The people's voice of reason

I am alone ( Depression)

Feeling down from time to time is a normal part of life, but when emotions such as hopelessness and despair take hold and just won't go away, you may have depression. Depression makes it tough to complete daily task from eating to taking a shower to going to work. But no matter how hopeless you feel, you can get better. Learning about depression-and the many things you can do to help yourself-is the first step to overcoming the problem.

What is depression?

Depression is a common and debilitating mood disorder that is affecting more and more people around the world. In 2014, an estimated 15.7 million adults aged 18 or older in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in the past year. This number represented 6.7% of all U.S. adults (National Institute of Mental Health, 2104).

While some people describe depression as "Life having no meaning" or having a feeling of impending doom, others feel lifeless, empty, and apathetic. When you're trapped in depression, it feels like nothing will ever change. But it's important to remember that feelings of helplessness and hopelessness are symptoms of depression-not the reality of your current situation.

Symptoms of Depression

• Feelings of sadness, worthlessness, or guilt • Poor appetite or eating too much • Lack of energy • Loss of interest in and withdrawal from usual activities • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much • Nervousness and worry • Irritability or restlessness

• Inability to think or concentrate • Increased risk-taking behavior, including reckless driving or substance abuse

• Chronic pain or other physical problems that do not respond to treatment • Abuse of drugs, medications and alcohol

• Repeated thoughts of death or suicide

Food for Thought

Move your body!

When you are depressed, just getting out of bed can seem very difficult, let alone working out! However exercise has been proven to be an excellent source of combating depression and one of the best tools in your recovery arsenal. Research shows that regular exercise can be as effective as medication for relieving depression symptoms. To get the most benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise per day. I would encourage before you start any exercise regimen you consult with your physician . I always encourage people to think outside the box sometime when it comes to exercise people in their mind think that they have to lift weights run 10 miles, be creative. Exercise can be anything from mowing the lawn, doing the laundry to washing your car. A 10-minute walk can improve your mood for two hours.

Support your health!

Shoot for eight hours of sleep. Research shows that when we have slept sufficiently your body has time to restart itself and reenergize the body. Depression typically involves sleep problems; whether you're sleeping too little or too much, your mood suffers. Another good way to support you health is to expose yourself to sunlight every day. If you every wonder why people who stay locked up in their homes get depressed more often than those who go outside research has also shown that exposure to sunlight can help battle the blues. Aim for at least 15 minutes of sunlight a day to boost your mood. I also encouraged people to challenge the negative thoughts that come cascading thru your mind when you're depressed, you leap to the worst possible conclusions. Tell yourself what is positive in your life what success have you had in your life. I am sure you can find several examples it is all about your perspective. I encourage you to do something new. Go to a racetrack a museum. Pick up a used book and read it on a park bench. Volunteer at a local church. Take a language class. Try to have fun. Life is to short to stay depressed. If you're depressed, make time for things you enjoy. Force yourself to do it because depression makes it so that you don't want to do anything.

Depression Resource- National Institute of Mental Health

Hector Oswaldo Chavez, MS, is a Marriage and Family Therapist, Professional Counselor, and Substance Abuse Counselor. He serves on multiple boards and has worked in a variety of clinical settings such as with the Army, Navy, Hospital Inpatient and Outpatient, Community Mental Health, and Private Practice. His professional views may not necessarily reflect the views of other mental health or medical professionals. If you have any personal or family concerns about the topic discussed, please seek professional assistance.


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