You Have Depression
Depression is a mood disorder that affects approximately 5% of the U.S. population (and about 15% of Mexican women, according to the National Institute of Psychiatry) and is characterized by feelings of sadness, anger or frustration.
Everyone feels blue or sad occasionally, but these feelings are generally temporary and disappear within a few days.
When someone has depressive disorder, it interferes with their daily life and normal functioning and causes pain for both the person suffering from the disorder and for those who care about him or her.
Depression is a common but serious illness and most sufferers need treatment to get better. Many people with depression never seek treatment.
As opposed to an occasional streak of unhappiness, this state of mind lasts for weeks or months, and interferes with daily life.
It can cause sleeping problems or make it more difficult to concentrate and lead to angry outbursts or a desire to avoid socialization. It also commonly causes weight loss or weight gain.
WHY IT HAPPENS
Depression can be caused by stressful experiences or come with an illness or chronic pain. Older adults who are socially isolated have a greater chance of developing it.
It appears that women have a greater risk than men of developing it. A genetic predisposition and abnormal levels of cerebral chemicals related to mood, such as serotonin, can also influence its development.
What are the symptoms of depression?
Persistent feelings of sadness, anxiety or emptiness.
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism.
- Feelings of guilt, uselessness, and/or helplessness.
- Irritability, restlessness.
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies that used to be enjoyable, including sex.
- Fatigue and lack of energy.
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions.
- Insomnia, waking up very early or sleeping too much.
- Excessive eating or loss of appetite.
- Thoughts of suicide or attempted suicide.
Persistent pain and discomfort, headaches, colic or digestive problems which don’t improve even with treatment.
HOW TO TREAT MILD DEPRESSION
All the time there is more scientific evidence of the very real therapeutic effects of exercising.
In depressed patients who participate in physical activities such as running, walking, riding a bicycle and swimming, they see a significantly greater improvement in the symptoms than those who don’t exercise.
When someone is depressed, it can be difficult to get motivated to go to the gym, therefore it might be best to establish small goals- a short walk or a yoga class- before doing 30 to 40 minutes of physical activity daily.
Natural Remedies – St. John’s Wort?
About 30 studies have found that this herb (Hypericum perforatum) is as effective as the anti-depressives which are usually prescribed for mild to moderate depression.
Since St. John’s wort can interfere with the way the body metabolizes medications, including contraceptive pills and HIV drugs, it is recommended for patients who don’t have to follow other drug therapy. The recommended dosage is from 900 to 1500mg a day.
Remember to always ask your doctor’s medical opinion, because if you are allergic to this plant, it can have contradictory effects. Otherwise you may have contrary effects.
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