Depression is one of the most common mental health problems today. It is not just a state of unhappiness or sadness. It is a true disease. The cause seems to be related to a decrease in chemicals that transmit signals in the brain. Having a family history of depression, alcoholism or suicide increases the risk. Chronic illness, chronic pain, migraine headaches and high emotional stress also increase the risk.
Depression can cause many different symptoms, such as:
-- Loss of appetite
-- Not being able to sleep
-- Sleeping too much
-- Tiredness not related to physical exertion
-- Restlessness or irritability
-- Slowness of movement or speech
-- Feeling depressed or withdrawn
-- Loss of interest in things you once enjoyed
-- Difficulty in concentrating, poor memory, have trouble making decisions
-- Thoughts of harming or killing oneself, or thoughts that life is not worth living
-- Low self-esteem
The best treatment for depression is a combination of medicine and psychotherapy. Antidepressant medicines can reduce suffering and can improve the ability to function during the depressed period. Therapy can offer emotional support and help you understand emotional factors that may be causing the depression.
1) Be kind to yourself. Make it a point to do things that you enjoy (gardening, walking in nature, going to a movie, etc.). Reward yourself for small successes.
2) Take care of your physical body. Eat a balanced diet (low in saturated fat and high in fruits and vegetables). Establish an exercise plan at least 3 times a week for 30 minutes. Even mild-moderate exercise (like brisk walking) can make you feel better.
3) Avoid alcohol, which can make depression worse.
FOLLOW-UP with your doctor as advised. It is important to keep in contact with a health care provider until your symptoms begin to improve.
GET PROMPT MEDICAL ATTENTION if any of the following occur:
-- Feeling extreme depression, fear, anxiety, or anger toward yourself or others
-- Feeling out of control
-- Feeling that you may try to harm yourself or another
-- Hearing voices that others do not hear
-- Seeing things that others do not see
-- Can’t sleep or eat for 3 days in a row