Do you wake up every day feeling happy with a smile on your face? I think we all would love to be that person. Lets face it, we feel sad sometimes because of a diagnosis from the doctor telling you, that you are suffering from a terrible illness, a family member who has died, a job loss, a breakup with a loved one and even a catastrophe like hurricane Sandy that destroyed lives and homes.
When you suffer grief in these situations, it is normal to feel sad, and with time allowed, you resolve it naturally. Depression becomes an illness when mental anguish becomes intense, and it is prolonged and interferes with your normal function of daily activity. It can arise for no reason and without warning, and if you don’t get a hold of it, it takes over your life.
Symptoms of depression includes:
Feelings of helplessness
Losing interest in daily activities
Pessimistic and preoccupied with loss
Feelings of worthlessness and self loathing
Tearfulness and general apathy
Loss of appetite and normal sleep pattern
Thoughts of suicide or other self harm
Loss of energy and weight change
Anger and irritability
Not everyone who is depressed experience all these symptoms, some experience one or more of these symptoms. Its believed that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, biological, environmental and psychological factors. Depression is a common mental disorder in the US and its estimated about 6.7% of adults suffer from this mental illness. The average age for the onset of this illness is 32 years old, with a 3.3% of 13 to 18 year olds suffering from this depressive disorder. It may occur also with other serious disease such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, HIV/AIDS, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
Once you have been diagnosed, treatment should include seeing a psychotherapist, and practice yoga and meditation. A Holistic approach should include a whole food diet which includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and their juices. Foods rich in the amino acid tryptophan have been shown to increase the serotonin in the brain (a low level of this mood transmitter is found in many depressed people), also stress reduction, and therapies to relieve the effect of stress. Hydrotherapy, is an old effective naturopathic treatment for depression. Hydrotherapy in the form of a cold bath or shower once or twice a day, combined with exercise have been helpful in the cure of depression. Herbal teas made from basil, thyme or mint is recommended. St Johns Worth has been shown in a number of clinical trials to relieve mild to moderate severe depression, and can be bought in tablet form. Ginseng also balances the body’s systems and rid the body of fatigue, often a strong indication of depressive illness.
I am a big supporter of alternative and naturopathy medicine to cure illness. Depressive illness is treated with pharmaceutical drugs which sometimes causes potential side affects and can lead to death. Seeking counseling and practice a holistic approach which includes yoga and meditation and a spiritual practice, will help in the healing process to a healthy new you.