Depression symptoms can vary from mild to severe and can include:
Also, medical conditions (e.g., thyroid problems, a brain tumor or vitamin deficiency) can mimic symptoms of depression so it is important to rule out general medical causes.
Depression affects an estimated one in 15 adults (6.7%) in any given year. And one in six people (16.6%) will experience depression at some time in their life. Depression can strike at any time, but on average, first appears during the late teens to mid-20s. Women are more likely than men to experience depression. Some studies show that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime.
The death of a loved one, loss of a job or the ending of a relationship are difficult experiences for a person to endure. It is normal for feelings of sadness or grief to develop in response to such situations. Those experiencing loss often might describe themselves as being “depressed.”
But being sad is not the same as having depression. The grieving process is natural and unique to each individual and shares some of the same features of depression. Both grief and depression may involve intense sadness and withdrawal from usual activities. They are also different in important ways:
Depression can affect anyone—even a person who appears to live in relatively ideal circumstances.
Several factors can play a role in depression:
Depression is among the most treatable of mental disorders. Between 80 percent and 90 percent of people with depression eventually respond well to treatment. Almost all patients gain some relief from their symptoms.
Psychotherapy: Psychotherapy, or “talk therapy,” is sometimes used alone for treatment of mild depression; for moderate to severe depression, psychotherapy is often used in along with antidepressant medications. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been found to be effective in treating depression. CBT is a form of therapy focused on the present and problem solving. CBT helps a person to recognize distorted thinking and then change behaviors and thinking.
Psychotherapy may involve only the individual, but it can include others. For example, family or couples therapy can help address issues within these close relationships. Group therapy involves people with similar illnesses.
Depending on the severity of the depression, treatment can take a few weeks or much longer. In many cases, significant improvement can be made in 10 to 15 sessions.
Medication: Brain chemistry may contribute to an individual’s depression and may factor into their treatment. For this reason, antidepressants might be prescribed to help modify one’s brain chemistry. These medications are not sedatives, “uppers” or tranquilizers. They are not habit-forming. Generally antidepressant medications have no stimulating effect on people not experiencing depression.
Antidepressants may produce some improvement within the first week or two of use. Full benefits may not be seen for two to three months. If a patient feels little or no improvement after several weeks, his or her psychiatrist can alter the dose of the medication or add or substitute another antidepressant. In some situations other psychotropic medications may be helpful. It is important to let your doctor know if a medication does not work or if you experience side effects.
Psychiatrists usually recommend that patients continue to take medication for six or more months after symptoms have improved. Longer-term maintenance treatment may be suggested to decrease the risk of future episodes for certain people at high risk.
Self-help and Coping: There are a number of things people can do to help reduce the symptoms of depression. For many people, regular exercise helps create positive feeling and improve mood. Getting enough quality sleep on a regular basis, eating a healthy diet and avoiding alcohol (a depressant) can also help reduce symptoms of depression.
Pine Pollen: When it comes to depression, treatments and foods that boost the production of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin typically get all the attention. However, it is equally important—perhaps even more so—to make sure the body is also producing abundant and balanced amounts of hormones as well.
Hormones are the master controllers of health—they control gland and organ function throughout the body, including one of the biggest organs of them all: your brain. Hormones control your brain function and many other extraordinarily important glands that control your mood at the most fundamental levels.
DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone is a hormone synthesized by the adrenal glands.
DHEA is the most abundant and important precursor hormone in the human body, meaning that it is the largest raw material your body uses to produce other vital hormones. Imbalances in DHEA levels can and do throw the body’s entire hormonal production cascade out of balance. Furthermore, DHEA production tends to decline as we begin to get older; and many researchers hypothesize that signs of aging are simply the body reflecting lower levels of DHEA production, which is why Pine Pollen is widely considered to be a longevity-enhancing herb.
Chronic stress from low emotional states like depression and anxiety—along with poor diet—tend to affect its production most significantly outside of aging. Low levels of DHEA are associated with immune conditions, low libido, depression, cognitive decline, and accumulation of fat on the body, among other things. Consequently, optimal DHEA levels are associated with improved mood, muscle development, fat loss, increased sex drive, and immunity, as well as a number of other significant benefits that closely mirror the effects of Pine Pollen. Many people suffering from anxiety and depression also suffer from low or non-existent sex drive, which can contribute to feeling depressed and unmotivated in and of itself.
Pine Pollen is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet as well, containing hundreds of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that nourish the body at a fundamental level, making it an excellent depression-fighting food.
It’s particularly rich in B-vitamins, amino acids and Vitamin D3, which heavily influences neurotransmitter production and mood and is notoriously difficult to get from diet alone.
Pine Pollen is also rich in more exotic, albeit vitally important, compounds such as nucleic acids (DNA-repairing fragments) and superoxide dismutase, a powerful antioxidant and cell protectant, among many others.
It’s not hard to see why it’s such a powerful health- and mood-boosting food and a great addition to the depression diet.
Lavender essential oil with its soothing properties promotes restful sleep and relieves tension. Lavender oil has been used and cherished for centuries for its unmistakable aroma and myriad benefits. In ancient times, the Egyptians and Romans used Lavender for bathing, relaxation, cooking, and as a perfume. Its calming and relaxing qualities, when taken internally, continue to be Lavender’s most notable attributes.
doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex is a unique combination of Lavender essential oil and natural plant extracts in a vegetarian softgel to help you get the refreshing sleep you need without leaving you feeling groggy and sleepy the next day. doTERRA Serenity Restful Complex combines the well-researched, relaxing benefits of Lavender essential oil and L-Theanine along with lemon balm, passionflower, and chamomile to gently promote relaxation and sleep.
Tumeric - clinical trials have shown that turmeric extract can influence neurotransmitter balance in the brain. Curcumin appears to have an antidepressant and anxiolytic effect through its ability to modulate levels of serotonin and dopamine. Thus, it may be a good complementary treatment for depression.
American Psychiatric Organization (APA);
Various sources from the Internet;
Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash
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