Depression is an illness with very real symptoms. Treating depression is complex, there are no cut and dried cures since reactions and effects vary from person to person. Severe depression can be debilitating, treatment under these circumstances should be left to qualified medical practitioners and professionals.
Mild depression is more common than many people realize, treating depression at this stage has a good likelihood of success. If you think you are experiencing depression it is possible to put strategies in place that may be beneficial to treating it.
Signs of Depression
Some common symptoms of depression are:
- Feeling continually tired
- Moved to tears for no reason
- Lack of motivation for even the simplest of tasks
- Feeling very negative
- Unable to concentrate
- Feeling overwhelmed
These symptoms in themselves dont necessarily mean you have depression,
Causes of Depression
Reasons or triggers for depression are many and varied, in some cases treating depression can be a little easier if there is a known underlying cause. Some common triggers are:
- Loss of a loved one
- Redundancy or job loss
- After giving birth to a baby
- Children leaving home
- Lack of self esteem
Research also shows that people with low levels of certain chemicals are more prone to depression.
Many people dont realize that the brain naturally produces active drugs. One of these is serotonin, serotonin is a feel good chemical used by the brain as a neurotransmitter.
Serotonin is vital for the health of your brain, to produce serotonin the body uses tryptophan. You can source tryptophan and serotonin naturally through your diet.
It is not necessary to go into a lot of detail about serotonin and tryptophan but suffice to say that over the last few years a great deal of research has been done that prove these chemicals are critical to good brain health. When treating depression it is important to include them in your diet.
Natural Sources of Serotonin and Tryptophan
A good diet is very important when treating depression. Serotonin is found in:
- Brazil nuts
- Kiwi Fruit
Tryptophan can be found in foods such as:
Make sure you balance your diet with plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables.
If for one reason or another you are unable to include some of these foods in your diet while treating depression you can top up your levels with supplements. Supplements that may be helpful are:
- Folic Acid
If you are taking prescribed drugs consult with your physician first.
Helpful Strategies for Treating Depression
Regular exercise increases energy levels and pushes oxygen round the body. A brisk walk does more than exercise your muscles; it increases blood flow to your brain which is essential for good brain health. A healthy brain helps lower the risk of depression.
Keep in touch with friends and family. This is especially important since isolation allows depression to feed on itself.
Meditation and hypnosis tapes centered on relaxation can be helpful. Adequate sleep and rest are vital for a healthy mind and body.
Avoid negative people and situations as much as possible. If you are feeling low dont watch disturbing movies or shows with high levels of violence or despair. News on a daily basis can often be depressing, switch off altogether and concentrate on happier things. This may sound trite but information overload is a real problem, people tend to get overwhelmed about things outside their control.
If you think you are dealing with depression do something about it sooner rather later.
If you dont have the benefit of friends and family find out more about support groups that offer help in dealing with depression. There is plenty of help out there so dont feel you have to go it alone.