We have all experienced days when we felt so sad that it drove us to tears — even if we do not even know the reason for our sorrow. We become uninterested in our daily routines, and find ourselves struggling with sluggishness and melancholy. At times, we can be so overcome with emotional distress that we do not even want to go out of the room and choose to just sleep all day. These periods of sadness are but normal for any human being. Still, these feelings of sadness should not come on a regular basis. If one regularly suffers from sadness, it may be possible that that person is already suffering from clinical depression.
At present, depression afflicts at least 17 million adults in the United States alone. Clinical depression usually starts even without the person noticing it. Some are lulled into a cycle of despair even without the slightest hint that they already have an emotional and psychological problem. Clinical depression is a medical condition that affects the mind, often leaving the person suffering from feelings of hopelessness, loss of ambition, and loss of the ability to focus on tasks and on life itself. People suffering from chronic and acute depression become so sad and apathetic that it is often extremely difficult for them to even get out of bed in the morning. The depressed person reaches a state where even the simplest activity is performed with great difficulty. Depression has both physiological and sociological causes. It may be brought on by a physical illness, an emotional trauma or experience, use of various drugs and medications, alcohol abuse, or a combination of various factors. If depression is left untreated, this condition can adversely affect academic achievement, family life, friendships, careers, and may even lead to broken relationships.
Examination of this psychological problem in physio-chemical terms would show that depression is closely linked to abnormalities or changes in brain chemistry. Poor nutrition, lack of exercise, and negative attitudes also worsen a person’s depression.
People with psychological problems usually seek help from a mental health professional who, in turn, prescribes mood balancing drugs or anti-depressants such as citalopram or flouextine. Intense psychotherapy and counseling may also be required. However, there are others who use an alternative form of medicine for a more natural treatment. Milder cases of depression can be treated solely with natural remedies without the need for antidepressant prescriptions.
Therapy that involves personal expression has been found to provide an outlet for pent-up feelings and can be a positive way to articulate deep emotions. This can take many forms such as dance, martial arts, or art lessons. Relaxation techniques can also help a person focus and gain a sense of serenity. Ancient exercise and stress relief methods such as yoga, meditation, acupuncture, and hypnosis are also popular means to treat depression.
A change in diet and the use of supplements have been found effective in dealing with depression. Adding fish oil, Zinc, and B vitamins help the body regulate chemicals that may trigger depression. Exercise is very important for physical, emotional, and mental health. Keeping active will rejuvenate the body and keep it fit, promoting a healthier lifestyle and better self image. Working out several times per week can calm the senses and invigorate the body.
Although depression has increased dramatically in today’s world, the problem of depression is as old as time. It still continues to debilitate many lives despite the availability of 21st century technologies and conveniences. We can learn on the wisdom of many different healing traditions in our quest to overcome the burden of depression. Though there are modern tools to overcome depression, one should try to seek and discover the vibrant energy and personal empowerment that everyone of us can discover, even without using drugs.