Do you endure or fight depression? I’m wondering what your response will be. From what has been observed, when one is depressed, one tends to weaken and endure .
However, just like any other disease, depression won’t leave without a fight. Depression is a common mental health disorder characterized by persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness. Also, there is a loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyable.
“The President of the Association of Psychiatrists in Nigeria (APN), Taiwo Obindo, says that more than 60 million Nigerians are suffering from mental illnesses”.
Moreover, globally about 322 million people are depressed. Hence, this condition is one great societal issue. Other physical symptoms like changes in appetite or sleep patterns, fatigue, and aches or pains may come with depression.
Depression tend to vary in severity, and can be caused by a combination of factors. However, It is treatable with therapy, medication, and lifestyle changes.
What is the root cause of depression?
Depression is a complex mental health disorder, and its root cause is not fully understood. It’s believed to be caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors.
Some possible factors that may contribute to the development of depression:
- Genetics: There is evidence that depression can run in families, indicating that genetics may play a role in the development of the disorder.
- Brain chemistry: Imbalances in certain neurotransmitters (such as serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine) may contribute to depression.
- Environmental factors: Trauma, abuse, neglect, loss of a loved one, financial stress, relationship problems, and other life stressors can increase the risk of developing depression.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions, such as chronic pain, thyroid disorders, and cancer, may increase the risk of depression.
- Substance abuse: Drug and alcohol abuse can increase the risk of depression and make symptoms worse.
- Hormonal changes: Changes in hormones during pregnancy, menopause, and other life stages can contribute to depression.
It’s important to note that the root cause of depression may be different from person to person. Hence, a personalized approach of treatment is best.
How do you fight depression?
As said earlier, depression can be treated with therapy, medication and lifestyle changes. So, you definitely, should not endure it .These treatment plans are all part of the fight against this condition.
Tips that help in the fight against depression :
1.Seek professional help: This is one of the most important steps in managing depression. A mental health professional can help you identify the cause of your depression and develop a treatment plan that works for you.
2.Engage in regular exercise: Exercise has been shown to be an effective mood booster and can help reduce symptoms of depression. Even moderate exercise, such as walking, can have a positive impact on mood.
3.Get enough sleep: Lack of sleep can exacerbate symptoms of depression. Aim for at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night and establish a consistent sleep routine. If you can’t go to sleep, you may try warm baths, use lavender oil or speak to your provider about it.
4.Connect with others: Social support can be crucial in managing depression. Reach out to friends, family, or a support group to help you feel less isolated.
5.Practice relaxation techniques: Techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, and yoga can help reduce stress and promote relaxation, which can help alleviate symptoms of depression.
6.Eat a healthy diet: A healthy diet can help regulate mood and energy levels. Aim to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
7.Set realistic goals: Depression can make it difficult to accomplish tasks, which can lead to feelings of failure and hopelessness. Set small, achievable goals for yourself and celebrate each accomplishment.
Albeit, managing depression is a journey, and it may take time to find the right combination of strategies that work for you. Hence, do not be afraid to reach out for help at any point.
What do Antidepressants do?
Antidepressants balance brain chemicals and help fight depression by doing just this.
They are a type of medication that are primarily used to treat depression, but may also be prescribed for other conditions. These conditions include anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and some types of chronic pain.
Antidepressants work by altering the balance of chemicals in the brain that are involved in regulating mood. These are specifically neurotransmitters such as serotonin, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
There are several classes of antidepressants, including selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs), and monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs). Each class works differently to affect these neurotransmitters.
SSRIs, for example, block the reabsorption of serotonin in the brain, which increases the levels of this neurotransmitter available to bind to receptors and promote feelings of well-being. SNRIs, on the other hand, block the reabsorption of both serotonin and norepinephrine.
Ultimately, the goal of antidepressants is to alleviate the symptoms of depression and other mood disorders by restoring the balance of these neurotransmitters in the brain.
Self – care:
I definitely mentioned lifestyle changes as an important aspect of the fight against depression. Here is where self-care comes in. It simply, is the practice of taking care of yourself to improve you physical, mental, and emotional well-being. And in all of the hullabaloo of the elections, self-care is even more important to avoid anxiety.
Still on the fight against depression, here’s how to do self-care:
- Prioritize rest and sleep: Get enough sleep, and rest when you need to. Rest and sleep are important for both physical and mental health.
- Eat healthily: Nourish your body with healthy and nutritious food. Avoid junk food, sugary drinks, and alcohol.
- Stay active: Exercise regularly to keep your body fit and healthy. You can also try yoga, meditation, or other forms of physical activity to help relieve stress and improve mental well-being.
- Take breaks: Take breaks from work or other stressful activities to avoid burnout. It’s important to take some time to relax and recharge.
- Engage in activities you enjoy: Do things that make you happy and bring you joy. This can be anything from reading a book to spending time with friends and family.
- Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness involves being present in the moment and being aware of your thoughts and feelings. This can help you manage stress and anxiety.
- Seek support when needed: Don’t be afraid to ask for help or support when you need it. This can be from friends, family, or a mental health professional.
Although, remember that self-care never is a one-time affair but rather should be continuous.
Advice for you when you’re feeling sad
It’s important to remember that everyone feels sad and depressed from time to time, and it’s okay to seek help and support when you need it. Here are some pieces of advice that may be helpful:
1.Reach out to someone you trust
2.Practice self-compassion: Be kind to yourself a. Try not to judge or criticize yourself for feeling this way.
3.Get outside: Spending time in nature or getting some exercise can help improve your mood and reduce stress.
4.Focus on the present moment: Try not to dwell on the past or worry about the future. Instead, focus on what you can do right now to take care of yourself and feel better.
Now it’s time to go, remember you do not have to endure depression, you rise and fight, and with a support system if you need to.