According to the Alternative Medicine Encyclopedia, depression is:
"Mental illness characterized by a profound and persistent feeling of sadness or despair and/or a loss of interest in things that once were pleasurable. Disturbance in sleep, appetite, and mental processes are a common accompaniment."
Clinical depression, which is far beyond just the popular meaning of "being depressed", it may be diagnosed by a health care professional after the condition described above, lasts for at least two weeks straight.
What are the symptoms of depression?
According to the Mood Disorders Association of Ontario, some signs and symptoms of clinical depression include, but are not limited to:
- Loss of interest in things one used to enjoy
- Feeling sad, blue, or down just all the time
- Feelings of constant restlessness
- Feelings of being worthless
- Pronounced changes in appetite, which may lead to rapid weight loss or rapid weight gain
- Feeling anxious
- Trouble falling asleep or staying asleep; or, sleeping too much (more than nine hours a night on a regular basis)
How to overcome depression?
Here are five tips
- Start your day in a positive way. One of the very best ways to do this is to get up and do some kind of physical exercise--yoga, or going hiking, running, or bicycling out of doors.
- Create the habit of having adequate hours of sleep, eat in a balanced way, and get physical exercise at some point at least four days a week.
- Start building your self-esteem. Remember low self-esteem is a symptom of depression. If you have scars from your past that bring on negative thoughts about yourself, talk to close friends, a priest, or a counselor about them. There is no reason for you to feel inadequate.
- Learn to manage stress. Too much stress can weigh you down. It can be tricky, but get away from the things that are stressing you out for a while, or confront the problems causing the stress--don't just passively accept it.
- Make sure to see your family doctor to determine if you might need to talk to a psychiatrist. We want to avoid drugs for depression if we possibly can, but they might be necessary in some situations.
Some natural cures for depression
While there are times when pharmaceuticals are the best answer for depression, they are very over-prescribed, and they typically come with side effects that nobody wants. It's best to try to cure depression through other means first; for these other means are most often the best response to depression.
Herbal medicine: For instance, the herb St. John's wort (Hypericum perforatum) is a well-known stress-reducer, and this can lead to a remedy for depression. Other herbs that work like this include Valerian and ginseng. Talk to someone who practices homeopathy for guidance.
Bach Flower Remedies. Named after Edward Bach, a highly respected English doctor, homeopath, pathologist, and bacteriologist who came to distrust the isolationism of orthodox medicine, Bach Flower Remedies are medicines used to balance negative mental states and emotions.
Aromatherapy. This is an "alternative" treatment that uses the scents released from highly concentrated essential oils that are extracted from plants to treat symptoms and assist in the healing process for a wide range of disorders and illnesses. Consult an experienced practitioner.
Massage. Massage is being prescribed more and more for stress relief and for nervous system health in general, even in the workplace. Higher levels of health are associated with lower risks of becoming depressed.
Vitamins. Vitamin supplements, specially The B-complex vitamins, help to increase health and energy level, which prevent the risk of becoming depressed.
If you are concerned that you may be suffering for chronic depression, do not substitute this tips for medical advice. Consider all of them, but also talk to a doctor.