Eventually we all get the blues. Feeling sad, lonely, or grieving when you go through a difficult experience in life is part of living. Most of the time, you can continue to function and know in time you will bounce back, and usually you do.
But what if you don’t? What if your feelings of sadness stay, are excessive, interfere with sleep, or recreation or work? What if you’re feeling worthlessness, excessive fatigue, or experiencing weight loss or gain with your sadness? You could be experiencing a major depression Disorder. Almost 20 million American’s experience depression yearly, and women are twice as likely as men to develop major depression. When you deal with depression you cannot simply “pull yourself together” and get over it. Treatment with counseling, medication, or both is key to recovery, but if you don’t have the symptoms of a Major Depressive Disorder there are some natural health remedies you can try.
How do you know if it’s a Major Depressive Disorder?
If you are experiencing five or more of these symptoms nearly daily for a two week period, and at least one is a depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure:
- Difficulty sleeping or excessive sleeping.
- Fatigue and insufficient energy.
- Major change in appetite resulting in a change in weight (gain or loss) in one month.
- Feelings of worthlessness, self-hate, and/or guilt.
- Inability to concentrate, think clearly, or make decisions.
- Agitation, restlessness, and irritability.
- Inactivity and/or withdrawal from pleasurable activities.
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or helplessness.
- Thinking about death and/or suicide.
Depression symptoms can vary greatly
- While one depressed person may have feelings of hopelessness, sadness and helplessness. Then another person may have feelings of anger, discouragement, and irritation.
- Can also seem like a change in personality.
- For example, you might begin to lose your temper about things that normally wouldn’t bother you.
- Symptoms can change over the course of the illness; you can initially feel sad and withdrawn, then become highly irritable and frustrated.
- Decreased sleep and the inability to do simple tasks or make decisions increase symptom.
When It’s severe you can experience psychotic symptoms, including delusions and hallucinations.
- Hallucinations – “phantom” sensations that appear real even though they are not caused by real things in the environment.
- Hallucinations may occur within any sensory realm (including sight, sound, taste, smell and touch), and can be convincing (as well as disturbing) in their reality.
- The most common form of hallucination is auditory; involving hearing voices of people who are not actually present.
- Delusions – strongly held false beliefs that cause you to misinterpret events and relationships.
- Religious (false beliefs with religious or spiritual content).
- Somatic (thinking that a body part has been altered or injured in some way).
- Grandiose (thinking that you have special powers, talents, or that you are a famous person).
- Delusions vary widely, but can include:
- Persecutory (someone is spying on or following you).
- Referential (a t.v. show or song lyrics contain special messages only for you).
- Erotomanic (thinking that another person, usually someone of higher status, is in love with you).
When you are depressed and experiencing psychotic symptoms, feelings of guilt, disease, and personal inadequacy.
For instance, you might truly believe they are not able to perform your job or parenting duties because you are inadequate (a feeling that could be reinforced by voices telling you that you are inadequate) and that everyone is snickering at you behind your back.
A major depressive episode, that involves psychotic symptoms, can be problematic because you can lose the ability to discriminate between what is real and imaginary.
When Should You Get Help?
If you have five or more of these symptoms for most of the day, nearly daily, for at least two weeks, and the symptoms are severe enough to interfere with your daily activities, you may have major depression. Your primary care doctor is a good place to start. Your doctor can screen you for depression, and help you manage and treat your symptoms so that you can feel better.
If you or a loved one is experiencing any of the symptoms of a Major Depressive Disorder see by a doctor immediately! Do whatever you need to do to get help for yourself or your loved one. Untreated Major Depressive Disorder can be dangerous to you or others in your life.
However, if it’s just the Blues.
Sadness is a normal human emotion. We’ve all experienced it and we all will again. Sadness is usually triggered by a difficult, hurtful, challenging, or disappointing event, experience, or situation. In other words, we tend to feel sad about this also means that when that something changes, when our emotional hurt fades, when we’ve adjusted or gotten over the loss or disappointment, our sadness remits.
One of the unfortunate consequences of Depression and the blues is people telling you to “snap out of it,” and “it’s all in your head,” or “choose to be happy!” Such statements reflect a huge misunderstanding of depression. It only makes the person feel worse. Give yourself permission to tell them they don’t understand and to keep their opinions to themselves. Just doing this can make you feel better, however here are some other things you may want to try.
Natural Health Remedies to try if you just blues.
Diet and Lifestyle:
- Many prescription drugs for depression can create nutrient deficiencies. If you are on a prescription medication for depression pay close attention to your diet.
- Avoid alcohol, cheese, red meat, yeast, and broad beans
- Eliminate all preserved foods, fast food, and junk food
- Avoid sugar, refined carbohydrates, and caffeine (they affect blood sugar)
- Trans fats in fried foods, baked goods, and prepackaged snacks further disrupt brain chemistry
- Include proven depression fighters; fish, seafood, sea greens, spinach, avocado, olive oil, and tryptophan foods like turkey, potatoes, bananas
- Add foods rich in calcium, magnesium, and B Vitamins
- Drink plenty of filtered water; some chemicals in water treatment can cause neurotransmitter imbalances
- Hypnotherapy, Biofeedback, Acupuncture, and Relaxation techniques show success in overcoming chronic depression and boosting endorphins
- Exercise-increases oxygenation, is an anti-depressant itself
- Deep breathing exercises-inhale through your nose for a count of 4, hold it for a count of 6, exhale through mouth for count of 8 Members Only Sneak Peek, Stress
- Get some sunlight daily or use a Happy Light for Natural Vitamin D and a natural serotonin boost Stress Busters
- Yoga and message therapy help you relax and clear your mind
- Aromatherapy oils jasmine, geranium, and basil in a defuser can be emotionally up lifting Aromatherapy what is it and what is it used for Part 1
- Ginkgo Biloba (don’t take if you take aspirin or other blood thinners)
- Hawthorn extract increases feelings of wellbeing
- Evening Primrose Oil
- Omega 3 Flaxseed Oil
- Vitamin B-12 take in sublingual form for best results
- Vitamin C and B-Complex Vitamins
- Selenium and Magnesium
- Bach Flower Remedies for stress reactions
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