Everyone occasionally feels blue or sad. But these feelings are usually short-lived and pass within a couple of days. When you have depression, it interferes with daily life and causes pain for both you and those who care about you. Depression is a common but serious illness.
Many people with a depressive illness never seek treatment. But the majority, even those with the most severe depression, can get better with treatment. Medications, psychotherapies, and other methods can effectively treat people with depression.
There are several forms of depressive disorders.
Major depressive disorder, or major depression, is characterized by a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person's ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities. Major depression is disabling and prevents a person from functioning normally.
Minor depression is characterized by having symptoms for 2 weeks or longer that do not meet full criteria for major depression. Without treatment, people with minor depression are at high risk for developing major depressive disorder.
Some forms of depression are slightly different, or they may develop under unique circumstances.
Most likely, depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.
Depressive illnesses are disorders of the brain.
Some types of depression tend to run in families. However, depression can occur in people without family histories of depression too. In addition, trauma, loss of a loved one, a difficult relationship, or any stressful situation may trigger a depressive episode. Other depressive episodes may occur with or without an obvious trigger.
Depression is a serious illness that can take a terrible toll on individuals and families. Untreated depression can result in emotional, behavioral and health problems that affect every area of your life. Complications associated with depression can include:
Your doctor will start by discussing your symptoms to make sure that they are not caused by any other illness. They can do some tests to rule out any physical condition.
Once it's established that it's depression, the action the doctor takes will depend on the severity of your depression and resources available in your area. Your experience of depression, low mood or anxiety will be unique to you, so it makes sense if you work with your doctor to find out what sort of care and treatment is going to be most helpful.
People of all ages and body types benefit from physical activity. Even if you feel out-of-shape or haven't been active in a long time, you can find activities that will work for you.
Staying active can help:
Reduce symptoms of depression
Lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and some types of cancers
Improve your strength and balance so you can stay independent
Improve your ability to think, learn, and make decisions
Help you look and feel better
Before you begin...
If you have a health problem like heart disease, diabetes, or obesity, talk to your doctor about the types and amounts of physical activity that are right for you.
To get the health benefits of physical activity, do a combination of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities.
Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activities. Choose activities that make your heart beat faster, like walking fast, dancing, or swimming. Start slowly. Build up to 30 minutes on most days of the week, at least 10 minutes at a time. Tell your doctor if you have shortness of breath, chest pain, or unplanned weight loss.
Do strengthening activities 2 days a week. Try using exercise bands or lifting hand weights. Muscle-strengthening activities include push-ups, sit-ups, and lifting weights.
You can also use cans of food as weights. Breathe out as you lift something, and breathe in as you relax. Holding your breath can cause changes in your blood pressure.
Do balance activities 3 or more days a week.
Practice standing on one foot.
Stand up from a sitting position.
Sign up for a yoga class, or try following a yoga video.
Depression generally isn't an illness that you can treat on your own. But you can do some things for yourself that will help. In addition to professional treatment, follow these self-care steps:
Stick to your treatment plan. Don't skip psychotherapy sessions or appointments, even if you don't feel like going. Even if you're feeling well, resist any temptation to skip your medications. If you stop, depression symptoms may come back, and you could also experience withdrawal-like symptoms.
Learn about depression. Education about your condition can empower you and motivate you to stick to your treatment plan.
Pay attention to warning signs. Work with your doctor or therapist to learn what might trigger your depression symptoms. Make a plan so that you know what to do if your symptoms get worse. Contact your doctor or therapist if you notice any changes in symptoms or how you feel. Ask family members or friends to help watch for warning signs.
Get exercise. Physical activity reduces depression symptoms. Consider walking, jogging, swimming, gardening or taking up another activity you enjoy.
Avoid alcohol and illegal drugs. It may seem like alcohol or drugs lessen depression symptoms, but in the long run they generally worsen symptoms and make depression harder to treat. Talk with your doctor or therapist if you need help with alcohol or substance abuse.
Get plenty of sleep. Sleeping well is important for both your physical and mental well-being. If you're having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor about what you can do.
Watch your weight in both directions. Unfortunately, there's no specific diet that works for depression. No studies have been done that indicate a particular eating plan can ease symptoms of clinical depression. Still, while certain diets or foods may not ease depression (or put you instantly in a better mood), a healthy diet may help as part of an overall treatment for depression. Here are 10 tips for eating for recovering from clinical depression.
1. Eat a Diet High in Nutrients Nutrients we all need include vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and even a small amount of fat. A deficiency in any of these nutrients leads to our bodies not working at full capacity -- and can even cause illness.
2. Fill Your Plate With Essential Antioxidants Antioxidants such as beta-carotene and vitamins C and E combat the effects of free radicals. Antioxidants have been shown to tie up these free radicals and take away their destructive power.
Sources of vitamin E: margarine, nuts and seeds, vegetable oils, wheat germ
3. Eat "Smart" Carbs for a Calming Effect
The connection between carbohydrates and mood is linked to the mood-boosting brain chemical, serotonin. Limit sugary foods and opt for smart or "complex" carbs (such as whole grains) rather than simple carbs (such as cakes and cookies), along with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which all contribute healthy carbs and fiber.
4. Eat Protein-Rich Foods to Boost Alertness
Try to include a protein source in your diet several times a day, especially when you need to clear your mind and boost your energy.
Good sources of healthy proteins: beans and peas, lean beef, low-fat cheese, fish, milk, poultry, soy products, yogurt
Watch Your Lifestyle Habits
Many people who are depressed also have problems with alcohol and/or drugs. Not only can alcohol and drugs interfere with mood, sleep, and motivation, they can also reduce the effectiveness of your depression medications. In addition, drinks and foods containing caffeine can trigger anxiety and make it difficult to sleep at night. Cutting out caffeine or stopping caffeine after noon each day can also help you get a better night's sleep.
Based on the eat well plate, try to eat:
Plenty of fruit and vegetables Did you know that we should be eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day?
Plenty of potatoes, bread, rice, pasta and other starchy foods Choose wholegrain varieties, or eat potatoes with their skins on for more fibre.
Some milk and dairy foods Go for lower-fat milk and dairy foods. These are healthier options to help you get enough protein and calcium.
Some meat, fish, eggs, beans and other non-dairy sources of protein These are important sources of protein, vitamins and minerals, and form part of a healthy balanced diet.
Just a small amount of foods and drinks those are high in fat or sugar Cut down on fat and sugar by eating fewer sweets, cakes and biscuits, and drinking fewer sugary soft drinks.
Sample Diet Plan :
Do not add SALT while cooking or as seasoning.
Life Long Instructions
Quit smoking and cut down on alcohol.
Limiting sugar, caffeine, and alcohol can promote health and reduce stress.