There are more people than ever being honest with themselves, and loved ones, and acknowledging that something is going on with them that is more than just sadness. Depression a feeling of hopelessness and deep unhappiness with one’s life. Depression can affect anyone regardless of who you are, where you come from, and what you look like. There are millions of people who struggle with it and are trying to find a way to fight depression.
There is more than one way to combat depression. Some people use medication, some use exercise, some choose therapy. People find what works for them. There are, however, very clear healthy and unhealthy ways to deal with you or your loved one’s depression. We want to give you some healthier ways of dealing with depression, but first, you must be able to identify some of the major signs of depression.
Signs of Depression
There are some common signs of depression that many people experience, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. These are changes in a person, or yourself that you may recognize immediately, and decide to reach out for some help.
- Abrupt weight change
- Sleep deprivation and anxiety
- Growing indecisiveness
Apart from the abovementioned signs, several studies also found that depression increases the risk of noncommunicable disorders and diseases, suicide, chronic illnesses, as well as substance use disorders especially when depressive individuals try to find relief from their depressive symptoms by using drugs or alcohol.
There are some signs of depression that are so subtle they can be easily missed by those closest to the person. Some can almost seem normal, but it is the depression that is the root cause of the behavior. These are some of the most overlooked signs of depression.
- Body aches
- Snappy/ Angry Behavior
- Increased drinking or begin using drugs
- Let their appearance/ hygiene go
- Become a workaholic
Depression and Your Hormones
Depression is a mental illness, but it is not just what is happening in your brain. Your hormones can play a substantial part in how you are processing your world and feeling. A hormonal imbalance can cause depression. A similar time when hormones affect what you are thinking and feeling during the time of adolescents. The hormones are in flux at that time, causing an imbalance.
Estrogen can help to elevate your mood via its effect’s neurotransmitters such as serotonin. If the levels of serotonin in the brain are low, depression, problems sleeping, and anxiety can all become symptoms of that deficiency. When serotonin is low but there is an increase of estrogen, that can bring hormone levels into balance and eliminate the depression.
Progesterone is a hormone that helps to calm you down, helps you to relax, and helps you to sleep. If you are experiencing a hormone imbalance progesterone may be the answer. Progesterone is produced naturally in the body and helps to eradicate depression, mood swings, and irritability.
Much like estrogen, testosterone, and not having the right amount to balance out your body, can have an impact on mood. Testosterone affects self-confidence, the elevation of mood, and a general sense of well-being. Depression and anxiety have long been linked to low testosterone levels.
The thyroid also produces hormones that affect your mood. People who suffer from hypothyroidism, the under activeness of the thyroid, often suffer from depression as well.
What are the Natural Ways to Fight Depression?
Most doctors prescribe medications like anti-depressants to help a patient with depression. While medication can greatly help someone suffering from depression, it shouldn’t be the first go-to treatment option unless one is already suicidal or suffering from serious effects of depression. There are many holistic therapies you could try to help you combat your depression.
If you are experiencing depressive episodes, it is important to know that anti-depressants can cause serious side-effects. So, if your depressive symptoms are not yet severe, it is best to first consider healthy and natural methods that can help you fight depression and feel better such as the following:
Results of research studies reveal that exercise can significantly improve the symptoms of depression and make you feel better (Dr. Lynette Craft & Dr. Frank Perna, 2004). When you exercise regularly, your brain releases endorphins and other natural chemicals that make you feel a general sense of well-being. In other words, you will feel happy! Apart from giving you a natural “high”, exercising regularly will also give you a healthy distraction so you won’t focus on negative thoughts all the time.
Get a good dose of healthy sunshine
Getting a good dose of healthy sunshine not only increases your vitamin-D levels but your serotonin levels as well. As discussed above, serotonin can significantly improve your mood and reduce your depressive symptoms.
These are just some of the natural and healthy ways to combat depression. All the items on the list above are achievable. Ask a significant other, family member or good friend to do these things with you so you will not be alone in your journey.