Is it any wonder that many people you know suffer from depression given the state of the economy, and world affairs? People become depressed over many different events, situations and circumstances. Some people even suffer from chemically induced depression or become depressed after being diagnosed with a chronic or terminal illness. There has been much talk in the news lately about depression so much so that many people are confused about what it all means for those suffering from depression.
A recent article featured on WebMD links depression and chocolate much to the dismay of chocoholics like myself. Die-hard chocolate lovers such as myself will gladly tell anyone within hearing that eating chocolates make them feel happier. Researchers at the University of California at San Diego may find something to disagree with about that sentiment. A recent study there found relationships between the amount of chocolate consumed and the individual’s mood. It was suggested that a person experiencing chocolate cravings might be having those cravings because they are experiencing a depressed mood and that the person than indulges in eating chocolates to life that mood. These same researchers concluded that further studies were needed before saying for certain that chocolate either causes or cures a depressed mood. I for one, have to admit that during times of stress such as when I am facing “finals” as a college student or when it comes time to pay the bills each month I tend to add chocolate to the shopping list in preparation for the cravings I know will be coming my way. Does this necessarily mean that I am depressed? Could it not mean that chocolate is a comfort food for me?
In order to tell if a person is depressed, there needs to be a clear understanding of the symptoms of depression. WebMD states that the classic symptoms of depression include one or more of the following: difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering details, feeling helpless or hopeless, feeling guilty or worthless, experiencing difficulty sleeping, being restless or irritable, finding that your eating habits have changed to overeating or not eating at all. A person suffering from depression may complain of persistent aches, pains, cramps, headaches or digestive issues that do not respond well to treatments. A person suffering from depression may make suicidal threats or attempts or express that they are extremely sad or anxious.
Other news articles have recently linked depression with Alzheimer’s disease such as the article found on WebMD where researchers followed study participants for 17 years studying the link between depression and dementia. Doctors have known for a long time that depression can lead to both memory lapses and cognitive impairments both common symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. The study in the WebMD article stated that 1 in 3 individuals with depressive symptoms at the beginning of the study developed some form of dementia during the study as opposed to 1 in 5 individuals who remained free of any depression diagnosis throughout the study. The article goes on to declare that 3 different studies were published in the July 6 issue of the magazine, Neurology, all suggesting that there is a link between late-life depression and Alzheimer’s or some other dementia.
Other links that can be discovered in the news regarding depression include yoga, hay fever, and exercise. You can read more about these possible links on this WebMD page where other news and features relating depression can be found.
In a world that is forever changing and becoming more demanding of our resources and time it is easy to understand that when people become overwhelmed and stressed out on a regular basis that there should be an increase in the occurrence of and awareness of depression. This will of course lead to more articles and news reports being seen and talked about online, on radio and on TV.