What Is Depression

Feeling sad, disappointed, or lonely after a personal loss or disappointment is not the same thing as being depressed. Depression is a clinical, psychiatric condition that is characterized by a persistant feeling of sadness.  This condition can affect the way you think, act, and it cause the person to develop emotional or physical problems.  People with Depression may feel that life isn't worth living, and this is not just something they can snap out of.  This is no reason to get discouraged because Depression patients can feel better with treatment or counceling, or both. 

Signs Of Depression

People with Depression can experience different symptoms because of the way they develop in each person.  Symptoms will also vary based on how severe or mild the Depression is.  Here are several symptoms people experience when they have Depression:

  • Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
  • Mood swings, angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration
  • Lack of energy or fatigue
  • Crying spells (people can start crying for no apparent reason)
  • Apathy (losing interest in hobbies, activities, or sex)
  • Restlessness (inability to sit still, agitation, or pacing back and forth)
  • Withdrawal (meaning that people with Depression isolate themselves from the outside world)
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Overeating or loss of appetite
  • Persistent aches, pains, headaches, or cramps that are unexplained
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Frequent thoughts of death or suicidal thoughts
  • Difficulty remembering things
  • Slowed body movement
What Causes Depression

As with many mental disorders, it is believed that a combination of factors cause Depression.  Some people are more succeptable to developing the condition, while others are not.  It can be an inherited condition, but most people with Depression have biochemical changes in the brain.  Neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine are responsible for regulating happiness or feelings of pleasure.  If these are out of balance, then people may develop Depression.  Common causes are:

  • Genetics (Depression can be inherited if family members have had the condition)
  • Hormonal changes
  • Biochemical imbalance
  • Change of seasons (some people can develop feelings of sadness with seasonal changes)
  • Life events (unemployment, divorce, poverty, or a personal loss)
  • Childhood trauma can have long-term affects on the brain
  • Drug abuse
  • Head injury

Dherbs Approach...adjusting your diet is always key!

Natural Remedies
  • Exercise can be a great natural remedy to help with Depression because it generates positive endorphins that contribute to what is known as "runner's high."  You don't have to exercise every day, but exericising for 30-45 minutes three times a week can be as effective as taking antidepressant medications.
  • Meditation is a great way to help you relax and clear your mind, which can be difficult for someone battling Depression.  By focusing on your breathing and emptying your mind, you can establish a mind/body connection that promotes positivity.  Find a quiet retreat to meditate in every day.  Start off with 10 minutes and work your way up to 45 minutes a day.  If something comes into your mind while meditating, acknowledge it and let it go. If meditating in silence proves difficult, try a guided meditation.
  • Similar to meditation, acupuncture can help promote better circulation and a mind/body connection.  The needles can stimulate certain pressure points and release endorphins, which can make your body feel calm and relaxed.
  • It can be beneficial to set goals, even minor ones, to help establish a schedule and make you feel better that you are accomplishing things.  Simple goals such as washing the dishes, taking a walk, or taking out the trash can be a great way to start.  Begin with smaller goals and graduate to things that seem harder.
  • Support groups can be a positive source to help people with Depression.  It allows people with Depression to relate to one another, while giving them a chance to learn from people with similar issues.  Similarly, seeking therapy or counceling may help those with Depression.  Talking about feelings can help the person overcome the condition and discover the root of the problem, so that the right steps can be taken to help combat Depression.
  • Although it may not seem like it, eating a healthy diet comprised of plant-based foods can contribute to a healthier, more positive outlook on life.  Processed foods, dairy products, refined sugars, or meat can have chemicals that inhibit the production of positive neurotransmitters.  Certain foods can actually enhance serotonin levels, and promote a happier feeling overall.
  • Get more food that has magnesium.  Magnesium is a prominent mineral in the body and can help lower stress levels, contributing to a more relaxed, positive state.  If you aren't sure of what foods contain magnesium, always go for bananas, dark leafy greens, avocados, or nuts and seeds.
  • Some people with Depression can have a difficult time sleeping, and too little sleep can worsen the condition. You can help yourself by going to bed at the same time every day.  Additionally, take distractions out of your bathroom like the TV and try not to nap during the day.  In time, your sleep should hopefully return to normal.
Things you should eat
  • Bell Peppers
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Dark Leafy Greens (spinach, kale, & chard)
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pumpkin and Sunflower Seeds
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Broccoli
  • Berries
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Walnuts
  • Greent Tea
  • Turmeric
  • Legumes
  • Freshly Squeezed Orange Juice
  • Flaxseeds
  • Grape Leaves
  • Alfalfa Sprouts
  • Arugula
  • Turnip or Beet Greens
  • Brussels Sprouts
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