Depression is an illness that is characterized by chronic feelings of hopelessness and sadness. It is completely normal to feel sad every now and then, but it is not normal to feel depressed all of the time. It is estimated that depression affects approximately 20 percent of the population. Depression may also be accompanied by other symptoms such as insomnia, loss of appetite, reduced sex drive and irritability.
What causes depression?
Health care experts have not been able to pinpoint the exact cause of depression. However, they have found that hormonal imbalances, life events and childhood trauma can trigger depression. Additionally, people who have a family history of depression are more likely to develop it themselves.
What happens if depression goes untreated?
People who notice any of the symptoms of depression should see their physicians immediately. Untreated depression often leads to drug or alcohol abuse and may increase the risk of suicide. Studies have also shown that depressed people are more likely to develop heart disease.
What are some medical treatments available for depression?
Doctors usually prescribe an antidepressant to patients who suffer from this condition. Zoloft, Paxil and Lexapro are some of the most commonly prescribed antidepressants. These medications work by altering the neurotransmitters in the brain that control mood. A doctor may also recommend counseling.
What are some lifestyle changes that people can make to treat their depression?
Antidepressants are extremely effective, but they often come with unpleasant side effects. They may also increase the risk of suicidal behavior in some patients. That is why many people choose to treat their depression with lifestyle changes. Below are some things that people can do to reduce the symptoms of depression and improve their overall health:
Experts recommend that people get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. When a person exercises, his body releases endorphins, which many refer to as the feel-good hormones. Endorphins have been shown to have a calming effect on the body. Below is a four-week home workout program anyone can follow:
Researchers have found that there is a link between diet and depression. They have also found that certain nutrients can alleviate some of the symptoms of depression. Omega Omega 3 fatty acids and Vitamin B-12 are two nutrients that can help a person fight depression.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are found in walnuts, cold water fish, flax oil and shrimp. Researchers believe that omega 3 fatty acids help improve overall brain help, which can alleviate some of the symptoms of depression.
Studies have shown that people who have a vitamin B-12 deficiency are more likely to develop depression. This nutrient is found in eggs, fish, milk, poultry and meat.
Meditation is a practice that involves training the mind and focuses one’s attention on one specific thing. This practice helps calm the mind and relax the body. It can also help ease depression. Experts recommend meditating for at least 15-20 minutes out of the day.
Healthy living is the key to overcoming depression. People should make sure that they work closely with their physician so that they can find the appropriate treatment. They should also make sure that they are eating a well-balanced diet, exercising and meditation on a daily basis.
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