Depression is such a physically and mentally debilitating condition. It restricts your body from doing the normal day-to-day activities and jeopardizes your work and how you deal with others.
The National Institute of Mental Health reports that more than 11.6 million Americans are suffering from depression.
According to the latest research findings, early symptoms of depression should be dealt with immediately. Otherwise, major depression sets in and can result in cardiovascular complications. Researchers are exploring the connections between depression and heart disease, thyroid malfunction, and immune system failure.
Many of us struggle during the holiday season with depression. But with the growing body of evidence that depression can harm our bodies leading to complicated diseases, depression should not be ignored.
Symptoms of depression to watch for are:
- Inability to concentrate
- Changes in appetite
- Fatigue (no energy)
- Apathetic (don’t care)
- Hyperactivity (bought of manic activity)
- Insomnia (can’t sleep)
- Joint pain, limb pain, back pain (yes there are physical aches)
- Digestion problems, abdominal pain
Things that can trigger depression:
- Stress (This is the time of year with lots of added pressures.)
- Lack of Sleep
- Hormonal Imbalances
- Drugs and Alcohol (Use restraint at office parties.)
Tips for keeping depression at bay:
- Get all your activities, events, meetings and obligations written down and organized.
- Keep a regular schedule. (Don’t let all your normal activities go hay wire.)
- Eliminate stress. (Say “No” to a few things)
- Get some sunlight.
- Exercise (Remember how helpful those endorphins can be.)
- Avoid alcohol and drugs.
- Practice good eating habits. (This will give your body the nutrients you need.)
- Have some fun. (Sing Christmas songs loud, go sledding, or watch your favorite old movie.)
- Take up a hobby. (Learn something new. Now is the time it will soon be a brand new year. How about welding or maybe dancing.)
- Join a support group.
- Champion a cause. (Find something you care about or can pretend to care about, animals the environment, your local school board, a political candidate and go for it.)
Depression in and of itself is serious. But research is showing a relationship between depression and other illnesses. Don’t let things go undiagnosed or untreated.
Dr. Holly takes us inside the brain to show us why depression is more than just a “down mood.” In this segment, learn about what depression is and the various types of depression.
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