Depression can happen to anyone, even to the best of us. At some point in our lives, we experience sadness, grief, anguish, hopelessness. The reasons behind can be real or imagined. Needless to say, it is something we need to control before it controls us. And the good news is, we have the power to do it. But first, let us identify the most common manifestations of depression.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
People who are depressed may experience any of these signs and symptoms:
- Chronic tiredness
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
- Low energy
- Decreased ability to get the job done
- Lack of concentration
- Loss of appetite or heavy eating
- Weight loss or weight gain
Now these signs and symptoms can be manifestations of some other problem, but you will know if it is depression if these signs and symptoms are triggered by:
- Death in the family or death of a loved one
- End of an affair or relationship problems
- Unemployment or loss of job
- Demand letters
- Diagnosis of a health condition
- Alcohol abuse
- Drugs (some anti-hypertensive and hormone-regulating drugs, and sleeping pills can cause depression)
- Withdrawal from bad habits
- Too much stress
Coping with Depression
There are drugs formulated to treat depression, but very often these drugs come with side effects. Fortunately some people do not require medical treatment for depression; they cope with depression in the following manner, and you, too, can try these techniques when you are feeling down:
- Accepting the problem. Denial of the fact that you are depressed will render you unable to find happiness ever. Accept the fact that you have a problem and that every problem comes with a solution. If there is no solution, then it cannot be called a problem in the first place.
- Setting goals. Take out your pen and paper and write down the things you aim to achieve within a reasonable time frame. Write down your main objective and under that a list of things that will help you towards your main goal. Don't just think about them - write them down. This way you will have something concrete to refer to from time to time to see how well you are progressing towards your goal.
- Making time for things once taken for granted. Get out of your shell, go for leisure walks, ride your bicycle, just simply enjoy nature. Seeing all the beautiful things around you creates a positive disposition.
- Doing volunteer work. Volunteer your services at hospital, community center, or school for special kids, or spend time with the underprivileged children. Knowing that you are making a difference in the lives of these people will certainly lift your spirits up. You can do this once a month for a start.
- Exercising. Doing cardio workouts especially increases your supply of endorphins, giving you a feeling of satisfaction.
- Getting the right amount of sleep everyday. This gives the cells of your body enough time to relax and recharge.
- Eating the right foods. It is easy to grab some comfort foods when you are feeling "down in the dumps", but the euphoric feeling never lasts long. You can try to beat depression by making wise food choices and the right foods in this case are brown rice (a low-glycemic food that contains folic acid and the Vitamins B1 and B3), Brewer's Yeast (labeled as a superfood that contains vitamins, minerals, and a wealth of amino acids), cabbage (it contains Vitamin C and folic acid), nuts, fish oil, and those rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, the essential fatty acids that contribute greatly to brain development and function.