Depression 101

Depression is nourished by a lifetime of ungrieved and unforgiven hurts.

Penelope Sweet

Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer

Dorothy Rowe

If you’re feeling low, don’t despair. The sun has a sinking spell every night, but it comes back up every morning. The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.

Dolly Parton, Singer, What’s Love got to do with it

What Is Depression?

Very simply, depression is the feelings of sadness which is of moderate or intense in nature and which lasts longer than usual

Depression Is A Silent Killer

We all get sad sometimes. Don’t we?

Sadness is an integral part of our lives. We get sad and stressed when our closed & beloved ones are dead. We get sad when we suffer from a serious illness. We get sad when we don’t get something which we want from the bottom of our heart and the list will go on…

The feelings of sadness may last longer or shorter than the others and they eventually fade away or become less intensified in our mind over time.

But in case of depression, the sadness don’t go away. It sometimes even becomes stronger over time. It stays in mind and gives pain & causes stress for a long time.

As a result the person who is depressed loses interest in many things of life and starts to act & think differently than the others who are not depressed.

Causes Of Depression

There is no single reason for depression, rather there are many things which may cause depression to any of us. Whether you will be depressed for any reason or event in many cases depends on the following factors:

  • Level of patience
  • Link or relation to the event
  • Age
  • Sex
  • Family background

Some event may cause depression to you but others may not get depressed by that event. As for example, if you loose your job then you may be affected with depression. But your neighbors may become sad for you but they will most likely not be depressed

So what causes depression? The followings are the most common causes of depression found for most of us:

  • Loneliness
  • Bad relationships with family members
  • Death of spouse or dear ones
  • Long time physical problems
  • Economical hardships for long time
  • Not getting support from the family members for any particular thing
  • Receiving threats of any kind for long time
  • Marital problems like separation or divorce
  • History of depressive disorders of ancestors

Common Signs And Symptoms Of Depression

Signs and symptoms of depression vary from person to person as it vary in case of causes of depression but there are some common signs and symptoms which are clearly visible in almost every depressed person.

The following are some common signs and symptoms of depression:

  • Sense of negativity about the problem or event which has caused depression: In depressed people a sense of negativity is seen about the event or cause of the depression. Whatever is the real situation, a depressed person thinks that; “The situation will never change” or “The situation won’t be better for me”.
  • Less energetic: Depressed people become less energetic than a person who is affected by depression.
  • Lack of interest: Depressed people show little or not interest at all in various kind of social or personal activities.
  • Lack of confidence: Depressed people suffer from lack of confidence. As a result they try to escape from taking challenges.
  • Change in diet: Depressed people in most cases feel less appetite. But in case of many people it has been observed that they eat excessively for depression.
  • Trouble in sleeping Depressed people find it hard to be asleep. Every time they need 20 minutes or more to fall asleep. Even if they are in sleep they get awake at least once during the sleep.
  • Change in temper: In depressed people changes in temper are observed. Many shows bad temper and they get excited and angry within moments.
  • Loss of concentration: Depressed people cannot concentrate properly like normal people.
  • Loss of self esteem: Many depressed people suffer from the loss of self esteem. They think that they are worthless. They think that they don’t deserve to be happy. They blame themselves for many things without a good reason.
  • Thoughts of committing suicide In severe cases of depression, depressed people thinks to commit suicide

Treatment For Depression

Depression is a curable mental health related problem.

Depressed people can be fully recovered from depression if proper treatment is given to them. Sometimes it may take time ro get relief from depression. So patience is necessary for both the patient and persons around patient.

Treatment for depression requires the following things for the best results:

  • Identifying the causes of depression
  • Giving medical treatment to the patient if necessary
  • Giving psychotherapies if necessary
  • Giving mental support to the patient

(1) Identifying the causes of depression:

 Identifying the causes of depression is the first and basic step to treat depression.

If the causes are not identified properly then depression can not be cured properly. Sometimes the causes are clearly visible and understandable for depression. In these cases, the persons around the depressed person will be able to identify the causes and the treatment can be started more quickly.

Sometimes it may be harder to find the causes. In these cases help from professionals should be taken immediately. Then help professionals may perform different tests, or listen the family history or other necessary things to identify the causes.

(2) Giving medical treatment to the patient: 

For many patients doctors and healthcare professionals suggest to take medications.

Typically medicines of antidepressant type are used. Scientists have found that during the period of depression, amount of a neurotransmitter named serotonin becomes lower than other times. In this sense serotonin is related to mood. Antidepressant medicines work in brain to normalize neurotransmitters levels mostly serotonin to improve the mood.

(3) Giving psychotherapies: 

Sometimes doctors suggest to take psychotherapies for relieving depression.

The length of the therapy depends on the severity of depression. Sometimes for moderately intense depression level it may take several weeks (10-20) for complete the therapy treatment. During psychotherapies the therapists do an interactive conversation with the patients. They are let to express their feelings in an interactive way.

The therapists asks the patients to change their viewpoint about persons, events or things which are causing the depression. During the therapy sessions it is tried to improve the negative thinking and behavioral pattern of the patients which are causing the depression to a more positive pattern.

(4) Giving mental support to the patients:

Giving mental support to the patients has nothing to do with the medicines or doctors rather it goes to the friends & family of the patients.

Friends and family know the depressed person more than anyone else. A friendly, sharing and caring attitude of the friends & family towards the depressed person accelerate the process of recovery.

In case of mild depression it is very much possible to cure the depression in home by sharing thoughts, concerns, frustrations and feelings which are causing the depression.

Vitamins and Minerals For A Better Health

What Are Vitamins?

Vitamins are substances which are required for our nutrition and proper
functioning of body. Our body is not capable of producing vitamins except Vitamin D.
But, vitamins are found in plants and animals. Through our diets and dietary supplements
we get vitamins.

Why Vitamins are Important for us

Vitamins are important for our body for many many reasons. The following are the most significant importance of vitamins for our body.

Types of Vitamins

Vitamins are classified in 13 Groups. They are:

  1. Vitamin A
  2. Vitamin B1
  3. Vitamin B2
  4. Vitamin B3
  5. Vitamin B5
  6. Vitamin B6
  7. Vitamin B7
  8. Vitamin B9
  9. Vitamin B12
  10. Vitamin C
  11. Vitamin D
  12. Vitamin E
  13. Vitamin K

Main Functions and Food Sources of Vitamin

Vitamin A

Functions:

  • It plays a very important role to have healthy eyesight.
  • It also helps us to grow properly and maintain a healthy skin.

Food Sources: Carrots, Fish liver Oil, Milk, Enriched Margarine, Spinach.

Vitamin B

Functions: Vitamin B is classified in more

classified groups of B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7,B9 and B12.Their main functions for our body are:

  • Vitamin B1 helps to release energy from the foods.
  • Vitamin B1 also helps to build a stable and healthy nervous system.
  • Vitamin B2 is good for growth.
  • Vitamin B6 Helps the Central Nervous System for proper functioning.
  • Vitamin B12 helps in forming Blood cells thus reduces the risk of anemia(Deficiency of Red Blood Cells).
  • Vitamin B12 prevents the nerves from damage.

Food Sources: Rich sources of Vitamin B are whole grains like oats and wheat, sea foods, chicken, egg, banana, cheese.

Vitamin C

Functions:

  • It strengthens our immune system to protect us from viruses, bacteria.
  • It increases the lifetime of our cells.
  • It reduces cholesterol.
  • It increases the healing rate of wounds.

Food Sources: Rich sources of vitamin C are Tomatoes, peppers, strawberries,Orange.

Vitamin D

Functions:

  • It strengthens our bones and teeth.
  • It also helps us to absorb calcium.

Food Sources: Rich sources of vitamin D are Fish, egg yolks, cod liver oil, milk and other dairy products.

Besides these foods direct sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D for our body. Direct sunlight helps our body to produce Vitamin D.

Vitamin E

Functions:

  • It acts as super anti-oxidant which protects our cells from damages caused by free radicals.In this way it slows down our aging process.
  • It reduces blood pressure.
  • It protects our lungs from polluted air.
  • It improves health of our skin and hair.

Food Sources: Rich sources of vitamin E are Nuts, Soya beans, vegetable oil.

Vitamin K

Functions: Vitamin K increases the clotting process of blood and thus stops our bleeding.

Food Sources: Rich sources of vitamin K are Leafy green vegetables, milk.

What are Minerals?

Minerals are the primary elements which come from earth or water.

Our body needs minerals for its proper functioning. Deficiency of minerals causes different kind of physical problems and symptoms. But, taking excessive minerals will also cause bad side effects. Minerals also cannot be produced in our body. But, our body can take minerals from the food we eat.

Some of the most important minerals for our body are:

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Iodine
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Manganese

Main Functions and Food sources of the Minerals

Calcium

Functions:

  • It strengthens our bones and teeth.
  • It helps in blood clotting
  • It helps in proper nerve function.

Food sources: Milk, cheese, Broccoli, Dried apricot, Salmon.

Iron

Functions:

  • It is part of hemoglobin which carries oxygen to our tissues.
  • It strengthens our immune system.
  • It also prevents one kind of anemia.

Food sources: Meat, Fish, Egg, Beans, Liver, Kidney, Whole grain cereals.

Magnesium

Functions:

  • It helps our body to release energy from the food.
  • It strengthens our bones.
  • It helps our body to control body temperature.
  • It helps our body to absorb Vitamin C

Food sources: Sea food, Milk, Cheese, Green leafy vegetables, Peas, Yogurt, Apricot

Phosphorus

Functions:

  • It strengthens our bones.
  • It helps our body to produce energy.

Food sources:Fish, Eggs, Milk, Cheese , Peas.

Zinc

Functions:

  • Zinc strengthens our immune system.
  • It increases the rate of wound healing.
  • It helps our reproduction system like sperm develop.
  • It helps digestion

Food sources: Cheese, Milk, Red meat,Whole grain breads,Eggs, Beans, Nuts.

Iodine

Functions:

  • It acts as part of the thyroid hormone
  • It prevents infantile myxedema (a kind of birth defect )

Food sources: Iodized Salt, Sea food.

Potassium

Functions:

  • It acts with sodium and regulates the water level of our body.
  • It also regulate blood pressure and heart functions.
  • It helps to transmit the nerve impulses.

Food sources: Banana, Orange, Strawberries, Brown rice, Garlic, Ginger, Potatoes, Green leafy vegetables.

Selenium

Functions:

  • It keeps our liver healthy.
  • It is an anti-oxidant and it reduces the risk of cancer.

Food sources: Meat, Fish, Nuts,Green vegetables,Onion, Whole wheat bread.

What are Vitamin and Mineral Supplements?

Vitamins and mineral supplements are a way of ensuring enough nutrients for the body.

These supplements can be found in one of the following forms:

  • Tablet
  • Capsule
  • Liquid
  • Powder
  • Pill

Why You May Need to take Vitamin and Mineral Supplements?

You may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements for any one of the following reasons:

  • We get vitamins and mineral from the foods we eat daily.But, in some special cases like you are sick for a few days your body might get too weak. Daily meals may not provide you enough vitamins or minerals. In this case you may need to take vitamins and minerals additionally with your daily meal.
  • You are not sick but you want to increase your energy and stamina.
  • You want to make your skin more healthy and beautiful.
  • You want to slow down your aging.
  • You want to take preventive measures against cancer and heart diseases.
  • You want to make your bones and teeth stronger.

Where can you find/Buy Vitamin and Mineral Supplements?

You can find or buy these supplements in any of the following places.

  1. Local Drug Stores: These supplements should be available in your local drug sores. Check them if you have time to go.
  2. Online Stores: If you don’t have time or you want to check vitamin and mineral supplements according to your demand sitting in front of your pc then you can check the Online stores.There are many stores available online.

Things you should consider before taking these Supplements

  • Unnecessary taking of vitamins and minerals can cause you serious side effects. So, don’t take any of the supplements without taking a doctor’sadvice.
  • Never take these supplements in an empty stomach. Ask your physician about theproper time for taking them.
  • Also ask your physician about the method of storing these supplements.

Care To Achieve Fitness In Body & Mind?

Look to your health; and if you have it, praise God and value it next to conscience; for health is the second blessing that we mortals are capable of, a blessing money can’t buy. 

Izaak Walton

Yes, A good health is certainly a blessing but it seems not everyone enjoys this blessing.

Now you can ask me,“Why? 

Not everyone of us enjoys this blessing because, only a few of us are actually health conscious and rest of us are careless about health. 

Do We Deserve To Have Fitness In Body And Mind?

We want sound body and mind but;

  • We don’t have the time to take a good sleep or rest properly.
  • We don’t want to do exercises.
  • We can’t manage time to do exercises.
  • We don’t want to take a walk for only 30 minutes daily.
  • We like to eat junk and unhealthy foods.
  • We don’t want to take care of skin properly.
  • We don’t care to drink sufficient amount of water for our body.
  • We don’t have enough time to relax our mind through meditation or other kinds of relaxing methods.
  • We don’t want to invest money on our health, though we have money to spend for cigarettes.

And like these, we do so many things which are always doing harm to our body and mind. Now you tell me, “Do we deserve to be healthy and fit both physically & mentally?”

We have so many resources around us which can provide us tons of information about

  • Our body & mind
  • How to achieve physical & mental fitness
  • How to maintain a better condition of health & mind

But we are so busy with everything else that we think about our body & mind when we get sick.

Increase Your Knowledge About Health & Fitness For Body And Mind

 If you have proper knowledge about health, body, fitness and if you can apply your knowledge properly then:

  • You will be able to achieve or increase your physical and mental fitness
  • You will be able to relax your body and mind by yourself
  • You will be able to maintain a better physical and mental condition
  • You will be able to prevent many diseases and health problems by yourself

So learn about your body & mind and know how to increase your physical & mental fitness.

One Thing To Keep In Mind

Please keep in mind that, though knowing information will definitely help you to prevent many health problems but you cannot solve all kinds of physical problems if they become critical.

So, without any unnecessary delay you should visit doctors to take care of any health problems if you feel that they have any chance to cause you damage to your body and mind in future.

Don’t play with your body. Give it a chance to be in a better condition.

I wish you a very good Health

~Ehsan