Expressed in common terms, depression is an emotional affliction that leads to constant distress and loss of interest in almost everything going on around the person suffering from this ailment. Giving rise to emotional and physical problems, depression substantially affects how a person feels, thinks and behaves. Occasional sadness is a common feature to all of us, but a persistent feeling of hopelessness, anxiety, irritability, outbursts of anger, low concentration, sudden weight loss/gain,
weakness and drastically changed eating habits is a clinical disorder which may even induce a feeling that life is not worth living any more.
The most common types of depression are major depression, postnatal depression, dysthymia, bipolar disorder, seasonal affective disorder and psychotic depression.
Depression is usually triggered by a combination of several causes. Primary and typical reasons that give rise to development of depression are as follows:
- Distressing life events – Most people need time to cope with unpleasant happenings in their life such as a relationship breakdown or loss of a loved one. Risk of depression increases if the person stays in isolation and stops seeing family and friends.
- Alcohol and drugs – Some people depend upon alcohol and drugs to come to terms with bitter happenings and experiences in life. Studies have shown that these habits while providing a momentary emotional relief, tend to trigger depression, especially in teenagers.
- Genetic – Those having a family history of depression are more likely to be suffering from it.
- Severe illness – Prolonged and life-threatening diseases also escalate possibility of depression. Head injuries are also one of the lesser-rated causes of depression. Hypothyroid is also one of the ailments triggering depression.
- Postnatal – Women after giving birth also become susceptible to depression because of changes in body and hormones and also an added responsibility of the new born.
- Personality traits – Some of the behavioral and personality attributes such as extreme self-criticism and low self-esteem also make such people vulnerable to depression.
- Isolation – people who live in isolation, without any contact with family and friends are at a greater risk of depression since such people tend to struggle with their problems all alone.
Having known common symptoms and causes of depression, understanding depression becomes a bit easier. Treating this emotional disorder is very crucial but equally important is getting it diagnosed correctly. So before going ahead with some remedies of treatments for depression, it is imperative to visit your healthcare provider and get examined for it. There are no pathological tests for depression and you doctor would usually start off with a physical examination, though he might rely on a couple of medical tests for the same. The medical treatment of depression usually begins with anti-depressants and psychotherapies. But besides that or may be even instead of those regular pills, you might try out these useful non-drug remedies and modest lifestyle changes to come out of this emotional ailment quickly and successfully:
- Exercise – Although doing even some exercise is better than none, but exercising for 20-30 minutes three to five times a week is recommended for relieving depression. Exercises such as a brisk walk or aerobics an effective therapy.
- Sleep well – Depression gets worse if you do not sleep well. Taking a sound sleep of around 7 to 9 hours keeps fatigue, unhappiness and bad temper away from those suffering from depression to a great extent. It uplifts your mood and prevents infuriation of depression symptoms.
- Eat well – Having a nutritious and wholesome diet enables physical as well as mental fitness. Make sure you have small and balanced meals at small intervals all through the day to keep energy levels on high and moodiness on low levels. Try to include more carbohydrates in your diet.
- Stay connected with friends and family – Socializing more and keeping in touch with family members and friends lessen isolation and hence the risk of depression. You can greatly bust your stress levels by sharing your troubles and feelings with your close ones.
- Take a break – Take a break from your daily routine and do exciting things you enjoy such as cooking, reading, or may be going out for a picnic.
- Maintain a diary – Penning down all the positive happenings of life in a diary and reading it once in a while serves as a great mood lifter and helps in challenging negative thoughts coming to you. If you can’t find the time to do it daily, the do it at least once in a week.