Everyone gets depressed every now and then. Depression might last for a short or long period of time depending on the person and the situation. You are not alone, over 350 million people suffer from depression worldwide.
Our ability to manage depression is what makes us different.
Life can get tough; shit happens – things you have no control over.
Some Quotes to Make Feel Better When Depressed
“Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer” – Dorothy Rowe
“A big part of depression is feeling really lonely, even if you’re in a room full of a million people” – Lilly Singh
“If you don’t think your anxiety, depression, sadness and stress impact your physical health, think again. All of these emotions trigger chemical reactions in your body, which can lead to inflammation and a weakened immune system. Learn how to cope, sweet friend. There will always be dark days” – Kris Carr
“Depression, suffering and anger are all part of being human” – Janet Fitch
“Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up” – Thomas Edison
“When life knocks you down, try to land on your back, because if you can look up, you can get up” – Les Brown
THE SCIENCE OF DEPRESSION
Stress is a major trigger of depression
In a depressed person, a part of the brain called the hippocampus becomes smaller. This is the part concerned with memory and emotion.
Also, people with depression tend to have low levels of serotonin – the feel-good hormone. Serotonin-containing drugs help people with depression.
Genetics may also play a role as studies have shown that a variation in the serotonin transporter gene predisposes to depression.
10 SIGNS THAT YOU’RE DEPRESSED
- You can’t experience or imagine pleasure
- You feel down and tired easily
- Sleeping a lot than usual or inability to get enough sleep
- Lack of sex drive
- You lack the motivation to do anything
- Feeling of worthlessness
- You lose or gain weight sporadically
- The feeling of pains and aches that are not real
- You experience delusions and hallucinations. Delusion is a belief or perception that is not real while hallucination is the perception of something that is not present
- The feeling of committing suicide.
HOW TO PREVENT AND MANAGE DEPRESSION
1. Avoid stress. It is important to avoid stress and anything that stresses you if you want to prevent depression. A study found out that stress has a negative impact on mental health, life satisfaction and general health. Stress is detrimental to health.
2. Do regular exercise. In our article on “Why You Need to be Fit”, we talked about the negative impact of stress and how regular fitness will help release “feel good hormones” that will improve your mood in general.
3. Eat healthily. Eating certain types of food can predispose you to depression. This is especially true for food rich in fat and cholesterol. Eating more whole grains, fruits and vegetables are good and beneficial for health.
4. Get enough sleep. Sleep is beneficial for mental health and lack of sleep is detrimental. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your brain won’t function normally and you will have a dull mood. Getting enough sleep helps enhance our mood in general.
5. Talk to someone about it. You can talk to a close one or a loved one when things get rough. No one is immune to depression. This will help you get it off your chest and your loved ones will also try to make you happy.
6. Avoid addictions. There is a close link between addiction and depression. This is especially true in people addicted to drugs and alcohol. We have talked about how to break an addiction. Read the article here.
7. Find a passion. If you have something in your life you’re passionate about then no matter how rough life gets you can always fall back to it. Find a passion, find your purpose in life and you will rarely slip into depression. It might be fitness, music, religion, whatever it might be, find it and hold on to it.
MEDICAL TREATMENT OF DEPRESSION
There are some drugs that can be used to manage depression. These drugs not only affect depression but at first increase motor activity that is movement.
These drugs work by increasing the level of norepinephrine – which increases motor activity or serotonin – the feel-good hormone.
Tricyclic Antidepressants. Increase both norepinephrine and serotonin nonselectively. Examples are Amitriptyline and Imipramine.
Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors(SSRI). These are the most widely used antidepressants. This is simply because they have fewer adverse effects than others. Commonly used SSRIs are Fluoxetine, Fluvoxamine, Sertraline, Paroxetine and Citalopram.
Monoamine oxidase inhibitors. These group of drugs inhibit monoamine oxidase – an enzyme which destructs monoamines such as norepinephrine and serotonin. Thereby, increasing their levels. Examples are Phenelzine, Moclobemide
We strongly recommend you to consult your doctor before starting any antidepressant.