The Hard Cold Truth About Depression

How do you know that you're depressed?

Depression comes in different levels for different people. Medical experts tell us that we're depressed if we do the following: 1) sleep too much 2) lose excessive weight 3) look and feel lifeless 4) no interest in life. 

People who are depressed are most often described as "sad". They may feel overwhelming sadness and the inability to be happy. This feeling may penetrate every part of their daily activities. 

A new blood test may make it easier for physicians to detect the signs of depression in adults. It's hoped the test could help medical professionals identify people who may benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy and measure the results of such treatment.

The test reportedly examines the levels of nine genetic indicators, or RNA markers, found in the blood. Physicians could learn about a patient's depression by comparing these indicators with RNA markers in a person who is not showing signs of depression.

The test has already been carried out by researchers funded by the U.S. Nation Institute of Mental Health. Researchers examined 32 adults diagnosed with depression and 32 adults who had not received such a diagnosis. The participants' ages ranged from 21 to 79. 

What causes Depression?

Several factors contribute to depression.  Depression can be the cause of agitation, restlessness, or lethargy that affects a person's daily routine, behavior or appearance. These symptoms can be evident in body movements, speech, and reaction time. Some describe the diminished ability to think, concentrate, or make decisions as "brain fog."

Deep fatigue or a loss of energy is a symptom of depression that can cause patients to struggle to function as they previously did. This can manifest itself as feeling sleepy or having difficulty concentrating, as well as a lowered threshold for physical exertion.

Depression can be caused by alcohol, junk food, loss of a job or loved one. The thing is...we may be just  "blue," not really depressed. If you're blue...the feeling can last for as little as a few hours, but if you're depressed it could last for days, weeks, or months. Genes may play a part in depression for some people. 

What should you do if you're depressed?

Firstly, you should get up and move. Go from inside of a building outdoors to the open sky and focus on nature. Get out of closed spaces. This act gives a person an instant mood swing from the very worst to at least a little bit better. But simply changing your environment is not enough. You need to move your body and get your blood flowing, breathe hard and get your lungs to start panting. If so, your thought patterns will change. You will feel differently.

Set goals in writing. If you don't have any goals to aspire to then you're like a ship without a rudder. Directionless, going with the flow, at the mercy of others. If you want to turn your life around then you need concrete goals and you need to put them in writing to make it more likely that you'll follow through with them. Putting goals in writing gives them life. The simple act of putting pen to paper makes your goals all the more real. 

Additionally, take care of your physical body. You need to take care of your body in order to take care of your mind and in turn, your life. Fill your body with nutritious foods. The internet has no shortage of healthy recipes. Or, you can seek the services of a nutritionist, dietician or your family doctor. At the very least, cut back on junk food and start to exercise. Do something you enjoy. You don't have to join an expensive gym. Take a walk, join a hiking club or go dancing. The important thing is to move your body. Exercising for as little as 30 minutes, three times a week will work wonders in improving your cardiac, mental and physical health.

What attitude should you develop toward depression in your own life?

First, determine if you are blue or depressed. If you are blue, then you should get active and find something constructive to do, preferably something physical. If you do get active and the problem doesn't go away, then be sure to seek professional counseling.

Try and change the negative thoughts in your head. If you're like most people, you may have lots of negative 'tapes,' or thoughts that play over and over in your mind. Perhaps a teacher or a relative was overly critical and their comments remain stuck in your brain. Or you may have failed to overcome certain obstacles in your life and now see yourself as a failure ...at everything.

Don't worry, you're not alone. Many people are plagued by insecurities or doubts. The secret is not to dwell on them. Instead, focus on your strengths and what you want to accomplish moving forward. Use empowering phrases such as I am safe, I am a winner, or I am changing my life for the better. Change the tapes in your mind to positive affirmations to help boost your success.

You may discover that regular therapy sessions will help cure your depression. A professional can help you find solutions. No one likes being depressed; it's so uncomfortable. We all want to have a happy, peaceful life and not have to deal with negative emotions any more than we have to. So, what attitude should you develop towards depression?

It's hard, isn't it? Well, just realize that everyone gets depressed sometime in their life. Some just experience it more often or more intensely than others. Once you realize you are depressed, do what you need to do to shake it off. Yeah! It's easier said than done. Just move and change your environment. Something will give because life is a constant change, anyway. Something will happen. Just believe and keep trying.


Carol Seymour
Carol Seymour

I am an online language teacher, blogger, and social media entheustic. I like collaborating with online communities and writing articles mostly about culture. 

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The Hard Cold Truth About Depression