Depression: Symptoms and Treatments
Depression is a disease, which affects an unknown number of Americans. Although scientists have yet to discover what causes this ailment, there are known triggers and risk factors for its occurrence. Some possible risk factors for depression are poor personal health, insufficient nutrients, and a sedentary lifestyle.
The good news is that if you suffer from depression and high blood pressure simultaneously, you may be suffering from two separate illnesses! Here are some commonalities between these two illnesses that can help lead you to the realization that you don’t suffer alone.
Depression often follows an existing high blood pressure problem
The two often proceed simultaneously, and some people report feeling depressed even without experiencing a significant rise in their blood pressure. If you have experienced a family history of hypertension, you are more likely to develop depression. Depression can also occur after a major life event, such as losing a job or being married.
Unlike high blood pressure, which can leave you tired and drained of energy, depression leaves you depressed, anxious and loses your appetite. You may start to lose weight, too, and develop fatigue and sleep problems. If you regularly exercise, however, the depression will not set in until you stop.
In addition to high blood pressure, many researchers believe that depression might also result from physical illness. Hypertension, for example, can make your heart work harder, adding to your stress level. This added stress can cause you to lose sight of the important things in life, such as your blood pressure.
When you start to feel depressed, you might start to neglect physical symptoms like
- Dizziness, or the feeling of a pounding headache
- You might also lose interest in activities you used to enjoy
- A sudden change in your routine
- Changes in your eating or sleeping habits might lead you to depression
If your blood pressure has been constantly high for a long time, your risk of depression increases as well. You might find it hard to think straight, and your relationships with other people might suffer. People who suffer from depression usually have smaller incomes, less-than-average health, and high levels of stress.
If you start to take medication for depression, it might help, but you should always talk to your doctor about possible side effects.
If you start to notice any of these symptoms of depression, you should see a doctor
Your doctor will probably begin a program of natural treatments to treat your depression. Usually, you will start with a lower dosage and increase it slowly over time. The program may include some forms of exercise and relaxation techniques. After several weeks of this type of treatment, your doctor might prescribe antidepressant drugs.
These drugs are much more powerful than those available through natural methods, so you should talk to your doctor before starting any drug regimen. While your doctor can treat many of the symptoms of depression, sometimes your depression will not be helped by medications.
If your symptoms do not respond to lifestyle changes or antidepressant medications, you may want to try something more drastic. If nothing else works, your doctor may refer you to a psychiatrist or recommend that you see a psychologist. Both of these professionals specialize in treating depression.
Depression is a very serious illness and should never be ignored
If you believe you are suffering from depression, get help immediately. Being alone, isolated, and without friends or loved ones can make a depression sufferer feel like they are destined to suffer forever. Many depression symptoms can be treated with lifestyle changes, as well as antidepressant medications.
Losing weight is often an effective way to treat depression. In addition to losing weight, people who are depressed should limit their intake of other sugary foods, which have a tendency to elevate moods. A healthy diet and exercise can also help many depression sufferers, as well as improving their overall health.
Many depression patients experience sleep problems, which can be treated with prescription sleep aids. Another common problem is excessive anxiety, which can often be treated with antidepressants and/or behavioral therapy. Some patients may need to take prescription drugs for a short period of time to treat their anxiety. When you notice the above mentioned symptoms, you should definitely talk to your doctor.
Natural remedies are also available to treat depression
- St. John’s Wort is a herb that has been shown to reduce depression symptoms
- Passionflower is another herb that has been proven effective in treating depression
- Some studies show that omega-3 supplements may help treat depression
- Taking NAC (N-acetylcysteine) has been shown to offer several health benefits, including boosting your body’s glutathione levels
- Saffron has shown promise as a natural treatment for depression. Studies have observed that it increases levels of the mood-boosting neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain. While it’s unknown exactly how this process works,
- Vitamin D may fight depression through several mechanisms, including reducing inflammation, regulating mood, and protecting against neurocognitive dysfunction
- Rhodiola is a herb linked to a variety of potential health benefits when taken in supplement form. These include reduced depressive symptoms and an improved stress response, which can help your body adapt to stressful situations.
- Supplementing with vitamin B12 has also been shown to reduce depressive symptoms in people with MDD when used alongside antidepressant medication
- Magnesium is an important mineral that may benefit those with depression. The deficiency of Magnesium is common among people with depression, and research shows that supplementing with it may reduce depressive symptoms.
Depression is a mental health disorder that affects millions of people worldwide. Although depression is typically treated with medication and therapy, some people may want to try other safe methods like dietary modifications or supplements to reduce their symptoms. Regardless of what your symptoms are, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor, as they will be able to provide the correct medication to treat your disorder.
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