Depression is a medical illness that creates a constant feeling of sadness and can cause emotional and physical problems. Caused by changes in the brain chemistry, depression affects how the person feels, behaves and thinks. The affected person even loses interest in their passion and is often found to be hopeless for prolonged periods. Depression affects the body, mood, thoughts, behaviour, changing the way you feel, drink, eat, and interact with others. In severe depression cases, the patient may even entertain suicidal thoughts.
Clinical depression is a combination of environmental, genetic and psychological factors. It may also be caused by:
- Medication side effects
- Death of a close relative
- Family history of depression
- Hormonal changes
- Marital or relationship problems
- Job loss
- Lack of social support
- Substance abuse
Several studies link depression to changes in the functioning of brain chemicals. The condition affects people of all genders, ethnicities, cultures, ages and religions.
People suffering from depression tend to behave differently from normal people. Depression may build up in severity and affect people differently. The following symptoms are associated with depression:
- Change in appetite
- Digestion problems
- Stomach aches
- Concentration problems
- Difficulty remembering
- Loss of interest
- Neglect of personal appearance
- Neglect of responsibilities
- Crying for no reason
- Feeling hopeless and irritable
- Unexplained pain
If you experience bouts of depression, talk about your problem with a close relative or friend. While therapy can help in controlling depression, try to make lifestyle changes that will help in coping with the psychological disorder. Avoid taking too much sugar, alcohol, caffeine or fat, which could leave you feeling exhausted and affect your mood.
Spending time with close relatives and friends can help you in building support networks. Indulging in outdoor exercise, like cycling, walking or gardening, could help in combating mild depression.
Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids help in raising serotonin levels in the body, which can boost mood and alleviate depression symptoms. Omega 3 foods include sardines, wild salmon, mackerel, herring and anchovies. A high protein diet also works well for mood disorders. Such a diet can positively affect your mood and support a healthy body and mind. The North Carolina State University researchers claim that eggs and egg yolks are important for brain development and functioning, as these contain vitamins B12, D, and choline.