Depression: the Silent Epidemic
in its clinical form, is a mood disorder in which the individual may feel
sad, helpless, hopeless, as if life is just too overwhelming and burdensome.
Every one of us experiences depressed feelings from time to time; no one can
escape the hurtful things in life. Its how we react that matters in the face of
Question that often arises is- Can I overcome depression? Yes, you can. To
combat and overcome depression all of us need to learn how to face and manage
difficulties skillfully. Sadness and hurt are parts of life that no one escapes.
Easy it may sound, the goal should be to handle difficulties as temporary
problems to be solved in efficient ways.
There are a wide variety of treatment options for dealing with depression.
Each case is different and the prescribed treatment varies from person to
person. Some treatment options include:
Any combination of the above.
In this section of the article we deal with, Self Help Techniques to
deal with Depression. With increasing side effects of medication for depression,
like weight-gain, anti-depressants should be the last resort.
can calm the mind and reduce stress, making dealing with depression easier. This
technique brings you in contact with the present moment and creates awareness of
what is around you.
Inhale slowly and deeply. Imagine your breath beginning at
your head and traveling down to your feet, then coming back up again. Feel your
breath travel through your body. How long you spend in this meditation it all
depends on your tolerance for it. If you're new to meditation, ten minutes might
be as much as you can handle. If you can last for or gradually increase your
time to thirty minutes that would be ideal.
Realistic goal setting
Goal setting fights depression by helping women regain a sense of control over
their lives. Regaining control over life also boosts self esteem and helps with
positive thinking. Remember that regardless of age, a one-week goal is a
manageable way to begin with. Goals should be “SMART”: Specific,
Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely, to build self-confidence.
relaxation techniques can ease stress, muscle tension and anxiety.
Progressive relaxation teaches- how to relax at will. This way of relaxation
allows you to regain control over your body's involuntary muscle tension, and
trains your body to release that tension. Basically, you focus your attention on
one group of muscles at a time (the left arm, for instance, or the lower back
muscles). Which in turn helps you, to become aware of the tension and tightness
in that group of muscles, examining where the tension occurs and how it feels.
Now exaggerate the tension, tightening the muscles and then releasing. By making
the muscle even tighter than usual, you train your body to recognize how a
relaxing muscle feels. Over time, the muscles relax more easily, and you become
more aware of your body's tension trouble spots.
Breathing techniques can help you remain grounded and calm. Breath
counting is one of the more commonly used techniques. Sit comfortably, close
your eyes, and concentrate on your breathing. As you exhale, count each breath.
When you reach five, start back at one. If your mind wanders, return your mind
gently but firmly back to breath counting.
is a great tension-fighter. It can improve body image, confidence and
self-awareness. Exercise also increases the level of certain neurotransmitters
(endorphins) that are known to elevate mood. Summoning the energy to go to
aerobics class can be very difficult especially when you are feeling down and
out. Start off slowly—even ten minutes a day is better than nothing. Exercise
with a friend if possible, to help keep your motivation up. Even a simple walk
around the block is better than nothing and is a great way to start exercising.
Twenty to thirty minutes of bicycling,
running, or brisk
walking can relieve most common, mild
depressions. Yoga exercises combined with some deep
breathing and meditation each morning, will leave you feeling refreshed and
better able to face the day.
Correcting nutritional deficiencies, balancing blood sugar levels, and improving
the overall diet can significantly help to lift depression. The role of certain
amino acids, tryptophan and D, L-phenylalanine (DLPA) may also be significant.
when a balanced, wholesome diet is needed most, women who are suffering form
server depression neglect their body’s needs. The illness is quite distinct from
a normal, reactive response to disappointment and often leaves some people with
no appetite at all, while others go on binges or develop cravings for
As a result, victims of depression may often suffer form nutritional
deficiencies or imbalances – particularly a lack of B vitamins and
vitamin C, and of the minerals
potassium. The precise
relationship between different nutrients and the brain’s chemistry is still
unclear but malnourishment or weight problems clearly contribute to morale
EAT PLENTY OF
Whole grains, peas, lentils and other types of
Fresh fruit and vegetables
Learn meat, poultry and offal
Fish and shellfish
CUT DOWN ON
Caffeine, in tea, coffee or colas
If you are taking certain antidepressants, avoid:
Canned and processed meats
Calves or chicken liver
Beer, red wine and liqueurs
Processed or ripe cheese
Sugar, honey, sweets
Plenty of whole grains and pulses, and regular amounts of lean meat, offal, oily
fish, shellfish and eggs, will supply B vitamins, iron, potassium, magnesium,
copper and zinc. A high intake of fresh fruit and vegetables (such as asparagus,
broccoli, cabbage, melon, oranges and berries) will supply ample Vitamin C. Dark
green leafy vegetables will improve levels of calcium, magnesium and iron; while
dairy produce (preferably low fat) will boost reserves of calcium .
Too much caffeine (more than four cups of coffee or six cups of tea a day) can
exacerbate depression. Since caffeine also contributes to sleeplessness, and
insomnia is one of the symptoms of depression, sufferers should avoid drinking
tea of coffee before going to bed. People should be aware that the headaches and
lethargy, which are symptoms of sudden caffeine withdrawal, can last from one to
three days before real improvements are felt.
If you suspect that there is a link between a food sensitivity and your state of
mind, try eliminating the culprit foods from your diet to see if this brings
Traditional acupuncture treatment or electro-acupuncture can ease depression.
Some studies found it superior to anti-depressant drugs and with less
side-effects. Research has shown that acupuncture triggers the release of
endorphins in the brain. These chemicals affect various body systems, reduce
pain and make you feel good. Traditionally it is thought that acupuncture
removes blockages and promotes the flow of Qi energy on the meridians. This is
believed to improve the functioning of the internal organs.
Women need to be aware that weight gain is one of the
side-effects of ant-depressants, and should be accompanied with exercise and
caloric restriction. For long-term therapy, [bupropion] is less likely than
selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) to cause weight gain,
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Dated 27 February 2012