Depression is categorized as a chronic feeling of sadness and hopelessness. These feelings can be brought on by many different factors, including genetics, brain chemistry, diet, and lifestyle. Depression can make day-to-day life very difficult, and carrying out simple tasks can leave you feeling exhausted. Symptoms of depression can include fatigue, feelings of worthlessness, and concentration problems. Read on to discover in more detail the causes of depression and ways you can treat it.
What Are the Causes of Depression?
There are a number of possible causes for depression, a few of which are outlined below:
Alcohol and drugs
Alcohol and drugs can have powerful effects on the body, and what starts out as a coping mechanism or a bit of fun can turn into a downward spiral of depression. Alcohol is a strong depressant and serves only to exaggerate negative feelings, while cannabis too has been linked with the onset of depression.
It is normal and healthy to respond to stressful or sad life events with a degree of emotion, but for some, this can trigger a more severe type of sadness and depression. Many people can subsequently become withdrawn and isolated, which can further intensify these feelings.
Unfortunately, some people are genetically predisposed to being more likely to develop depression. However, this does not mean it is inevitable. These people simply need to work a little bit harder to make preventative lifestyle choices.
How to Stop Depression
Here are some helpful tips to stop depression:
Get plenty of sleep
Lack of sleep can exacerbate depression by causing irrational thoughts and increasing stress levels. It is possible to promote good sleeping patterns by making sure your bedroom is cool, dark, and quiet. It could also help to get into a regular sleep pattern by going to bed at roughly the same time every night and waking up around the same time each morning.
Exercise encourages the release of the mood neurotransmitters serotonin and endorphins. Adults should be getting around 20 - 30 minutes of daily exercise, but any exercise is better than none. Cycling, swimming, walking, or gardening are all possible ways to elevate mood.
Try herbal remedies
St. John's wort and valerian are both herbs that have been shown to lift mood. It is thought that St. John's wort works by prolonging the action of serotonin in the brain, and valerian contains phytocompounds that have a relaxing effect.
This can help because the body responds to the relaxation state by decreasing blood pressure, pulse, and respiration rate. Start by slowly breathing in, and then breathe out, all the while paying attention to the body's natural relaxation response. Try and breathe as deeply as possible. This simple act of focusing on your body's relaxation will help promote peacefulness.
Depression can have negative effects on both body and mind, so it is important to take steps to stop it as early as possible. Applying these simple changes can elevate mood and reduce stress, ultimately leading to a better sense of overall well-being. If depression continues to be severe, however, medical advice should be sought.
- National Health Service UK. (2012). Clinical Depression. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Depression/Pages/Introduction.aspx
- University of Maryland Medical Center. (2013). Depression. Retrieved July 22, 2014, from http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/condition/depression