Dealing with Depression
Have you been feeling low? Do you get bouts of depression every now and then? Take heart, you are not alone.
Depression affects all; the rich, the poor, the healthy, the unhealthy, the materially successful and those that have not managed to fulfill their life's dreams. Elder people, with a lot of time on their hands and not much to do, and who are not surrounded by family and loved ones, may also fall prey to depression.
However, studies state that women are twice as likely to feel depressed as men. One of the reasons this happens is that women suffer from constant hormonal changes and surges caused by menstruation, puberty, pregnancy and menopause. Men on the other hand are more likely to kill themselves when depressed than women are. This is possibly because women are more constrained by family values and ideals, by thoughts of children and their futures. Similarly, women are more in tuned with their emotional sense and are more likely to seek treatment for depression than men. However, many women too live with depression without getting treatment, which is a pity since depression is treatable.
One feeling most patients with depression go through is that they will never feel better, and this feeling causes some to go so far as to take their lives. Depression is a disease, and like all other diseases it has a cure.
An overwhelming sadness
Unwillingness to step out of the house
Lethargy and a loss of energy
Seeing no point in living
No interest in pursuing hobbies
Inability to sleep
There is no single cause for depression, and it can manifest out of a variety of reasons. Being in an unhappy relationship, not being in a relationship, sour relationships with in-laws, financial troubles - can all lead to depression.
If you are feeling depressed for any reason, here's what you should do:
1. Join a class - any class. Yoga, kickboxing, regular visits to the gym, will all help. Taking up a group activity of any kind is beneficial.
2. Do you have a hobby? If not, try and cultivate one now. Studies show that those with strong hobbies, which they tend to regularly, are less likely to get depressed.
3. Establish a routine and stick to it. This may require discipline if you don't have a job. If you live each day as it comes with no fixed routine you may get depressed easily as you have to constantly think of ways to spend your day. Housewives thus often fall prey to depression.
4. Take a deep breath. Expand your stomach when you inhale, so you feel the breath deep within yourself, and contract your stomach when you exhale. Deep breathing helps you feel better almost instantly.
5. Take up an Art of Living course. In this course you are told what to eat, what not to eat, and are taught some deep breathing (pranayam) exercises, amongst other things. Many swear the course has changed their lives, and very few if any feel that they derived no benefit at all from the course.
6. Talk to someone about your feelings of depression. The worst thing you can do is to go through it alone. When you feel low, call a friend, go for a walk, go to your gym - just get out there. Without any form of distraction you may start dwelling on negative feelings.
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