What is Depression: Some New
Light on the Old Blues?
Right now, 20 million Americans
are in the midst of an episode of depression.
Some have the incapacitating
symptoms of what doctors call a major depression. These symptoms usually require professional attention because they are very severe and
demoralizing. Feeling hopeless and worthless, a person with major depression may sleep and eat irregularly.
In the throes of severe
depression, it is hard to concentrate, make decisions, or find the energy to do much of anything. Thoughts of suicide are
Depression primarily refers to a
state of mind that is purely negative, with an inclination to insufficiency and a hopeless lack of interest to do things.
If someone has a minor
depression, however, the problem is more manageable. Experts say that people who have some minor depression will feel lousy about themselves
and lousy about their lives, but they are managing to function at a high level.
In fact, some of the newfound
ways of battling the blues are related to what you do as well as what you feel. Here are some ways that you can prepare your body to help
prevent minor depression:
1. Put some spring in your
Regular exercise may be the most
powerful natural antidepressant available. It is advisable that you take a brisk walk. Exercise helps generate the release of brain chemicals
called endorphins. When endorphin levels are low, depression occurs. Exercise also oxygenates the brain, keeping it healthy.
How much should you exercise?
Thirty minutes, five or six days a week, at moderate intensity, is a nice level to aim for to help prevent the brain imbalances that can make
you vulnerable to depression.
2. Nourish your
Virtually any nutrient deficiency
can result in impaired mental function, including depression. To help prevent depression, health experts recommend that people should take
high-potency multivitamins or mineral supplement. This will supply the brain with enough nutrients in order to keep it properly functioning
and, thus, avoid some mental disorders such as depression.
3. Get enough
Getting less than eight hours of
sleep, night after night, may lower levels of the brain chemical known as “serotonin,” which can make you more prone to depression. To sleep
well, health practitioners recommend going to bed and waking up at the same time every day, including weekends.
Relax before bedtime, perhaps
with a hot bath. And for the soundest sleep, keep your bedroom quiet and dark.
4. Consider some alternate
Your emotions, positive or
negative, are created not by situations themselves, but by the way you interpret those situations. A very common situation can turn into a reason for hand wringing unless you take mental steps to prevent
Suppose a friend is going to pick
you up so that the two of you can go somewhere and do something fun together. Now, suppose that time passes, and your friend does not arrive
to get you. Your feelings change, quite literally, from moment to moment. If at first you think of your friend as being insensitive and
irresponsible, you will find yourself feeling angry at him. If you think that perhaps something bad has happened to him, you will naturally
become concerned. If you think that this person does not care much about you and that is why he is late, you feel rejected, lonely, even
Although the situation does not
change, and that your friend is still delayed, you can have a whole range of feelings depending on how you interpret that
For this reason, experts contend
that situations are usually ambiguous, open to any interpretation. Hence, your interpretation helps create your feelings about the situation.
Positive interpretations lead to good feelings and enjoyment; negative interpretations lead to bad feelings and depression. To stay on the
positive side, try to look for the positive interpretations.
Indeed, depressions can be very
destructive if neglected. Hence, the best way to stop the development of depression is to always put a bright light on the blues and create a
positive outlook in life.