Depression affects approximately 18.8 million Americans each year, almost 10% of the U.S. population. 1 It is estimated that depression will be the second largest killer, next to heart disease, by the year 2020. 1 Depression can effect every aspect of a person’s life. Nobody wants to go through life carrying the burden of depression. Therefore, it is a good idea to be aware of the symptoms.
The symptoms of depression can vary from person to person. 2 Here are some symptoms to look for: 2
- Loss of interest in normal daily activities
- Feeling sad or down
- Feeling hopeless
- Crying spells for no apparent reason
- Problems sleeping
- Trouble focusing or concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions
- Unintentional weight gain or loss
- Being easily annoyed
- Feeling fatigued or weak
- Feeling worthless
- Loss of interest in sex
- Thoughts of suicide or suicidal behavior
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
If you notice these symptoms in yourself or someone else, it might be a good idea to schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional for a complete evaluation. You may also wish to use this helpful depression self-assessment tool. ..
Living with depression can be difficult, not only for the person with depression, but also for friends and family. If you know someone with depression, it is important to practice an extra level of understanding when you are around that person. You can’t always “see” how a depressed person is feeling. Here are 9 rules for living with a depressed person.
When treating depression, it is very important to find and treat the underlying cause(s) of depression, instead of just covering up its symptoms. 1 For example, a dysfunctional relationship could be an underlying cause of depression. It may also be helpful to investigate physical disorders as possible underlying causes of depression, such as immune disorders and hormone imbalances.
Once a person has been diagnosed with depression, it is important to begin the right treatment program in order to make a recovery. There are many different supplements and prescriptions available to help in treating depression. Here are some well-known natural supplements and therapies for treating depression:
- St. Johns Wort – this herb has been used traditionally to treat nervousness, sadness, worry and poor sleep. 3 St. John’s Wort has also been used to treat depression. 4
- Omega 3 Fatty Acids – these fatty acids are essential to proper brain function, and tend to work better than flax oil because they contain EPA and DHA. 3
- B Complex Vitamins – Many people with depression have a deficiency in one or more of the B Vitamins. Common deficiencies include Folic acid and Vitamin B12.
- SAM-e – (pronounced “sammy”) This chemical is found naturally in the human body, which works to increase the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. 3 You can also increase your SAM-e levels with a methyl donor such as Choline or Trimethylglycine (TMG).
- Exercise – Aerobic exercise has been shown to release mood-elevating chemicals in the brain while decreasing stress hormones. 3
- Environment – Another key to beating depression involves paying attention to your environment. Make an effort to surround yourself with positive energy. When you feel down or affected by your environment, us positive affirmations to recenter. For additional tips, seek the help of a certified emotional healer.
The good news is that even the worst cases of depression can be cured. Curing depression can take time, and there will probably be good days and bad days. It is very important to treat the underlying cause(s) of depression instead of just covering up its symptoms. In the end, any effort to treat depression will be very helpful. Practice being thankful for each day.
- Depression Facts and Stats. Bob Murray, PhD and Alicia Fortinberry, MS. Uplift Program.
- Depression (major depression). MayoClinic.com.
- Natural and Herbal Remedies for Depression. Cathy Wong. About.com: Alternative Medicine.
- Home Remedies for Depression. WebMD.