Everyone feels down once in a while. This is natural with life's ups and downs. However the human mind and spirit learn to cope with the situation, other happier events occur in the cycle of life and eventually you feel normal again. It is when these feelings of sadness and hopelessness persist for months at a time, it becomes a depressive disorder. It starts affecting your life, relationships and career. Depression is said to be caused by hormonal imbalances and can take various forms.
What are the different forms of depression?
Major depressive disorder - Major depression causes a person to be unable to function normally. He cannot perform day-to-day activities such as working, studying, eating or sleeping properly.
Dysthymic disorder - In dysthemia, depression symptoms persist for two years or longer but are less severe than major depressive disorder.
Psychotic depression - This is an illness caused by psychosis such as hallucinations.
Postpartum depression - This kind of depression affects approximately 15% of new mothers and takes place about a month after delivery.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - This is a seasonal depressive episode that occurs during winter months when there is less sunlight.
What are some symptoms of depression?
Feelings of sadness, hopelessness and anxiety
Low self esteem and a guilt complex
Inability to focus, remember and make decisions
Loss of interest in once pleasurable activities
Loss of appetite
Headaches, body aches and digestive problems that do not go away with treatment
If you have persistent symptoms of depression, you must visit a doctor. Depression is caused by hormonal imbalances and even severe cases respond to treatment. Your doctor may prescribe anti-depressants and other therapies
What are some natural ways to prevent and treat depression
Exercise regularly - Exercising, even walking for about 30 minutes outside in the fresh air and sunlight will add to physical and mental well being.
Pursue hobbies and activities - Take up a hobby or fun relaxing activity. Gardening, reading, listening to music or learning to play music, Scrapbooking are some activities that help to relieve stress and distract the mind.
Social network - Maintain an active social network. It is said that a good friend can be better than a counselor. Talk to family and friends.
Yoga and meditation help to focus the mind
Volunteer - Not only will you make new friends but you will also feel good about helping others. You will also feel more grateful for what you have.
Vitamins - Vitamins such as B12 and Vitamin D from sunlight are considered very useful for fighting depression.
Herbal remedies - Herbs such as St. John's Wort are well known for their abilities to fight depression. Bacopa and Ashwagandha relax the mind and increase mental clarity and focus.
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