It’s estimated by the World Health Organization that 350 million people in the world suffer from depression. In fact, depression is so widespread that it’s considered to be the most common mental illness in the world. For many people, depression is not just a singular episode in which we all go through, but rather it is a debilitating and life-shattering experience.
Depression slowly wears down the sufferer to a point where they become almost or completely non-functioning. Even if sufferers are functioning, depression removes the enjoyment process out of life which leads to a colorless existence.
Fortunately, there are many treatment venues for depression after diagnosis. Common treatments include medications such as SSRI’s (Effexor, Celexa, Lexapro) and a range of therapy treatments. Some of the most effective therapy treatments include psychotherapy, cognitive behavior therapy, and dialectic behavior therapy.
In addition to therapy and medication, self-care has positive results for people suffering from depression. Self-care includes:
Exercise: Getting regular exercise can drastically improve one’s mood. The act of exercising changes the chemical composition of the body and may increase feel-good chemicals in the brain. Cardiovascular training is shown to be effective in improving one’s mood.
Diet: Diet may play a significant role in depression. Eating healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, and lean meats may help improve mood. In addition to improved mood, a healthy diet may also improve self-image which helps with depression. When you look your best and your body is operating at it’s best, you will generally feel an improvement in mood.
Sleep: Sleep has an incredible impact on both our mood and physical function. If you are not getting enough sleep you may be exacerbating any mood symptoms you may have. It’s generally recommended that you get 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night. In contrast, if you sleep TOO much it may also exacerbate your depression and negatively affect your life in terms of productivity.
If you haven’t already taken the depression quiz, you can find it by scrolling to the top of this article.