- Mental Health
Depression - Lifting The Veil
Feeling sad, unhappy, miserable, suicidal or down in the dumps? Life no longer has any meaning? Most of us feel this way at one time or another for short periods, but if it continues for any extended period, then you may be suffering from DEPRESSION.
Anyone can develop depression. Psychologists believe that depression is caused by chemical changes in the brain which is triggered by stressful situations such as:
- Certain medical conditions;
- Certain medications;
- Sleeping problems;
- Stressful life events, such as:
- Breaking up with a loved one
- Under achievement
- Death or illness of someone close to you
- Childhood abuse or neglect
- Job loss
When you are depressed, you perceive things about yourself - your life, those around you - in a negative way. You hate yourself and there is the feeling of worthlessness and failure. You may become agitated, restless and irritable. There may be dramatic changes in your appetite – you start eating more, so there is weight gain, or eating less, so there is weight loss. You may become withdrawn - a social recluse. You may suffer from insomnia (problems sleeping) and even harbor the thought of death and suicide.
Does this sound like you? Do you want to get rid of this feeling and start ‘living’ again? This is what you need to do:
· Acknowledge that you are depressed. It is not something to be ashamed of.
· Seek help. Talk to a professional. Talking to a qualified therapist about your depression is a great way to take the first steps towards ending your battle with depression.
· Talk to a doctor about going on antidepressants if you are interested in the possibility. Antidepressants though, oftentimes have side-effects and so I would recommend a natural holistic approach which is just as beneficial.
· Get back out into the world. Start going out with your friends again. Focus on small projects that you can take control of, or get back to activities that you once loved to do.
· Join a support group. This allows sharing of experiences and feelings with a group of people who understand the difficulties and issues facing group members. Ideally, it should be supported by a facilitator.
· Exercise. Drugs are usually used to treat depression, but according to the results of a study in theAmerican Journal of Preventive Medicine, January 2005, which involved patients with mild or moderate depression – exercise is the best natural drug to treat depression . The results showed that that depressive symptoms were cut almost in half in those individuals who participated in 30-minute aerobic exercise sessions, three to five times a week after 12 weeks. Exercise causes the brain to release endorphins, which is a natural antidepressant.
I know that the thought of exercising is a big turn off or intimidating for someone who has not exercised in a while. Or maybe you cannot summon the energy to start. Walking is a wonderful way to get started. It is very low-impact so it is easy on the joints. It is also one of the most cost-effective ways to get exercise, as it does not require much training and the only equipment needed is a good pair of walking shoes. You can walk just about anywhere and you can do it anytime. If you are starting out in poor shape, slow-paced walking will produce benefits, but if you are starting out in better condition, you will need to walk faster and/or farther to see any results. Regardless of your starting level, the more vigorous your walking pace, the more dramatic the conditioning effects will be. When walking for exercise, you should walk at a steady pace that is fast enough to cause your heart rate to rise.
· Change your diet and eat healthy. Incorporate plenty fruits, vegetables and nuts into your diet. Also, you need to take your vitamins, Omega 3 Fatty Oils etc.
· Get moral support from your close friends and family. Ifyou spend time and engage in worthwhile activities with the people closest to you, this will provide a very satisfying feeling.
You may not be the one who is suffering from depression, but it may be your friend or loved one. Take the time out to be caring. “We oftentimes underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around”. – Leo Buscaglia
Depression can take over your whole life, but only YOU have the power to stop it! Do not allow depression to rob you of your happiness. Take steps NOW to lift the veil!