It is natural to feel sad for some time following any kind of loss. Sadness is a temporary situation that a person can get out of and continue living. However, if the feeling persists and it is accompanied by hopelessness, anxiety, helplessness, dejection and feelings of emptiness, then a person is depressed. Depression is a mental disorder that requires medical attention because it affects life in many ways. Other symptoms may be loss of appetite, overeating, no interest in favourite activities, oversleeping, lack of sleep, fatigue, dispair, short temper, low self esteem and guilt.
Depression can also be caused by medicines, changes in brain chemistry, genetic inclination, guilt, environmental poisoning, loss of a loved one, illness, loss of a job, loss through disasters, etc. Some women tend to suffer from it after giving birth to a baby which is linked to hormonal changes in the body. Other people get seasonal affective disorder which is caused by lack of vitamin D due to the absence of the sun in winter. Some people swing between mania and depression in bipolar disorder.
Depression Causes a lot of Health Problems
Overeating can result from depression when a person attempts to find comfort from food. Most comfort eating involves fast foods, ice cream and candy bars because they are readily available and affordable. The risk of eating those foods is the development of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and heart disease. The depression sufferer then has to worry about chronic diseases that did not exist before the disorder set in.
Lack of appetitie will lead to malnutrition and loss of weight
This leads to low immunity leading to many illnesses that the person normally would fight off. It may start with flus and colds and later even larger infections will set in.
Poor sleep means that the sufferer is tired all the time and can cause accidents on the road or at work, harming the self or other people. Lack of sleep also leads to low immunity resulting in frequent illnesses.
Lack of sleep also leads to low immunity resulting in frequent illnesses.
A depressed person can oversleep all the time
As a result he/she fails to accomplish anything during the day and to engage in favourite activities, will miss work and will neglect hygiene as well. This will lead to poor health in the long run.
Guilt, the feeling of self reproach for perceived or actual wrong doing, can be one of the symptoms that a sufferer has. For guilt to persist a lot of negative thinking must exist. Unfortunately negative thinking causes the release of cortisol and adrenaline which make a person irritable, restless, and increase blood pressure and heart rate. These stress hormones also cause inflammation in the body. Illness can result from feelings of guilt.
Depression Generally Has a Negative Impact on Life
A person who is depressed and is very sad or tired all the time or needs to sleep all the time can easily withdraw from society. These problems also prevent enjoyment of favourite activities which the sufferer then avoids. The more a person withdraws from society, the more the depression has a hold on the sufferer. It becomes a vicious cycle of continued depression and further withdrawal from society leading to more depression. If a person fails to snap out of it then relationships with family, friends and colleagues can be affected seriously.
As a matter of fact the disorder can be accompanied by thoughts of self harm which may involve the harming of other people, especially family members. Therefore depressed people can be dangerous! The implication here is that if you or someone that you know is depressed, get help fast.
Seek Medical or Psychological Help to Treat Depression
It does not matter what the cause it, a depressed person is very difficult to live with and to work with. If you or someone close to you is depressed, seek medical help.
A visit to the doctor for an assessment is a good beginning
The doctor may prescribe some medicine and encourage the sufferer to exercise, to eat healthy food and to stick to a regular sleep routine. Exercise helps the sufferer to better handle stress and the endorphins released during exercise provide a mental boost. After exercise the body is more relaxed and sleeping comes more easily. Continued exercise means more mental boosts and more sleep and a rise from depression.
Another way that you can get help is to approach a certified therapist or a guidance counselor who can listen to you and find out what is causing the problem. Working with the therapist or counselor will help you to deal with the causes so that you can move on with your life.
You can even approach experts like psychologists or psychiatrist who can prescribe light therapy for seasonal affective disorder, or provide cognitive behavioural therapy that will help you to change your mindset.
Natural ways of dealing with depression exist
For example, you can start on yoga exercises. Some yoga postures massage certain organs and glands, encouraging the production of much needed hormones that relieve stress.
Consider meditation too because it calms the mind, relaxes the body and releases stress. Guided meditation is available on apps, on YouTube and on CDs.
If you are into herbs, then take green tea and chamomile tea which are known to be calming and St. John’s wort tea which relieves the symptoms of depression.
If you prefer essential oils, then try sandalwood oil, basil essential oil, lavender essential oil, bergamot essential oil, Roman chamomile oil and ylang ylang essential oil. Either diffuse the chosen essential oils or dilute it and apply it topically or inhale it directly. Essential oils tend to cross the blood-brain barrier and affect the areas of the brain that control feelings and they have been proven to be effective for centuries.
There is hope for the depressed with so many options to choose from. Do not let yourself or a loved one suffer longer from depression. Get help fast.