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What to know about avoiding depression

What to know about avoiding depression

Depression is a common and serious medical condition that affects how people feel and act. The illness can lead to emotional as well as physical problems and can cause issues in all aspects of a person's life.

Many people take medication, such as antidepressants, to treat their depression, but there are a variety of natural methods available that work and reduce the risk of future episodes.

Depression is the most common type of mental illness. The American Psychiatric Association estimate that depression affects around 1 in 15 adults every year and that 1 in 6 people will experience depression at some point during their life.

While depression can affect anyone, it usually occurs for the first time when a person is in their teens or early 20s. Women are more likely than men to have depression.
Fast facts about avoiding depression:

    A proper diet is essential for both physical and mental health.
    People with depression often have triggers that can make their condition worse.
    Many natural techniques and lifestyle changes can help to manage depression.

1. Avoid stress


How to avoid depression
Stress and depression are linked, and a variety of factors may cause stress.

There is considered to be a relationship between stress in a person's life and depression or anxiety.

A 2012 study conducted with veterinary students found stress had a negative impact on mental health, life satisfaction, and general health.

A variety of factors, including work, education, family life, or relationships, can cause stress. It is important to try managing and addressing these stressful situations when they arise.

2. Exercise

Exercise offers a range of health benefits including helping prevent depression. Both high-intensity and low-intensity exercise is beneficial in this respect.

High-intensity exercise releases the feel-good chemicals, known as endorphins, into the body.

Low-intensity exercise sustained over an extended period helps release proteins called neurotrophic factors, which improve brain function and make a person who is exercising feel better.

Many people who are depressed have low motivation for exercise, so it is a good idea to start with 5 minutes of walking or doing an enjoyable activity and gradually increase the length of time over the coming days, weeks, and months.

3. Diet

The brain needs the right mix of nutrients to function properly.

The British Dietetic Association (BDA) outlines some dietary changes people with depression can make that may help prevent relapses:

    eating unsaturated fats by cooking with olive or grapeseed oil and adding nuts and seeds to meals
    avoiding trans fats found in processed meat, ready meals, cookies, and cakes
    eating more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
    eating protein with tryptophan, found in fish, poultry, eggs, and spinach
    eating oily fish containing omega-3 oils or taking omega-3 supplements at least twice a week
    drinking 6 to 8 glasses of water a day
    avoiding caffeinated drinks, such as coffee and soda

4. Sleep

Not getting enough sleep has a significant impact on people psychologically and physically, and insomnia is associated with depression.

Depression can also cause insomnia, but there are techniques people can try in order to get more sleep naturally. These include:

    creating a bedtime routine
    avoiding using electronic equipment before going to bed
    spending 30 minutes doing a relaxation exercise or reading a book before trying to go to sleep.
    going to a quiet spot and doing more relaxation exercises if still struggling to sleep
    practicing breathing exercises by breathing in slowly through the nose and out through the mouth, following the steady rise and fall of the abdomen

5. Avoid alcohol and drugs

There is a close link between depression, as well as anxiety disorders, and alcohol or other substance-use disorders.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America estimates that around 20 percent of people who have depression also have an alcohol or drug disorder.

For most people, moderate alcohol consumption is not a problem, but for people with depression, alcohol or drug use can make their symptoms worse.

It can be a vicious cycle, but while many people take medication, there are natural techniques available that can help deal with both disorders at the same time.

For example, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which looks at ways to change thinking patterns, is often useful. Many people see benefits after 12 to 16 weeks of therapy.

6. Try talking therapy

CBT is one effective way in which talking is used to help people with depression and, in many cases, it has been found to be more effective than medication.

However, CBT is not the only type of talking therapy. A doctor or psychiatrist can help identify what kind of therapy may be most beneficial to an individual diagnosed with depression.

Often people find it easier talking to a trained stranger, such as a counselor or therapist, than they do talking to family and friends.

It can help the person talk about their symptoms differently and identify ways to deal with them.

Talking therapy is often in a one-on-one situation, but there are also support groups that other people find effective.

7. Avoid common triggers

As much as possible, a person should avoid triggers associated with the onset of their depression symptoms.

This, of course, is not always simple, and in some cases, it can be impossible. For example, if a particular person or group of people are a trigger, the individual will have to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of avoiding them.

A job could be a trigger, but leaving a job is not always possible. Any life-changing decisions, such as these, need to be thoroughly thought out.

However, the most important thing is that the individual identifies what triggers their depression and works toward a way of managing and avoiding them as much as possible.

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Regular Contributor

The best remedy for me when I get depressed is some sunshine and a good uplifting book. 

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Contributor

What really works best for me is Going to the gym and focus on lifting. You might not be blessed with hunter eyes and a strong jawline, but you can develop a physique that girls will have a similar reaction to, All the insecurity and depression, allow it to piss you off and use it as fuel at the gym. You get nothing out of feeling bad about the current situation. You need to visualize what you want to look like in the future and become excited about that instead of feeling sorry for yourself now.

 

Just my tow pence 🙂

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Conversationalist

I read in a book that a good way to get out of your depression quickly is- put yourself in a box, a big one so you don't feel claustrophobic. Then, close your eyes and slowly, climb out of the box and walk down a road. ( still keeping your eyes closed)

You can put whatever you want on the road, beside the road to make yourself feel good. As your walking, you come to a open space and this is where you build your sanctuary, a place where you want to get away from whatever is bothering you, your own place.

I put a fountain of water, so I can put my hands and face in it and feel so wonderful, cool and refreshing.  I also put animals, there as well, rabbits, put I didn't touch them ,just let them roam free.  I put flowers also with butterflies which gives me loads of peace.  I had trees on the perimeter so I felt safe that nothing could harm me. Everytime, I would go there I would add something new, which its your sanctuary so you can do anything. When, something tries to come into your sanctuary, you block it and say your NOT allowed.

So, when your feeling depressed, you start walking down your road, or project yourself straight into your sanctuary for genuine peace.

I have given this idea to so many people and they told me, it's really transformed them.

No matter where you are, you can go to your sanctuary in seconds and sit and listen and feel so good!

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When feeling like getting depressed, you can take a herbal medicine, it's called # 6, it's from Hylands.  What it does is it puts everything your worrying about in back of your body so you can enjoy the moment, like looking out the window, and see beautiful trees, birds on a branch, or flowers in the dirt, small things to make you smile again.

#6 does not harm the body, because its a homeopathic medicine.

It brings peace of mind so you can enjoy something in front of you, like a cup of coffee, a conversation, a ray of sunshine.  You will be thinking differently too, more relaxed and not nervous or anxious.

I use to be very uptight when going to work but as soon as I took the pill, everything I thought of at work went directly behind my back, and I noticed how blue the sky was, as I was walking to work.  I noticed the clouds, how they looked like animals.  I smiled and felt soooo good, as I got closer to work.  What a difference!

I always take # 6 now, to keep me calm and relaxed wherever I go.  Believe me,  it changed my life and how I look at it now.

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Periodic Contributor

I would add that Rumi was right: "The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you."

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Regular Contributor

My ex-husband died on the 9th of July, exactly a year ago. During that last visit to the doctor, he was asked-How are you feeling -and he said 'Really Depressed'  He knew in his gut that he was on the way out but our greatest regret is that we heard what he said but were really not listening! 

 

We tried and tried and tried and tried to do what we thought was the right thing  to make him heal and get better but he left us a week later.  Now I will never know what I could have done differently to keep him here-and it will haunt me forever!

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How do folks deal with just getting older-thinking there is nothing to look forward to except illnesses, loneliness, sorrow etc. I have tried therapy-just told to take more xanax.  I am joining a Y, and signed up to volunteer at 2 places. I was an older parent and most of my friends are due to the friendships of my children. Now those parents are younger and dont get what its like to reach 60-65.

 

Please offer any suggestions.

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Your frame of mind has to think of what can I do differently than I couldn't do before.  When you worked or took care of children, didn't have time for, that's what you do now.

I love going outside on my lanai and talking to the trees, my plants, they have so much energy that they give freely.  No, I'm not a nut.  Energy is the key to vitality.

Have you ever heard of Qijong?  Breathing exercises, that heals your body inside and out. Go on YouTube and look up Dr. Janke.  He's awesome, he gives you easy exercises.

Dont like heavy duty exercises, go on YouTube again and look up Hasfit,  they have the easiest and the most fun with great coaches, who crack jokes and make you smile more.

Dont think your sixty and onward, think of it like this- how old are you, my grandson asks me- I'm not as old as the mountain, I'm not down in the valley, but still climbing up the mountain but certainly not over the mountain!  It makes everybody smile, including yourself!

Remember, you can do anything you want now, so try Anything!!  

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Contributor

These are all some great ways to avoid depression. When it comes to diet I also highly suggest avoiding white sugars as this can be very detrimental in causing moodswings and inflamation. My teenager was having some major issues with this and was suffering from these issues. His therapist recommended that he cleanse from white sugar and it really worked wonders.

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Regular Contributor

That was the best explanation of Depression I have ever heard.
Thanks for that.
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Community Manager
Community Manager

Thank you sharing the tips and information, @JackS934999. The importance of sleep and diet especially resonate with me. A lot of these measures take time and planning but it's all worthwhile. 

 

Do others have tips or tactics for staving off the blues?

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