Understanding What is Depression and 7 Ways to Overcome Depression

Depression is first a mood disorder that can deteriorate to a mental health ailment. Depression can take many forms and it can affect anyone. To understand depression, you have to learn what it is and know how to identify it.

What is depression?

Depression is a widespread mental health disorder that affects over 350 million people globally. It is estimated that 10% of the general population will have it in their lifetime.

More predisposed than men, women are more affected by this disease, which can be explained in particular by postnatal depression which, as its name suggests, occurs after the birth of a baby.

Depending on the culture, cases of depression are more or less frequent. Considered an ailment, depression affects people of all ages and shows a clear possibility of reoccurrence.

What is Depression and 7 Ways to Overcome Depression
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What is the difference between sadness and depression?

Each life event has an impact on our mood and mental health, be it the death of a loved one, moving to a new environment, or loss of your job. The difference between sadness and depression is that you can get over sadness within a short time. Depression on the other hand is a mood disorder that occurs without a specific cause and can last for longer periods.

Depression affects almost every part of your life, affecting the way you think, feel, and carry out your daily activities such as sleeping, working, and socializing. Some common symptoms of depression include:

  • Feeling of emptiness

  • Constant feeling of exhaustion

  • Disorientation and lack of concentration

  • Insomnia (lack of sleep) or Hypersomnia (getting more sleep than normal)

  • Changes in appetite or weight

  • Feelings of hopelessness

  • Loss of interest in hobbies or activities

  • Irritability or restlessness

  • Pain with no clear physical cause

  • Thoughts of death or suicide

To be diagnosed with depression, these symptoms must be present most of the day, every day for at least two weeks.

What are the Causes of Depression?

Depression can happen to anyone for no reason or warning. Depression is one of the most prevalent mental health disorders, with 8.7% of women and 5.3% of men suffering from depression each year. Research has shown that factors such as genetics, biology, environment, and psychology can play a role in depression.

It is important to note that depression can be either mild or severe, but even when mild, cases of depression should be taken seriously. Depression is not simply a "bad mood" or something someone can "break out" of, but luckily it is treatable.

How can One get out of Depression?

At first, depression is only an easy to overcome mood disorder. But when adequate care is not taken, it can deteriorate to a life-threatening mental health issue. There are many simple and practical ways to help yourself through this mood disorder, starting with imbibing a healthy self-care routine which is crucial to living a healthy, and happy life. From a healthy diet, to exercise, and everyday life plan, and your social interactions, there are numerous steps you can take to improve your mood. Be open to new approaches and understand that a combination of these self-care practices may be required before you notice a change in mood.

1. Eat junk-free healthy diets

What you eat can have a significant impact on your body and mind. While you may want to reach for snacks filled with sugar or fat when you feel bad, it's best to stick to a healthy balance of fruits, vegetables, and proteins. These food categories can improve your energy levels and keep you adequately nourished. Avoid skipping meals and try sticking to a regular menu. caffeinated beverages and alcoholic drinks can negatively affect your mood, so you should cut down on their intake.

2. Create a Workout Routine

Studies have revealed that just doing 15-30 minutes of moderate exercise a day can significantly lower symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression. This is because exercise helps break down stress hormones like cortisol while also releasing feel-good endorphins. Daily workouts also help with mood regulation, improvement of overall health, and protection from obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Exercises that can help get your heart pumping and sweating are:

  • 20-30 minutes of brisk walking

  • Running for 10-15 minutes

  • Gardening

  • Cleaning the house

  • Washing your car

  • Taking a bike ride

  • Playing outside with children

  • Taking your dog for a walk