently co-occurring with substance use. The relationship between the two disorders is bi-directional, meaning that people who abuse substances are more likely to suffer from depression, and vice versa. People who are depressed may drink or
abuse drugs to manage their mood or escape from feelings of guilt or distress. Nearly 30% has of people with substance abuse problems also have major or clinical depression.
How to come out of depression?
Everyone deals with depression in different ways. Some try to handle it themselves, and some get help.
There are certain things you can do yourself that could help massively to overcome with the problems of depression. It’s impossible to cure depression overnight. But there are some techniques that can help
lift your moods,.
Exercise is very effective in treating it. Studies gave shown that both high intensity and moderate intensity exercises can be effective in treating mild to moderate depression
•Exercise build a healthier brain.
• it helps prevent and reduces a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes and arthritis.
• Research on depression, anxiety and exercise have shown that the psychological and physical benefits of exercise can also help improve mood and reduce anxiety.
• workout may also help keep depression and anxiety from coming back once you are feeling better. Doing 30 minutes ore more of exercise a day for three to five days a week may significantly improve depression symptoms.
• Regular workout may help ease depression and anxiety by taking your mind off worries so you can get away from the cycle of negative thoughts that feed depression and anxiety.
•it helps gain confidence, getting in shape can also make you feel better about your appearance.
• Studies have shown that individuals who do workout for an hour or more a week had a 44% decreased odds ratio of getting depressed.
• To maintain mental health, you should be as active as possible.
• One of the reasons why researchers think exercise is so effective is because of what is does to the brain. When you exercise, important neurotransmitters such as dopamine and serotonin
have increased activity levels. These same neurotransmitters cause depression when they are at low levels as mentioned earlier, and these are the same neurotransmitters all those antidepressants out there are targeting.
• So instead of following up with those drugs it is suggested to exercise more and have the same result, without any side effects.
• Researchers at BYU found more mental health disorders in people during the seasons with less sun exposure. On the contrary, days with plenty of sunlight were associated with better mental health indeed, the availability of sunshine has more impact on mood than rainfall, temperature
or any other environmental factors.
• Exposure to sunlight increases your serotonin and helps with anxiety and depression.
• Many foods happen to be scientifically which may lift the person’s feeling, and you need to include them in what you eat.
•2009 study of individuals ages 70 and older showed, that there was a lower prevalence of the symptoms of depression, with the more frequent consumption of green tea.
• 2013 animal study have shown that green tea consumption increases dopamine and serotonin, which has been linked to reducing symptoms of depression.
• Bursting along with antioxidants and proteins, green tea will help you overcome depression in a natural method. This amino acidity has psychoactive features that decrease stress as well as
increase dopamine levels in the brain.
• Sea food, especially more oily types such as salmon, mackerel, trout, sardines, anchovies, and tuna are great choices to help fight depression
• Cold water seafood like fish are full of omega – 3 essential fatty acids, which helps fight depression.
• Omega – 3 fats are very important in brain health and may be involved in the functioning of serotonin, a neurotransmitter important in the regulation of mood.
• The study, which was published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, found that people who consumed the most fight were less likely to experience symptoms of depression.
• The actual high amount of omega-3 essential fatty acids in avocados. Avocados are the great choice for individuals suffering through depression. It also contains potassium, which is very important with regard to mental health improvement and brain perform. It helps transporting
serotonin as well.
• Walnuts are one of the richest plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids, and many studies have shown how omega-3 fatty acids support brain function and reduce depression.
• Berries like blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blackberries are some of the highest
antioxidant food that helps in depression treatment.
• Especially blueberries are most preferred for fighting depression. It helps in enhancing cognitive performance and helps in correct brain working.
• Flavonoids, present in blueberries assist dopamine neurons within the brain survive considerably longer. It also contains mood boosting nutrition like B-complex, selenium, zinc and potassium.
• Dark chocolate can help increase serotonin levels in the body, which is antidepressant. It also has carbohydrates in the form of sugar which increases serotonin levels.
• Eating dark chocolate can help reduce anxiety and improve symptoms of clinical depression.
People who ate dark chocolate in 24 hour period had 70% reduced odds reporting depressive symptoms than those who did not eat chocolate.
• One of the favorite mood boosting foods, eggs are high in protein, vitamin D and B12. They have a payload of choline, and a nutrient that supports the nervous system, improves mood and helps produce neurotransmitters, as well as antioxidant selenium.
Many other food include beans, seeds like flaxseed and chia seeds, chicken, vegetables, green leaves like spinach, are excellent additions in diet for fighting depression
Do things that you like to do
• In order to overcome depression, you have to do things that gives you energy and relaxation.
• Do things which gives you pleasure and happiness. No matter what kind it is, it can be anything like going out, walking, reading, cooking anything.
• Just stay in your comfort zone and do things you like.
Reconnect with your friends
• When you are going through depression you don’t like to be socializing, though you not have a desire to get out and talk to people, you should probably at least give a try.
• Researchers have looked at the most effective strategies for dealing with depression and actively participating in your own social life is a very beneficiary tactic. We humans are social animals who must need a community of some kind.
Yoga and meditation
• Studies have shown that yoga can help with depression and they have come to the conclusion doing yoga everyday can be very effective. Yoga is something more than exercise.
Many people define yoga as a kind of meditation in motion, it can be spiritual in nature and can also be very introspective.
• According to the Harvard Mental Health Letter, recent studies suggest that yoga can reduce the impact of stress, help with anxiety and depression, be a self – soothing technique similar to meditation, relaxation, and exercise.
• Yoga increases body awareness, relieves stress, reduces muscle tension, strain and inflammation, sharpens attention and concentration, and calms and centers the nervous system.
Kick off negative thoughts
• Negative thoughts can make depression worse. You should filter out the good and focus only on that. Keep in mind that it’s generally not healthy to push negative thoughts out of your head entirely. But what you can do is acknowledge them and even write them down if needed and
then try to speak back and assess them logically, so you can reframe them positively