Why depression can be scary and real when you’re 40+
Domlur, Bengaluru Feb 12, 2017
Turning 40 is a major life event for people across the globe, including India. At midlife, both men and women mostly experience significant alterations. A few examples of these typically include relationship changes such as the loss of a loved one, bodily variations, as well as fluctuations in their mood and mental makeup. Whilst differences in physical health are taken seriously by most, concern for mental wellness may take a backseat in majority of the patients. This is especially true of a country like India where mental health doesn’t generate adequate attention and awareness and there is a certain stigma attached to seeking mental help for conditions such as stress, anxiety, and depression.
Ironically, according to WHO reports, India is noted to be one of the most depressed nations in the world. Moreover, the incidence of depression is 50% higher in women than in men and more critically, it is the most important precursor of suicide and will be the second cause of Global Disease Burden by the year 2020. Hence it is of crucial importance to take it extremely seriously. Peoplewith a prior personal or family history of depression, stress or mental illness should be particularly vigilant as they stand at a higher risk than the rest of the population.
Depression at 40- A serious illness or just a transient midlife crisis?
A midlife crisis is usually the butt of many jokes and is considered a normal phase of life wherein men want to prove their worth and masculinity to themselves and others and consequently do things they normally wouldn’t such as buying themselves impractical and expensive goodies, like a swanky sports car. Women, on the other hand may feel a quest to find or regain their identity or go through an existential crisis. However, a midlife crisis is usually transitional and rarely turns ugly except in rare situations such as whena partner may end up straying because of their confused feelings. In majority of the cases, people in their 40s, pass this phase without any major bumps and pretty soon they’re their happy, normal selves again.
However,ever so often,a midlife crisis can be a precursor to depression, which can range from mild to severe.
Why should depression in your 40s be dealt with seriously and immediately?
Suffering from depression in your 40s is riskier than undergoing this condition at any other age.This is because middle-aged depression patients are more susceptible to suicidal tendencies than their younger counterparts.
Hence, it is of utmost importance to do everything you can to fight this condition. While overcoming depression is fraught with various challenges, it isn’t impossible. With help and support form your loved ones and determination and courage from within, you can get through this debilitating condition.
However, the first step to combating depression is to acknowledge that you do in fact suffer from it and it’s not “just a bad phase”. This isn’t as tricky as you think as there are several telltale signs that you can use to tell it apart from a midlife crisis or momentary sadness.
Typically, depressed people do suffer from several of these symptoms and signs but it isn’t necessary that they suffer from ALL of them. If you feel that many of these conditions do apply to you, consult a psychiatrist or a mental health professional right away to be accurately diagnosed.
You often feel:
- Under confident
Depression may also impact your behavior in the following ways:
http://d2k8q1rlvf5rbi.cloudfront.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Menopause-153x102.jpg 153w, http://d2k8q1rlvf5rbi.cloudfront.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Menopause-170x113.jpg 170w, http://d2k8q1rlvf5rbi.cloudfront.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Menopause-150x100.jpg 150w" sizes="(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px">
- You don’t feel like going out anymore
- You’re less productive as compared to before
- You don’t enjoy the company of your loved ones anymore
- You drink (alcohol) heavily or take sedatives such as sleeping pills to control your mood or sleep
- You’re reluctant to indulge in activities/ hobbies that you previously enjoyed be it cooking, playing sports, etc.
- You have trouble concentrating on any task at hand
- You don’t feel like having sex or getting physically intimate in any other way with your partner
- You cant remember day-to-day things and have trouble functioning efficiently
- You focus on unhealthy and fruitless obsessions such as a past mistake or fear of causing an accident, etc
- You feel the urge to cry or you cry all the time
A widespread misconception is that depression only affects our mental health. However, depression can be a psychosomatic condition wherein it has physical manifestations on your body too. Watch out for these signs:
http://d2k8q1rlvf5rbi.cloudfront.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Weight-Fluctuation-153x102.jpg 153w, http://d2k8q1rlvf5rbi.cloudfront.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Weight-Fluctuation-170x113.jpg 170w, http://d2k8q1rlvf5rbi.cloudfront.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/Weight-Fluctuation-150x100.jpg 150w" sizes="(max-width: 600px) 100vw, 600px">
- You gain or lose excessive weight
- You undergo sleep disorders such as either sleeping too much or suffering from insomnia
- Your appetite changes drastically wherein you either havea voracious appetite and you binge-eat or very little/no appetite
- You feel tired all the time even with little or no physical exertion
- You experience muscle aches and headaches, stomach churns, other bodily inconveniences, etc. that do not respond to conventional treatment
If you feel that you suffer from many of these conditions but are still confused whether you’re just momentarily sad or depressed, the following differences between depression and temporary sadness can give you more clarity:
- Sadness doesn’t entail loss of perspective but depression may
- Feeling sad doesn’t involve thoughts of self-harm or injury but depression may
- Sadness doesn’t hamper you from feeling other emotions whereas depression may lead to emotional numbness
- Sadness doesn’t give you and/or the people around you a dire sense that something is terribly wrong with you whereas depression does.
Most importantly, depression is not just a mood dampener. Severe depression can be the consequence of a biochemical imbalance in our brain, which needs to be treated with a combination of medication such as antidepressants, behavioral therapy, counseling, and lifestyle changes.
Whether you can overcome depression naturally without antidepressants and thus avoid the inevitable and harsh side effects that accompany them, is a discussion that is best had with your psychiatrist. However, what is important to understand is that more often than not depression, especially at middle age is the result of one or a combination of underlying reasons.
Once you’re 40+, the following factors typically have a pivotal role to play in how you feel. Check these reasons and see if any of them apply to you. If yes, do go through our tips on how to combat these factors:
Reason 1: You start to lose people you love:
Middle age is often the time when death becomes more real. You may have to cope with losing members of your immediate family such your parent/s, / grandparents or other elderly loved ones that you were close to.
And whilst it is natural and even healthy to experience grief over the loss of a loved one, undergoing depression isn’t. But how can you tell the difference? In more ways that one, it turns out.
- Depression has a much lengthier timespan
Depression persists for an abnormally lengthy period of time. Whilst people suffering from grief go through fluctuating feelings, those with depression continue to feel extreme sadness.
- Depression affects your self-worth
Depression hits directly at your self-esteem, often making you feel worth nothing; whereas people emerge from grief with their self esteem intact.
- Depression can affect your mental equilibrium
Depressed people often suffer hallucinations and delusions, hear voices, and see imaginary things, etc whereas those in grief do not. People who are depressed due to the loss of a loved one may even suffer from delusions that their loved one is still alive and around and have imaginary conversations with them.
- Depression makes you avoid company
Depressed people shun the company of others, even their closest family and friends and want to be left alone.Those in grief accept and even welcome the support of their loved ones to get through a difficult phase.
So, after reading the differences, if you feel that you’re depressed because you’ve lost someone you love, how do you cope with it to get better?
Here are a few proven strategies:
Prevention and treatment of depression arising from death of a loved one:
1. Don’t run away from your feelings:
You don’t need to suppress how you feel and pretend to be fine even though you’re obviously not. Discuss them openly with your loved ones or a therapist. Moreover, if an important date such as the departed person’s birthday approaches, celebrate it and regard it as special instead of trying to shut yourself from it.
2. Seek help and comfort in the company of family and friends:Spending time with the ones you love will make you feel less empty. And even if you feel like you’d rather be alone and not want to face anyone, your recovery would be much speedier if you have people that love you around to offer solace.
3. Get professional help
If you’re not seeing a therapist or a psychiatrist and thoughts of extreme sadness, guilt, and suicide continue to plague you, ensure that you consult a good mental health professional immediately.
4. Exercise Regularly:
Exercising releases the natural antidepressants in your body and the physical exertion from it helps you sleep better. Moreover, being physically fit also helps people cope better with emotional setbacks.
5. Indulge in hobbies:
Indulging in your favourite pastime, be it cooking, painting, reading or watching a movie can prove to be therapeutic and help take your mind off sad thoughts.
Reason 2: Your children leave home to start independent lives of their own
Our 40s is also a time when we often perceive the loss of our younger loved ones as they part ways with us for more independent lives. This might be to pursue higher studies, a job or even as they settle into domesticity and build homes of their own.
In fact this loss is often so keenly felt by parents, that it even has a term for it, known as “The Empty Nest Syndrome”. Whilst this syndrome isn’t felt by every parent (Some actually enjoy better moods than before as they don’t have to bear so much responsibility and have more time for leisure), others go through a difficult time dealing with the sudden emptiness in their homes and their hearts. Stay-at-home moms can especially go through an identity crisis as they may feel like they’ve lost their primary reason for living. Especially in India, where it is extremely common for a woman to play the role of a housewife and majorly identify herself with being a mom.
Fathers on the other hand, may suffer from feelings of guilt at not having spent enough time with their children because they were too busy with work-related commitments.
So, how do you cope with the vacuum of your child, the person you love most in the world not sharing your home anymore?
1. Seek Support:
Talk to your friends, your spouse, and other members of your family. Tell them how you feel and open-mindedly listen to their opinions and suggestions. If that doesn’t help, reach out to a therapist who is professionally equipped and experienced in dealing with such situations.
2. Gain a new identity/ purpose:
Raising your child was a fulltime job and it gave you a sense of self- worth and purpose. Ever since he/she left, you’ve felt a huge void. Instead of giving into this hollowness, why don’t you use this time to work on yourself?Create a fresh identity for yourself by acquiring new skills. Make yourself job-worthy. Take up spoken/written English courses, computer lessons, etc. Join the workforce again or even volunteer at an NGO or charity. Parenthood was all about selfless giving but now you’ve fully earned that me-time to know yourself better.
3. Catch up with friends and family:
Oftentimes, we get so caught up in raising children that we end up neglecting or not having enough time to spend with our friends, family or relatives. When your kids leave home, you can finally have a more vibrant social life that can also help defeat the sudden pangs of loneliness. Throw a lunch party, get busyattending a brunch or just catching up with old friends over coffee and you’ll see you don’t feel so blue anymore.
Reason 3: Your Children aren’t as successful as you would have liked them to be:
Adults in their 40s often have to face up to the fact that their children aren’t as successful as they’d wished for. Parents often perceive their child’s failure as their own since they feel that they spent the better parts of their lives prepping their children to achieve certain goals. So, when their children don’t make the cut to get into the college they both dreamed of or crack that entrance exam or perform well in their careers, they feel like their entire life’s efforts went to waste. This is especially true of women who sacrificed their careers to stay at home and become fulltime mothers.
How to cope with it:
Be there for your child without berating him/her, even if you feel that they brought the situation on themselves. Don’t beat yourself up over it-you know you did your best and that should be enough. Remember that this is just a phase as failure is a part and parcel of life, which is comprised of both ups and downs. There will be better things in store for your child. Even if you think it was your child’s fault because he should have known better or didn’t try hard enough, remember that it is human to make mistakes. It builds character and makes them a better person. And aren’t you glad that they faced failure at a time when there is still a chance to fix things? That they’re stronger than ever to face bigger challenges? Be there for them but don’t show that you’re disappointed, especially if they’re already embarrassed or ashamed of themselves.
Reason 4: Having single children of “marriageable age”
In India especially, most parents regard seeing their children happily married as one of their biggest aspirations. Although they do seek domestic bliss for children of both sexes, this is especially true of their daughter.So much so, that no matter how “progressive” the parents are otherwise, they often want her to get married even before she is settled in her career. That’s one of the reasons why the average age for marriage for both men and women has been traditionally low in India. And while this is fast changing with the average age for women being around 25-26 and for men 29-30, our mindset still needs an upheaval.
As parents, we’re not only worried about the number of eligible bachelors/bachelorettes dwindling as our child grows older but we’re also worried about the comments our relatives/ friends and other people in the society make about our unmarried children and their “tragic” fate.
Again, since arranged marriages are so widely prevalent in India, parents view it as a personal failure if their children aren’t married bya certain age that they deem appropriate, regardless of how the child feels about when or even if they want to get married. This can not only cause parents to be terribly upset but also act as a fuel to depression for the aforementioned parents.
How to cope with it:
1. Engage in serious self-introspection:
Ask yourself why it is so important to you that your children be married by a certain age. Is it because of your selfish desire to see them married or to become grandparents? Is it because of societal pressure and the fear of what everyone around you thinks of their singledom? If either or both of these reasons are applicable to you, that’s unfair on your children. Your personal wishes can’t be imposed on them. Moreover, as people grow older they should realize that it doesn’t matter what society thinks as long as their children are healthy, functional and happy with their lives. Think of this- would you rather give in to the wishes of society and force them into a marriage that they’re not ready for or unhappy about? Or just leave them be?
People nowadays are getting married later than ever, so your children should also take this step only once they are fully ready and they’ve met someone they feel confident enough to take the plunge with. Don’t be paranoid about them never meeting the right person, but also be there for them if they need your help finding their soul mate without being too interfering. Let them volunteer information about this aspect of their life.
Just think of the worst and rationalize it in your head. Even if your child never gets married what’s the most horrible thing that could happen? There are single people all over the world, both celebrities and ordinary people who lead perfectly happy lives on their own.
2. Engage in open and honest communication with your child:
If you feel that your child isn’t ready for marriage even though there’s no reason for them to be unprepared and you are worried that they might get lonely or bored or depressed when they’re older, because they don’t have anyone to share their life with, its good to talk your concerns out with them.
Don’t be afraid to honestly tell them how you feel. Expressing your genuine concern for their companionship will only show them that you really care and get them to open up about their thoughts on marriage. Maybe they’re not emotionally ready for the responsibilities and commitments of a marriage. Maybe they want to focus on their career right now or are still trying to find themselves. Maybe they aren’t happy with the choices out there and want to wait a while.Or even maybe they saw a bad marriage in the family or weren’t happy with the way your marriage turned out so they’re scared of going through the same thing. If the latter is the case then maybe talking about the mistakes you made with your spouse to your kids and how you could have handled your marriagebetter to make it a more emotionally fulfilling one, could help. If your child is willing and you think it would help resolve differences, enter counseling sessions together with your therapist.
Reason 4: Changes in your body and health
In our 40s, we come to the realization that we don’t have the kind of control over our health and beauty like we used to. Hairloss, weight gain, loss of metabolism, menopause, wrinkles, and fine lines are just a few of the aspects of ageing gracefully. Besides, 40+ is the age when we are also most susceptible to the onset of chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypothyroidism and obesity- all of which could act as depression triggers. Our libido is on the decline and we suddenly find ourselves at a much greater risk of cancer, heart disease and other conditionsthat can make us come face to face with our mortality. It can be depressing- quite literally.
Here are a few ways to cope with it:
Exercise not only releases natural antidepressants in our body but also slows down the ageing process.It keeps us physically fit so we look and feel good about ourselves. Moreover, if you have a partner and you exercise with them, it could also help you enhance your bonding as a couple while keeping the both of you more motivated. Exercisehelps prevent and treat various conditions such as obesity, diabetes, sexual problems, backaches, etc.So, boost your self –esteem, health and mood with exercise, to fight depression on preventive and curative levels.
2. Hormone Therapy:
This is especially important to explore in the case of women going through menopause or hypothyroidism and thus experiencing hormonal fluctuations. For example, low estrogen levels because of menopause can lead to clinical depression. However the same can be rectified through hormone therapy, quite conveniently.
3. Maintenance of a proper diet:
Diet plays a huge role in combating the process of aging. You can easily incorporate foods into your daily meals that not only help you live longer but also make you look younger and stay slim. We know that cutting out the usual suspects, ie, junk food, sodas, fried food, et all completely, is easier said than done.So if you know you can’t, even a realistic approach of moderation could do wonders. Eat lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, eggs, lean meat, and sprouts.
4. Find ways to de-stress:
Be it meditation, travelling, painting or reading a book, at this age it is imperative to find some downtime so you relax,if you’d really like to be healthy and happy. If you can find something in common with your partner, be it couple yoga or cooking classes- even better for healthier companionship.
5. Accept your ageing process with serenity:
Ageing is a natural and inevitable part of life. It might be reasonably delayed but it most certainly can’t be reversed or avoided. So instead of denying it or fighting it to such an extent that it causes youstress (which in turn gives you even more wrinkles and crows feet), it’s wise to accept that there are certain aspects of ageing that you simply can’t change. Of course, that is not to say that you let go of your beauty, health and wellness completely. Just eat healthy, stay active and use good quality products. If you want to go a bit further, you may also visit an aesthetician be it for your skin or body. Science can achieve miracles today! So, if it makes you happy and your doctor recommends it, go ahead with dermatological/ cosmetic procedures such as Botox, facelift, etc.
But more importantly, remember that you have had your heyday where your skin tone had a radiant, youthful flush and you could get away with eating whatever you want and pulling all-nighters. You have entered a new phase of your life. A graceful period where you’re wiser and older and you come to the realization that beauty and health are transient and all you can do is preserve them to the extent you can without worrying about it.
Reason 5: Extreme Multitasking/ overworking that causes stress and eventual depression
Often it’s in your 40s that life throws several curveballs at you. You may be taking care of elderly people in your house or school kids or managing a highly demanding and stressful career. Often, you maybe doing all three things at once or even more. The day-to-day stress, the lack of sleep and other such dangers of multitasking may not only take a heavy toll on your physical health but also affect your mental wellbeing. Besides, lack of sleep, stress, overworking with no time for leisure or rest- all of these factors have strong links to depression. But alas- you are duty bound to perform these tasks. So, how do you make sure your duties don’t make you a strong candidate for depression?
Here are a few ways to cope without having your nerves completely shot:
- Productively use commute time:
Save the tasks you can do on the go, such as scheduling a doctor’s appointment, calling the handyman, replying to quick emails, etcwhile you’re travelling. You will see that you save tremendous time at home and work, once these myriad little things are out of the way.
- Get your childrenand other family members to pitch in:
Getting your kids to run errands such as picking up groceries or even caring for the elderly in your home will teach them to be more responsible, compassionate, and accountable early on in life and give you time to relax.
- Don’t be afraid/embarrassed to get professional help:
Enlist the help of top-notch caregivers or nurses who can come to your house to take care of dependent family members- be it an infant or elder. Hiring help doesn’t make you weaker or inefficient. It makes you smart enough to know your limitations and the fact that you’re not a superhuman.
- Avail of work from home or flexible company policies:
Many companies have policies that help ease your day-to-day life so you can juggle things more conveniently. Some such options include flexible timings and days where you can work fromhome. Check with your HR on whether you can avail of these policies and leverage them to your fullest convenience so you can manage work and home better.
- Don’t neglect yourself:
Often in the rigmarole of taking care of a myriad different things and people, we neglect taking care of our own selves. Our well-being becomes the last priority. Don’t fall into this counterproductive trap as it may lead to a burnout such as depression wherein you will becomeill equipped to take care of anything at all. Eating right, meditating, exercising, pursuing a hobby, and sleeping well will not only help you keep the stress at bay but also make your more productive and better at handling the day to day stresses of life.
Reason 6: Getting bogged down by lack of achievements:
So you’re still renting a flat on the wrong side of town even though by now you’d dreamed of buying that penthouse in your dream locality. That last promotion (and the one before that)was bagged by the colleague whose guts you absolutely hate. Life at 40 is a far cry from what you’d dreamed about. It’s frankly enough to drive you to the depths of despair (and depression)as you feel totallywashed up and done for. How can you feel hopeful nay even the slightest bit positive in such a scenario?
- Change your perspective to count your blessings:
A shift in perspective can make you appreciate that you really don’t need material things to be happy. The best things in life are truly free. Also realize that there are so many lesser fortunate people who don’t even have enough to eat two square meals a day!
- Helping others:
Helping the less fortunate makes you not only feel good about yourself but also appreciate what you have.
- And see things in retrospect:
Ponder over why things didn’t work out the way you wanted to with a cool head and without blaming fate, office politics or external factors. Remember that the only constant in your whole life is you. Which is a good thing because it means you have the power to rectify things. Analyse where you went wrong. Discuss your professional journey with people you trust and respect. Find a willing and proactive mentor. You are sure to gain some valuable insights.
Reason 7: When your relationship/ marriage goes through a tough phase
When you just got married you were in the honeymoon phase.That golden time when you were so completely in love that everything else paled. Then kids probably came along and you were too busy raising them than focusing on being a pair. Now that the kids have grown up, you’re suddenly forced to become a couple again. And you find awkward silences at the dinner table.A mismatch or incompatibility in the bedroom. The exciting spark that kept your romance alive is dead. Your partner or you or both have changed. Something is off.
How to cope with this:
- Remember what attracted you in the first place:
Was it her expressive eyes? Was it his caring nature? Going back to the time when you were madly in love and recapturing the qualities that made you feel this way reminds you why you married your spouse. It helps you appreciate them more for who they really are or rather can be, despite the present situation. It also makes you more determined and willing to work through things when the going gets tough. Reminiscing the good times together, talking about it and recapturing it, will make you cruise through the bad that much quicker and effortlessly.
- Focus on the good stuff:
Is he a great dad? Is she an amazing multitasker? Whatever it is, your spouse must have some fantastic qualities that you can surely appreciate- even when you’re in a rough patch. Think about them whenever you feel any resentment towards your spouse and see your anger subside. Remember, no one is perfect. But the good qualities make it worth sticking by even for a dose of the bad.
- Spend quality time together:
What did you enjoy doing together as a couple? What were your common interests before life got in the way? Apart from rediscovering those pursuits, make new discoveries together bytrying out a new hobby such as cooking or painting or even couple yoga. You’ll find that learning something together will make you closer.
- Exercise (especially together):
Exercise makes you mentally fitter and physically and emotionally stable. It releases stress and helps you lose weight. And if done together as a couple keeps you both motivated to look good and bond deeper.
- Experiment in the bedroom:
Losing spark after a passage of time is way more common than you think. It happens to the best, most compatible of couples. But just letting it go without trying to regain the spark can mean death for your sex life. Experiment. Role-play. Probe deeper about what turns you on. Try new, sexier lingerie,aromatic massage oils or flavoured lubricants.Explore new sex positions. Listen to each other’s wants without judgment to try to give your sex life that much needed pizzazz. If you’re unable to do it on your own, do consult a good sex counselor.
- Try harder for each other:
It could be as simple as getting a new haircut for her or putting on a dress he likes you in. Wear his favourite lipstick. Bake her afavourite dessert. As time wears on, couples often start to take each other for granted and stop trying to please their partnerlike they used to during perhaps their courtship. This obviously leads to a loss of that much-needed spark.
While of course you love each other for better or for worse, do consciously make an effort for it to be skewed toward better than worse.This makes it easier for you to keep the love alive during the not so great times.
- Seek couple counseling:
It’s hard to admit that you need outside help to save your relationship. But the sooner you realize this the better. If you feel like you can’t solve your problems as a couple, a marriage or a couple counsellercould be the final option that proves to be effective. Sometimes you need fresh, unbiased perspective to understand each other and a professional, experienced approach to work through your differences.
- Talk (and listen) to each other:
Give compliments as well as criticism.Notice when she gets a manicure or makes a delicious meal. Thank him when he takes the time out to help you with chores or entertain your friends. But also tell each other what isn’t working. There is nothing that leads to greater resentment than keeping anger or a grudge bottled up. Leteach other know softly if something bothered or irked you as to why it made you upset. Listenwith empathy. Walk in each other’s shoes.
Regardless of the reasons you’re depressed, there are some positive actions that can go a long way in helping you cope with it:
10 Must-dos when suffering from depression:
- Do break large, seemingly insurmountable tasks into smaller chunks:
When you’re depressed, even simple tasks can seem difficult even daunting. Don’t beat yourself over it. Break it into smaller portions so they seem less intimidating. For example: if you have to prepare lunch for the kids, divide it into preparing the chapattis, chopping vegetables, boiling vegetables, etc. If you look at lunch as a whole, it maybe harder to get through the entire task or past your anxiety of preparing it.
- Do Prioritise:
productive as you used to be. Don’t be in denial about that. Instead, make the best of things and prioritise work based on what is most urgent. Is preparingschool tiffin for the kids more important than something that can be saved for doing later such as washing the dishes? Do that first. You’ll feel the load weighing off you much quicker.
- Do things you love:
It’s really about finding the joy of living again. Watch your favourite feel-good movie or sport. Exercise. Read an uplifting book. Participate in an enriching, spiritual experience. Do whatever makes you truly and deeply happy.
- Do be patient:
Don’t expect your condition to change overnight even if you are doing your best to overcome depression. Recovery is a gradual process and being impatient will just cause frustration, which will further fuel the depression, thus causing a vicious circle.
- Do postpone important decisions:
Decisions such as changing jobs, getting married or divorced might be influenced by your depression and you might end up being hasty or rash with the misguided intent that doing something drastic may help with depression.
- Do vent your feelings:
Write in a journal, play music, work out. Whatever makes you feel lighter from within.
- Do lead a healthy lifestyle:
Say no to alcohol, drugs, junk food, and smoking. Exercise. Sleep well. You’ll feel much better about yourself.
- Do keep medication options open:
If you feel that your depression can’t be treated just naturally, it’sa wise ideato discuss antidepressant options with your psychiatrist. However, don’t give up on treating depression holistically with a combination of therapy, medication, and lifestyle and behavior modification, as that is far more effective than just taking pills.
Leading a healthy lifestyle is the first and one of the most important steps you can take to fighting depression. And the foremost step to a healthy lifestyle is eating right. Moreover, there are certain foods that are extremely effective in combating depression and making you literally feel good. What are these?
When depression eats you, you can eat your depression away with the following foods:
10 Foods to fight depression:
A great source of protein, walnuts are also quite effective in fighting depression because they are one of the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. The omega-3s in walnuts support overall brain health and making you happier.
Fatty fish such as mackerel, bluefish, wild salmon, and tuna, are the best possible source of omega-3 fatty acids.They have depression-fighting propertiesand are good for overall health as well.
Dairy is rich in calcium, vitamin D, and protein. These provide several benefits to your body including curbing depression.
Complex carbohydrates are wonderful foods to improve mood quickly. Whole grains, oatmeal, and sweet potatoes are all good choices. They help the body release serotonin- a neurotransmitter that controls our mood.
Green teahas depression-fighting properties that can be traced to an amino acid known as theanine.
Naturally found in tea leaves,theaninebeats stress and induces relaxation.
If you’re feeling blue, this yellow spice found in our very own Indian food can perk you up quite effectively.