While depression can mean feeling sad, unhappy or miserable, clinical depression is defined as a mood disorder which affects your thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Although the exact cause is unknown, many feel that is it brought on by chemical changes in the brain, possibly related to genetics, stressful events, or a combination of both. Other factors that can play a role in depression include alcohol or drug abuse, nutritional deficiencies, certain medical conditions (such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, headaches , cancer or anxiety), sleeping disorders such as insomnia, and hormonal imbalances.
If you have four or more of these symptoms for two weeks or longer, you may be suffering from clinical depression:
- agitation, restlessness, and irritability
- changes in appetite
- difficulty concentrating and indecisiveness
- fatigue and lack of energy
- feelings of hopelessness and helplessness
- insomnia or increased sleep
- non-structural urinary incontinence
- loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
- becoming withdrawn or isolated
- recurrent thoughts of death or suicide
- reduced sex drive
- significant weight loss or weight gain
If you are diagnosed with clinical depression, your doctor will likely suggest psychological counseling along with antidepressant medication. The three types of antidepressants used are: tricyclic antidepressant drugs, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs) and selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs). While these drugs do help some people, they are often over prescribed, have serious drug interaction consequences, and offer a wide variety of uncomfortable side effects. Be sure to question your doctor or pharmacist thoroughly about the use of these drugs.
A healthy diet can often help foster healthy moods. Consult a naturopathic doctor or holistic nutritionist for what foods to avoid and include in your diet. For example, refined sugars, excess carbohydrates, and caffeine can all affect your moods adversely.
Psychotherapy can have a profound impact on your moods and can help you feel better about your life. And psychotherapy at Yellow Gazebo is always done in a private, supportive setting.
Acupuncture and TCM is great at boosting energy, balancing hormonal levels and treating depression in general.
Contact us for a FREE consultation on how natural therapy can help you with symptoms of depression.
These links may also be helpful:
Beating Depression with Massage Therapy
Depression and the Link to Diabetes