DEPRESSION. What It Is, What Causes It And Natural Ways To Fight It.
I’ve been talking about the brain and all things brain related for over 2 decades now. One of the most misunderstood things in relation to the brain is depression. It is a disease, not something you can just “get over” or “work out of“. It is a real thing that affects the brain’s chemistry.
What is depression? It may feel like a headache or just a bad day, sometimes that headache or bad day may be so intense that it clouds your head and it keeps you from being able to focus on anything. You back away from your friends, your family and socializing. You no longer find enjoyment in things you once did. You feel numb to the world and everything around you. It destroys relationships and people often want to be alone feeling that they no longer have a purpose. It is a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Depression leads people to feel helpless or in despair. It often can lead to people doing one of two things; something that can help themselves or something to hurt themselves. If anyone around you tells you that they are depressed the worst thing you can do is to tell them to “brush it off“. Try to find them help and take it seriously.
What causes depression? Genetics is a main factor when it comes to this disease. It could be caused by a variation in the serotonin transporter gene. Everyone has two copies of this gene and there are long and short variations. You get one copy from each parent, you either get 2 long, 2 short. or 1 of each. 33% of people who receive one short copy of this gene are depressed. Those that have 2 short copies have a higher percentage of being depressed and those with 2 long have a lower chance of depression. Other causes can be a change in hormones, stress, grief and substance abuse.
There a few things that you can do to help break up the times you are feeling depressed although they are not a cure.
- Sunlight – Getting vitamin D has been known to boost your mood and combat depression.
- Caring for a pet – Animals have been used in therapy for many years. Pets offer an unconditional love that can help people with depression.
- 8 Hours of sleep – Depression can disrupt your sleep cycle. You are either getting too much sleep or not enough. Try to focus on 8 hours only.
- Exercise – Stress is a major factor for depression and exercise can help reduce stress which in turn will elevate your mood.
- Socialize – Get out and around people even when you don’t feel like you are able to. Plan to do something you once enjoyed. Maybe that is a baseball game or concert, try to find enjoyment in the things you once enjoyed.
- Nutrition – Don’t skip your meals and watch what you eat. Also try to consume plenty of vitamin B12 and Folic Acid.
This disease is often caused by genetics and things that you can not control. Just like any other disease, seek help. There should be no stigma to seeking help for depression. About 2/3 of people who suffer from depression never seek help. If you or someone you know battles depression please visit a doctor in your area for help.
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