Depression-The Emotional Disorders
Depression is the most prevalent of all the emotional disorders. This may vary from feelings of slight sadness to utter misery and dejection.
It brings together a variety of physical and psychological symptoms which together constitute a syndrome.
Depression is the most unpleasant experience a person can endure. As a matter of fact it is far more difficult to cope with depression comparatively to any other physical ailment.
The growing complexities of modern life and the resultant crisis, as well as mental stress and strain in day to day living, usually leads to this disorder.
Consequently, it also arises out of the monotony and drudgery of a daily routine, without any meaningful variation in urban life. Suicide is the major risk in extreme cases of depression.
It is not always easy to diagnose depression clinically.
The most striking symptoms of depression are:
Loss of Energy and Loss of Interest.
You usually feels tired and lacks interest in the world around him. Sleep disturbance is frequent & mostly you wakes up depressed at 4 or 5 in the morning and is unable to return to sleep.
In addOther disturbed sleep patterns are difficulty in getting off to sleep on going to bed at night, nightmares and repeated waking from midnight onwards.
Often you suffer from guilt, oppressive feelings and self-absorption.
Other symptoms of depression are :
Loss of Appetite,
Impotence or frigidity,
Aches and Pains all over the Body,
Lack of concentration and lack of power of decision.
Some persons may lose interest in eating and suffer from rapid loss of weight, simultaneously others may resort to frequent eating and as a result gain in weight.
In general, severe depression usually characterized by:
Low Body Temperature,
Low Blood Pressure,
Hot Flushes and Shivering.
In severe depression you feels worthless and finally convinced that you yourself is responsible for your undoing and your present state of hopeless despair.
Depleted functioning of the adrenal glands is one of the main causes of mental depression.
Irregular diet habits cause digestive problems and lead to the assimilation of fats.
This in turn, reduces the supply of oxygen to the tissues, which raises the carbon dioxide level, causing general depression.
The use of aspirin leads to deficiencies of vitamin C and antacids can cause deficiencies of calcium and vitamin B.
The modern medical system treats depression with antidepressant drugs which provide temporary relief but have harmful side-effects and do not remove the causes or prevent its recurrence.
The harmful side-effects include:
Gross Liver Damage,
A confused state,
A fall in blood pressure which brings on headaches and dizziness ,
Difficulty in Inhaling and Urine Retention.
The plan of action for self-treatment of depression consists of regulating the diet, exercise, scientific relaxation and meditation.
Diet has a profound effect on the mental health of a person.
Even a single nutritional deficiency can cause depression in susceptible people.
Nutritional therapy is the best way to come out from depression, It builds up brain chemicals, such as serotonin and norepinephrine, that affect mood and are often lacking in depressed people.
Eat food rich in B vitamins, such as whole grains, green vegetables, eggs and fish.
You must completely exclude tea, coffee, alcohol, chocolate and cola, all white flour products,sugar, food colourings, chemical additives, white rice and strong condiments from your diet.
Your should restrict your diet to three meals a day.
In breakfast take fruits with milk and a handful of nuts and seeds.
Lunch may consist of steamed vegetables, whole wheat chapatis and a glass of buttermilk.
For dinner, green vegetable salad and all available sprouts such as alfalfa seeds, mung, cottage cheese or a glass of butter-milk would be ideal.
You will forget misery by doing something.
You should turn away from yourself and consider others also.
At home you can do activities like decorating, repairing or constructing something new.
The pleasure of achievement overcomes the distress of misery.
Exercise also plays an important role in the treatment of depression. because it not only keep your body physically and mentally fit but also provides recreation and mental relaxation.
Exercising is nature‘s best tranquiliser.
Exercise produces chemical and psychological changes that improves your mental health.
It changes the levels of hormones in blood and may elevate your beta-endorphins( mood-affecting brain chemicals).
Exercise also improve the function of the autonomic nervous system which gives a feeling of accomplishment and thus reduces the sense of helplessness.
You must undertake some form of active exercise each day at a regular hour.
To be really useful, you should exercise in such a manner as to bring into action all the muscles of the body in a natural way.
Walking is one such exercise. It is , however, so gentle in character that one must walk several kilometers in a brisk manner to constitute a fair amount of exercise.
Yogic asanas such as Bhujangasana, Shalabhasana, Paschimottanasana, Halasana, Vakrasana, Sarvangasana and Shavasana.
Pranayamas like Kapalbhati, Anuloma-Viloma and Bhastrika are highly beneficial in the treatment of depression.
Relaxation and Meditation
You must gain control over your nervous system and channelise your mental and emotional activities into restful harmonious vibrations.
You can achieve this by sufficient rest and sleep under right conditions.
In continuation you must also learn the art of scientific relaxation and meditation which will go a long way in curing depression.
Relaxation enables the muscles to work more efficiently and eliminates fatigue by promoting venous blood circulation throughout the body.
The best method of relaxation is to practice Savasana (dead pose) and meditation.
Meditation involves training the mind to remain fixed on a certain external or internal location.
It will be advisable to meditate on God or Atman as one becomes imbued with the quality of the object on which one meditates.
Meditation will help create an amount of balance in the nervous system. This would enable the glands to return to a correct state of hormonal balance and thereby overcome the feeling of depression.
Regularity of time, place and practice are very important in meditation. Regularity conditions the mind to slowing down its activities with a minimum delay.
However the most effective times are early dawn and dusk, when the atmosphere is serene and peaceful.
In continuation a neutral immersion bath for one hour daily is also helpful in the treatment of depression.
The Anti-Depressant Book: A Practical Guide for Teens and Young Adults to Overcome Depression and Stay Healthy
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The Depression Cure: The Six-Step Programme to Beat Depression Without Drugs