Signs and symptoms of Depression | How Depression Can Be Cured
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Often, when our mood is positive, we take it for granted. However, when our mood is negative, we’re more apt to notice it. Everyone has negative moods sometimes. Frequently they’re caused by something in our life such as the break-up of a romantic relationship or learning that we didn’t get the job we wanted. Even when a negative mood seems to affect our daily functioning, we eventually cope with the negative event and move forward with our lives.
However, for some people, it’s far more serious. Some people experience a type of negative mood that is more severe and long-lasting than a bad mood caused by a relatively normal type of life stress. This is when someone moves from having a normal reaction to a negative situation to experiencing depression.
Depression can significantly impact your life, the way you think, the way you feel, and the way you behave. Depression goes far beyond feeling sad or upset over something in the short-term or a reaction to something negative that happens. Depression affects your mood, thoughts, feelings, behaviors and physical health. Severe depression can result in losing the ability to feel pleasure in the things you once enjoyed. It can also cause you to withdraw from your social relationships even from people to whom you are closest.
Most people with depression experience a loss of energy and lack of motivation that can negatively influence your life. You may find it challenging to be productive at work or do well in school. If left unmanaged, depression can become so severe that some people feel unable to function in many major areas of their life.
Causes for Depression
There are a number of factors that have been identified as causes of depression. This includes:
Depression has been found to run in families. Research suggests that the genetic contribution to depression is most likely caused by an interaction of genes not a single gene.
Differences in the size and shape of areas of the brain that are responsible for mood, sleep, and appetite have been found to cause depression. While researchers don’t currently know how this affects the development of depression, there is a strong link between these differences and depression.
chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters can affect mood. When levels of certain neurotransmitters are out of balance, this can result in depression.
Some people have a depressive way of thinking. For example, when something positive happens these individuals assume it’s due to the efforts of others. However, when something negative happens they assume that it was their fault. Some people may believe that others are always judging them unfavorably. Memory can also play a role in depression – in a situation that’s predominantly positive, some people only remember the few negative moments or remember neutral events as negative events.
There are many negative life events associated with the onset of depression. These include job loss, the death of a loved one, trauma, troubled relationships, and a lack of a positive social network. Any major stressors can lead to depression.
Overall, professionals have concluded that depression is caused by an interaction of genetic, physiological, psychological and environmental factors. Therefore, there are many combinations of factors that can lead to depression.
People with depression suffer from a variety of symptoms. These include:
- Depressed mood almost every day over the course of two years
- Loss of interest in sexual activities or desire
- Loss of interest or enjoyment in practically all activities
- Sense of worthlessness or guilt with no reason
- Sadness and unhappiness
- Emotional outbursts
- Increase or decrease in appetite
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Increase or decrease in sleep
- Lack of energy
- Somatic complaints, in particular pain
- Slowed speech
- Slowed thinking
- Crying without any reason
- Social Withdrawal
- Loss of efficiency completing tasks
- Psychomotor disturbances – agitation or slowed movement
- Trouble making decisions
- Loss of self esteem
- Concentration and memory problems
- Lack of motivation
- Thoughts of suicide or having a plan in place
How Depression Can Be Cured
Changing the way you think
Many of those trying to find ways to deal with depression have formed limiting beliefs that negatively affect how they think. If you come from a family who has never had a member attend college, you might believe that you are not smart enough to achieve your goals. Another common limiting belief of those dealing with depression is that they are supposed to be sad because depression or anxiety runs in their family.
It’s important to address these types of negative beliefs and understand where they come from so you can start changing them. Whether your beliefs come from your environment, past results or a traumatic event, you can start knocking down the walls of these beliefs and change them to empowering ones that can help you learn how to deal with depression.
Change your physiology
Change your body and you change your mood. There is a reason successful people walk confidently or have a firm handshake or great posture. Being mindful of your body and making adjustments to how you carry yourself can be key to dealing with depression. Changing your body can be as simple as lifting your chest. Seriously – Tony does this exercise in his seminars all the time, and you can try it right now. Stand up normally. Now lift your sternum just a little higher; there’s a point where you’ll start to feel powerful and confident. Now exhale until your chest lowers and you notice that you start to round your back; can you feel the difference? You can play with lifting your sternum and ribs even higher, but hold the position for a few moments. See what happens to your mood.
Feeling more confident and in control? How to cope with depression becomes much easier if you can learn to master your body language. It just took a few physical adjustments in how you held your body to make that happen. You can also change your physiology by doing something active, such as taking a walk or doing some stretches while you breathe deeply. Dealing with depression can make it feel like you’ll never be happy again, but you can train yourself to be wired for the emotions and state of being you want by making some quick physical adjustments. Start making a positive feedback loop with energy and you can begin to take charge of your emotions.
Depression often takes away structure in people’s lives, especially due to lack of energy. Establishing an empowering routine that you enjoy is important to regain that structure when dealing with depression. Routines and rituals create stability and certainty in your life, even when the world looks bleak. A daily meditation practice or yoga routine can be excellent ways to deal with depression and quiet negative voices in your head. Exercise and movement are also great ways to naturally improve your mood, releasing endorphins and improving overall mental health. You don’t have to become a marathon runner – doing an exercise video at home or taking a daily walk are great ways to boost your mood.
Though routines can help alleviate stress and create an overall feeling of balance, flexibility is the big key when learning how to cope with depression. Avoid training yourself to be frustrated and stressed out when things don’t go your way. Instead, try empowering daily rituals like priming as a way to focus and recenter your state.
Everyone has patterns they live by: You’ve built up dozens of patterns throughout your life that you might not even be aware of and could get in the way of dealing with depression. Patterns can be as simple as the words you use when talking about yourself and how you feel and can be the key to dealing with depression. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) focuses on breaking patterns in how you perceive the world around you. Change your negative self-talk with empowering words and you’ve taken a powerful step toward learning how to cope with depression.
Transforming your vocabulary is another way to change your state of being. The biochemical effect of feeling “devastated” or “crushed” is much more negative than “disappointed.” If you’re wondering how to deal with depression, remember: the words we attach to our experiences become our experience. Your words matter – both the words you say out loud and the way you speak to yourself internally. When you change your words, you can literally change your life and effectively find ways for how to cope with depression.
Quit Social Media
Humans are very social – it’s in our DNA. Connecting with others and having close relationships is a vital part of life and a key to dealing with depression. Creating meaningful connections with others is an important part of creating happiness, and those who are in your close circle have a direct impact on your quality of life. It’s especially important to be connected with other people when dealing with depression symptoms and sometimes the Internet can be a lifeline. While there are benefits to using social media and other technology, it is still crucial that you turn to real-life interactions when learning how to cope with depression.
Facebook and other social media sites often make us feel worse, not better. Even the hunched-over position we use to look at our phones makes us feel down. Instead of scrolling through status updates, go outside for a short walk in the sun or meet a friend for coffee. Instead of pulling away from your significant other or avoiding a planned get-together, push yourself to interact with your loved ones. Your spirits will instantly lift and your connections will deepen.
Dealing with depression can make everything in life seem more difficult. However, by incorporating the above tips, you can take strides toward feeling better and achieving the well-being we all need to thrive.