When feeling depressed it isn’t easy to get into the frame of mind that motivates you to pull yourself out of it. What causes depression and are there ways to beat the blues other than anti-depressant drugs?
There are a number of different types of depression. Money troubles, a relationship break-up, job loss or death of a loved one can cause a person to feel depressed. Sometimes symptoms of anxiety can mask a state of depression, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is typified by depression which reoccurs at the same time every year, such as in the winter. Post natal depression can occur after giving birth while chronic depression is characterised by episodes of depression that last for years.
Some people are prone to depression due to irregularities in the biochemical make-up of the brain. This type of depression might also be associated with hormonal changes, anaemia, allergies or following a major operation.
Symptoms of depression include feelings of loneliness, isolation and despair, loss of interest in family, social or working life; a sense of physical heaviness and slowness in movement, losing or gaining weight, feeling restless and unable to focus or feeling tired all the time, lack of confidence and self-esteem, difficulty making decisions, thinking about death or suicide and a strong sense of hopelessness.
Some people prefer to cope with their depression without the use of anti-depressants. Coping with depression is being able to understand what may have triggered this current psychological state. Being able to pinpoint a reason, such as a sudden job loss, huge bill that can’t be paid or an argument with a friend, makes it easier to understand why you feel depressed. Not all the time, however, is it so easy to recognise where it has come from.
The best way to cope with depression is to remove the trigger. If visiting certain people or places always leaves you feeling down, stop feeling so obliged to have to visit them. If it is money problems, consulting a professional for advice on how you might better handle your finances is a positive step in the right direction.
Alternative Treatments for Depression ~
Massage ~ Many people find massage relaxing and this helps relieve symptoms of tension, stress and depression.
Aromatherapy ~ Aromatherapy oils that may help feelings of depression include: clary sage, neroli, otto, Roman camomile, rose and thyme. Add six to eight drops to your bath and relax!
Vitamins ~ Vitamin B6 is often recommended for mood swings associated with period problems and depression.
Borage or Rosemary Tea ~ One or two cups of Borage or Rosemary tea a day can help lift your spirits.
Nutritious Meals ~ You might crave chocolate or carbohydrates when you are depressed but what’s more important is proteins, fruit, vegetables and whole grains.
Exercise and Keep Busy ~ Take up some form of regular exercise. Get involved in community events. Force yourself to visit concerts, museums or the cinema and get out with friends. You may not be in the mood to motivate yourself but once you are out you could feel a lot happier.
Avoid Upsetting News or Reading ~ Avoid watching or reading horror stories, violent crimes or fiction where the characters are emotionally disturbed because of a traumatic childhood. Feed your mind with positive, uplifting news instead.
Be sociable ~ You may not feel like mixing with other people but having a strong network of friends and someone you trust who you can really talk to can make a big difference when you are feeling depressed.
Warning: If symptoms relating to depression are severe and last for more than a few weeks, professional help should be sought.