Depression is an illness that falls under the category of mood disorders. Unlike the normal mood changes or occasional feelings of sadness experienced,
Depression is a persistent feeling of sadness (present consistently more than 2 weeks) and affects the daily activity and functioning of the person.
Symptoms of Depression
Symptoms such as changes in appetite or sleep (excessive or too little), feelings of sadness, hopelessness, suicidal thoughts, not enjoying activities that one used to enjoy, difficulty in concentrating, lethargy and tiredness, irritability and edginess.
You may experience all or a combination of these symptoms.
There are risk factors which can predispose one to depression such as a family history of mental illness, presence of physical illnesses (stroke, cancer, heart disease). Other treatable and reversible causes of depression also include hormonal changes (Testosterone deficiency syndrome, Thyroid problems, Menopause, Andropause).
Other non-medical situations which can predispose one to depression are losses experienced in life (work or relationships, material possessions), trauma (abuse, accident, injury, unforeseen circumstances), stress (work life, finances, school etc) or addictions (smoking, alcohol, gambling, gaming etc)
5 Ways to Fight Depression
1: Enough Sleep
Too much sleep (More than 10-12 hours/day), or difficulty sleeping are both symptoms of depression.
Proper sleep regulates our body’s circadian rhythm and sleep cycle. With a normal sleep cycle, the body is able to rest adequately and repair itself from stress and damage the cells face throughout the day.
When this sleep is disrupted, the body faces hormonal imbalances, and these hormonal imbalances subsequently contribute to the symptoms one may experience.
Taking good care of one’s sleep can help prevent these imbalances. Proper sleep hygiene is often advised to combat poor sleep, especially if one changes time zones frequently or works shifts.
2: Exercise Regularly
Exercise produces a chemical in our brains known as dopamine, norepinephrine, serotonin. These are chemicals that help regulate our mood.
Furthermore, chemicals such as endorphins are released during exercise and these chemicals may help ease depression by enhancing your sense of wellness. Exercise also takes one’s mind off stress and worry.
At a personal level, building confidence from losing weight and meeting new people would improve one’s mental health as well.
Sometimes, one may also have other health conditions such as Knee pain, weight problems that can affect one’s ability to exercise. It is important to address these concerns prior as well before exercising so that you can enjoy exercise fully.
3: Leave work at the workplace
Work can be a source of stress for some. And if one does not cope with this stress well, the body starts to respond to stress either physically or mentally.
One of the ways this happens is through depression. Stress from work can be multifactorial – whether it is a failure of a project, strained relationships with colleagues, short deadlines or even not enjoying the nature of one’s vocation.
Dealing with work stress and leaving work at the workplace would give you space outside of work to recharge and revitalize.
4: Talk with Friends
Friends and family are a necessary form of social support for any person. As the old saying goes – no man is an island. So is anyone who is on this journey in life.
Having a close network of friends and close family to talk to can alleviate your burdens in life and also the stresses you face at work. If one keeps everything to himself or herself, after a while, the propensity to explode or implode happens.
By talking with friends, one also works out how best to deal with the negative thoughts and emotions they may face.
5: Accept Treatment
Treatment for depression is multi-pronged. It involves medications, psychological therapy and strengthening one’s support.
Medications help correct the chemical imbalances in the brain and contrary to what most believe, the fact is that one does not need to be on medications for life. With strong support and holistic care, most eventually are able to take a lesser dose or even not need medications.
Be Positive, Take Care!
At Dr Tan and Partners (DTAP Clinic), we believe in this multi-disciplinary mode of care as well as continuity of care for our patients <3 <3