Do you know what the most creative minds in history had in common? It is Depression! Yes, most popular figures in history like Beethoven, Winston Churchill, Vincent Van Gogh, and many others experiences depression at some point in their lives. Depression is one of the most common psychological disorder in the world. It is so widespread that most psychologists call it as common cold of emotional disorders. So, if you feel depressed just know that you are not alone if that makes you feel any better. However, that doesn’t mean you have to your depression thrive and control your life decisions. There are really effective medications available today to combat severe chronic depressions. You can design your own depression fighting strategies for mild to moderate depression.
Why do you have depression?
There are many reasons as to why you might be feeling depressed right now. Maybe you just went through a traumatic experience, or you just feel empty and sad inside which is triggering the depression. Psychologist claim depression can happen due to medical, genetic, and environmental factors. They classify depression into four major categories. Emotional low (severe), dysthymia (mild), Bipolar disorder (extreme mood swings), and postpartum depression, which usually happens to a new mother.
If you feel depressed, the best way to combat the feeling is by moving your body. Just get up early go for a brisk walk, ride your cycle, engage yourself in a sport, dance to your favorite music: Almost any form of physical exercise helps. Doctors claim that exercise is very effective in bringing down mild to moderate depressions. Additionally, it is claimed to be more effective than antidepressants. So get out and get moving.
Change your food habits
- If you are on a high protein diet because of your exercise and weight loss regimen, it could be contributing to your depression. Try to include some carbs in your diet. Have some fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. These foods will trigger the production of mood-boosting hormones like serotonin in your brain and make you feel better.
- Fish is an excellent depression fighting food. There is a study that was conducted in Finland which revealed participants who had fish at least three times a week reduced their chance for depression by nearly 31 percent over participants who rarely had fish in their diet. Not to forget that fish meat contains omega 3 fatty acids which help to keep your brain in healthy condition. There is some preliminary evidence that shows a link between omega 3 fatty acids and serotonin secretion.
- If you have the habit of drinking caffeine-rich beverages like cola, carbonated drinks, coffee, tea etc… then try to limit your intake or if possible even try to give it up and see if that’s making you feel any better. Researchers believe caffeine surpasses or reduces serotonin secretion that leads to depression in certain people.
- Quit drinking alcohol. Though alcohol might make you feel better temporarily, it will actually increase your depression levels and will adversely impact your health.
Write down your feelings
Feeling really down and painful? Just take a blank piece of paper and write down your feelings and pain. Research studies found out that people who wrote down their painful emotions for at least 20 minutes a day for 4 days in a row showed tremendous improvement in their mental well being. So just write it all down.
Visit a temple or a place of worship
If you love going to church, temple or a mosque (depending on your belief system) just do it. Make regular visits to a place of worship and talk your heart out to God. It doesn’t matter even if you are an atheist, just imagine a godly figure in your mind and vent out your feelings. A study which involved 4000 people revealed those who regularly attended worship services reduced their chances of depression by nearly 50 percent.
- Sam-e: It is one of the most commonly prescribed anti-depressants by many psychologists. Additionally, it is also one of the most effective antidepressants. Sam-e is a naturally occurring substance in our body cells. There are studies that link deficiency of sam-e in our body to depression and also increase in sam-e levels showed significant improvement in mental well-being. Scientists believe that it increases the secretion of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine which directly impacts the way we feel. It is very effective and works really good when its taken in enteric-coated capsule form. There is another variety of the same supplement that comes in tosylate disulfate form which is highly unstable and not good for your health. So always opt for an enteric coated version of the capsule. Doctors recommend taking 1600 milligrams a day split into three doses a day. It takes about three weeks to work its magic so please be patient.
- St.John’s wort: This is a traditional medicine that is used to treat mild depression. It is scientifically found to be effective in boosting your mental wellbeing by triggering the production of certain brain chemicals between nerve cells. This effect of St.John’s wort is similar to certain antidepressants. Prefer a brand that standardized to 0.3 percent hypericin. This natural herb is known to increase your sensitivity to sunlight, so try to stay out of direct sun exposure as much as possible while you are using it. Take 900 milligrams a day split into three sessions.
- 5-HTP: It is a type of amino acid called tryptophan, which works by increasing serotonin, an enzyme that regulates our mood and emotions. A safer dose of 5-HTP is 300 milligrams a day in three divided doses. However, do not take it for more than 3 months without Doctor’s advice.
- Acetyl-L-carnitine: It is a type of amino acid that increases the production of energy in brain cells, which directly improves your mood and memory recalling abilities. Take 1000 milligrams of this supplement three times a day.
- Chelated Magnesium: Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral in our body. We need it for the proper functioning of our nerves and muscles. Additionally, it relaxes your muscles and tissues giving you that stress-free feeling. There are studies that revealed magnesium both improves your mood and sleeping routine by triggering the production of serotonin. Chelated Magnesium is very effective in combating depression and anxiety. Follow the directions on the label for dosage. Low dosage is highly recommended.
- Vitamin-B-complex: Deficiency of B-vitamins has a direct link to sleep deprivation and depression. Try taking a Vitamin-B-complex supplement every morning after breakfast to ensure you are not running low on B-vitamins.
When to Seek Doctor’s Help
Going through a traumatic event like the death of a loved one, getting fired from your job, career change, divorce, loss in business, and events that trigger new challenges might induce the feeling of sadness in you. This temporary sadness usually fades off after a couple of weeks time. For some reason, you feel depressed for over three weeks which negatively impacts on your sleeping patterns, food habits (either eating way too much or not eating at all), then you might need the help of a professional psychiatrist or a psychologist. You might also need the help if your depression is accompanied by loss of interest in sex, reduction in your productivity, and your ability to concentrate.
How to prevent
- Get enough sleep: Numerous studies link irregular and bad sleeping habits with the increase in depression, anxiety, and stress. Include enough fiber in your diet every day and get to sleep at the same time every single night and also wake up at the same time. Get at least 8 hours of sleep a day.
- Get away from electronic gadgets, mobile phones, and television sets. Watching movies, music videos, spending hours together in social media might seem like distressing your emotions. But, numerous studies prove otherwise. People who spend a lot of time in front of a screen tend to feel isolated and increase their emotional stress and depression.