Typically, a feeling of sadness is a normal part of life, but when daily challenges seem to outweigh any hope of a meaningful resolution, depression may set in.
Whenever one of life's challenges or expectations unexpectedly rears its head, an emotional response is elicited. Depending on the severity and type, depression may cause a lack of interest, behavioral imbalances, and probabilities of physical harm. Besides feeling blue, individuals with depression may find it difficult to follow through with day-to-day tasks, hence the lack of confidence, personal withdrawal, and relationship issues.
Symptoms of Depression
- Difficulty concentrating
- Low self-esteem
- Decreased energy
- Loss of sex drive
- Angry outbursts
- Thoughts of self-harm
- Insomnia /Sleep disturbances
- Persistent worry
- Irritability / Restlessness
- Loss of appetite
- Suicidal thoughts
Root Causes of Depression
- Major events
- Substance abuse
- Nutrient deficiency
Type of Depression
Major depressive disorder - When addressing major disorder, individuals experience difficulties with sleep, work, eating, and enjoyment in usually pleasurable activities. Even though some people only experience one episode, others may have many recurrences.
Psychotic depression - With psychotic depression, individuals experience severe withdrawal, which is accompanied by thoughts of delusion and bouts of hallucination.
Dysthymic disorder - Although not as severe as major, dysthymic disorder can last much longer, and it is not as obstructive. Dysthymia can also become associated with other symptoms as well.
Postpartum depression (PND)- Not to be confused with the baby blues, postpartum depression is associated with a major depressive disorder that hits after the first week of birth.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - As individuals spend less time in the sun due to general location, profession, and schedule, they may experience seasonal affective disorder. In certain countries with shorter summers, light therapy has been an effective combat tool.
Bipolar disorder - Bipolar disorder, also known as manic-depressive disorder, defines an individual who experiences extreme highs and extreme lows, which are referred to as manias.
Depression Diet & Lifestyle Changes
- Eat organic, unrefined, low sugar foods. Normalizing insulin levels is an important step in maintaining mood health.
- When in doubt, check serotonin. Oftentimes referred to as the "feel good" hormone, serotonin helps regulate mood, regulates sleep, curbs anxiety, and fights depression.
- Exercise is essential for mood stabilization, and it boosts dopamine. Whether its running, playing sports, biking, or simply walking, exercise boosts important neuropeptides for serious mood managing support.
- Consume more healthy fats, such as saturated fats from grass-fed, hormone-free meats, organic butter, MCT rich coconut milk, Omega-3 oily salmon, and full-fat cheeses.
- Lookout for food coloring's and preservatives, which studies have shown to be detrimental to mood.
- New research has shown a strong correlation between depression and vitamin D. Even though sunlight is an excellent source, it can become especially difficult for those suffering from short summer seasons and irregular workplace schedules to get enough. Hence, supplementation.
- Meditation, guided imagery, deep breathing exercises, and light therapy are all considerable alternatives to side-effect ridden medications.
- If the thyroid, adrenal, and sex hormone are imbalanced, your mood can be thrown overboard as well.
- If you don't like heavy exercising, try out yoga. Yoga is a whole-body approach to maintaining well-being, plus some instructors even specialize in depression treatment.
- Set goals, make a daily routine full of fun activities, and establish a healthy sense of communication. If you have a problem, the first step is gaining a sense of leverage to talk about it.