Most individuals wage a silent war against depression without the knowledge of the rest of the world. Classified as a burgeoning problem that has crippled a chunk of the world population in the new age, depression is a mental disorder that should not be taken lightly. As debilitating and heart-breaking as this disorder is, it can be overcome by making a few simple – albeit radical – changes to one's lifestyle.
For starters, most people suffering from depression tend to exhibit low levels of serotonin in their brain. This unbalance of 'happy-hormones' triggers waves of mood swings or solemanity that is not easily cured by traditional medication. However, eating and sleeping right has proven to alleviate the symptoms of depression according to miscellaneous research resources. Nutrition plays a critical role in maintaining the core body's function and processes. Consumption of food and beverages rich in vitamins and minerals, especially B12 (cobalamin) such as shellfish, beef liver, fortified soy products, fish oil and even spinach on a daily basis has proven to exert positive effects on the brain and central nervous system, which is often afflicted in severe depression cases.
Acquiring a restful day's worth of sleep with a minimum of eight hours per day also helps the body repair and regenerate itself, and essentially allows the brain to attain some much needed rest and relaxation. Insomnia or aberrant sleep patterns scrambles the levels of 'good' and 'happy' hormones in the brain, and more often than not, can lead to severe bouts of depression in the long run. Therefore, attaining some much needed rest and sleep is critical in making sure the body is kept at an optimal condition.
Of course, acquisition of proper nutrition and sleep might stave off certain symptoms of depression, but will not be the ultimatum in combating the disorder itself. More often than not, proper medication and therapy is required to resolve depression in the long term. Enlisting the help of a trained psychologist or psychiatrist to aid in the treatment of depression is probably the most crucial course of action. With the bevy of breakthroughs in the medical field occurring almost daily, clinical disorders such as depression can now be treated more effectively and efficiently with the utilization of specific drugs.
Common drugs that are used to treat depression include Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, also dubbed as SSRIs. Since Serotonin is the main chemical compound responsible for the feelings of euphoria and overall happiness in the human body, these drugs selectively block the reuptake of these hormones in the brain, so allowing them to circulate for a longer period in the body. This in turn allows a depressive individual to feel 'happier' and be less prior to feelings of despair and sadness.
Although drugs may provide a quick biological fix in the brain, most depressive individuals harbor underlying psychological issues that can only be corrected with intensive therapy coupled with rigid counseling sessions. In this case, only a trained psychologist or psychiatrist must step in to render their services. Probably the most effective mode of therapeutic treatment for depression is Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), which helps depressive individuals correct their perception and way of thinking, thus reducing the chances of a depressive relapse.
Besides this, strong emotional support is also appreciated as well. Friends and family play a key role in ensuring that they stand as sturdy pillows of emotional support for their depressive brethren. Individuals with depression may also seek out support groups both online and in the local vicinity. It is always helpful to have a shoulder to lean on, and with proper support, guidance, nutrition, sleep, therapy and medication, these radical lifestyle changes can aid in conquering depression once and for all.