Steps to Fight Depression
The ability to stop the pain and sorrow attributed to depressed states human beings feel during their lifetimes is something we all aspire to possess. In order to truly fight something, you must first understand the origin and mechanism by which something persists. Gathering information regarding the habits, the rituals, and patterns of the state of depression is crucial. By refining and narrowing down the major characteristics, environmental factors, biological factors, and psychological factors of depression, we can better design strategies to combat such an odious foe.
An Overview of Depression
Depression is a state that most people experience in their lives at one point or another. It is a response to difficult situations that present themselves in life and is part of the human condition. Sometimes people don’t feel sadness, but experience other symptoms that might be related to a condition known as depression. Depression comes in many forms and can be mild and transitory, as with the loss of a loved one or after a pregnancy, or can be more severe as with major depressive order. Whether it is a clinical depression that requires further attention by psychological counseling depends on the severity of the symptoms.
Symptoms May Include:
- Concentration Issues
- Loss of Appetite
- Suicidal Thoughts
- Feelings of Worthlessness
If these symptoms are being experienced by someone, there are steps to fight depression.
Exercise is a Wonderful Way to Fight Depression
Breaking a sweat is one of the most effective ways to improve mental health and mental fitness. It has a profound effect on anxiety, depression, ADHD, stress, and so many other benefits. Even gentle and subtle exercise routines can get the blood flowing and circulate oxygen and various nutrients throughout the body. A moving body produces signals to a human nervous system that is depressed. The brain’s ability to produce neurotransmitters such as dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine is usually hampered by depression. In essence, exercise is trying to jumpstart the brain into producing these positive neurotransmitters. Exercise boosts the production of brain-developed neurotrophic factor, a protein that helps neurotransmitters function.
The general public health guidelines recommend a total of 150 minutes a week of moderately-intense aerobic activity, such as brisk walking, jogging, rowing, swimming or cycling. These activities stimulate and strengthen the heart and lungs as well as improve the body’s use of oxygen. Oxygen is the main driver of mitochondria function, which converts the nutrients and oxygen into adenosine triphosphate. ATP is the main source of energy for most cellular processes, so without it, the body can’t synthesize the proteins that help produce the neurotransmitters responsible for proper mental health. Natural cannabis-like brain chemicals such as endogenous cannabinoids are also released during exercise. These good feeling endorphins are essential to positive emotions.
There are psychological and emotional benefits of exercise that also trend toward a more positive outlook. Meeting and exceeding exercise goals can boost your self-confidence. Toning your body can also boost your self-image and self-confidence. The social interaction in group activities such as basketball, yoga, and other multiplayer activities can be part of the steps to fight depression. Coping mechanisms that involve interacting with others are a good way to bridge the gap between sorrow and hope.
Diet’s Role In Treating Depression
There are steps to fight depression that include a healthy diet. Studies have shown that people with moderate to severe depression have made improvements in their moods and signs of depression by eating healthier foods. The “SMILES” trial was a randomized, controlled trial of individuals with a major depressive episode of 18 or over on the Montgomery-Asberge Depression Rating Scale, who, for twelve weeks, participated in following a specific dietary regimen that included counseling with a dietitian. The focus was on eating whole grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, fish, lean red meats, chicken, low-fat dairy, eggs and olive oil. The promising results of the dietary changes showed a promising future for nutritional psychiatry research, as thirty-two percent of the participants experienced remission and were no longer considered depressed.
Nutrients in Foods that Reduce Depression:
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids (flaxseed, chia seed, walnuts, almonds, salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel)
- Selenium (whole grains, brazil nuts, yellowfin tuna, halibut, grass-fed beef, turkey, liver, chicken)
- Vitamin D (salmon, tuna, mackerel, cheese, egg yolks, beef liver)
- Antioxidants (strawberry, blackberry, dark chocolate, blueberry, walnut, cherry, tomato, kale, spinach, cranberry, pecan, grape, goji berry)
- B Vitamins (pork, poultry, fish, bread, oatmeal, wheatgerm, brown rice, eggs, vegetables)
- Zinc (pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, garlic, sesame seeds, watermelon seeds, wheat germ, squash seeds, chickpeas)
- Protein (eggs, seeds, nuts, lentils, cheese, yogurt, poultry, pork, beef, seafood, tofu)
Foods to Avoid for Depression:
- Refined Foods
- Processed Oils
The Treatment Specialist Can Help with Steps to Fight Depression
Sometimes just talking about our issues can be a cathartic experience, which can relieve the symptoms of depression. Sharing your experiences and struggles with a professional can sometimes help us manage our thoughts of despair. Even taking pen to paper and writing down our issues can serve as a way of releasing our emotions. Professional counselors and experienced life coaches can also introduce exercises that can help us understand, accept, and acknowledge our emotions. That is the first step into understanding ourselves and treating our depression. Now, that we understand more about our depression, it is time to organize, implement, and seek help. Please contact The Treatment Specialist today at (866) 644-7911 for resources for inpatient and outpatient rehab for depression.