Depression is an all-too-common way we humans have been suffering recently. Being depressed is not the body's natural state. Everyone feels down sometimes, but when the low mood is chronic, lasting for weeks or months and we lose interest in the things that we formerly loved or felt passionate about, it is a major red flag and cause of concern. Depression needs to be taken very seriously because there's hope and promise to get out of it! It is totally ok to be depressed; it is important to call a spade a spade. Assessing the issue is the first step of getting the help we need.
Depression is a call to action. It means that we are not in our optimal zone of health, and that has serious effects on our lives. Relationships suffer, work performance suffers, self care suffers. Depression has a huge toll on our lives and on those around us. Our bodies respond physically to our mental state. When we are depressed, our immune system functionality lowers, and we are more prone to getting sick. Depression also wreaks havoc on our sleep cycles. Staying up too late getting too little sleep and sleeping too much can disrupt the normal functions of our organs and making it harder to do the things we need to in a day. It is a gargantuan task, climbing out of depression, and that is why we need more than one solution in our toolbox to lean on when we are dealing with depression ourselves or helping a loved one who is experiencing depression.
Good diet and exercise, self care and work productivity is all a part of maintaining good health. Getting enough time outdoors and re-connecting with nature is especially important. Your cells want to work well. Your body wants to be well. We all have an internal bias towards positive change, including every cell in your body. Your body works so hard for you every day, breathing, digesting, and clearing out your head takes on a literal meaning, going for a walk and getting some fresh air can make a huge difference in your day. A way to “cheat” and get exposed to the earth's electromagnetic fields without going outside is laying on a low intensity pulsed electromagnetic field system. Trying new things, noticing our internal sensations is important for changing our relationships to ourselves. Blossoming into the best version of ourselves isn't going to happen if we stay stuck mentally or physically.
There are many ways to ease depressive symptoms and address areas of our lives that are not working; our goal is to make life as depression free as possible. Sometimes that means changing some things in our lives that are no longer working for us. Letting go of habits that are no longer serving us is not easy, but long term, it'll make us happier. Understanding what the causes of depression can be complicated, but only you know yourself best and what needs to happen. Nobody can tell you how to live or what makes you happy. Listening to your internal voice and trusting your intuition is crucial to developing a positive self-image and shifting out of depression.
Maybe it's something as small as getting a new hobby, activity, self care tool or something as big as moving to a new city! Doing the self-reflection of what is working in your life is necessary for changing it. Look at taking stock of everything, from your daily habits - food, water consumption, work, exercise, relationship, and visioning where you would like to be in 5 year's time. Goal setting is an important part of leading a successful life. Becoming someone who you would admire is a good way to frame your mindset around changing your life. If you can dream it, you can achieve it! A little sunshine in your day makes a world of difference to a cloudy mood. Surround yourself with things and people that make you happy and keep you motivated. Make sure to include good nature in your life, even when you get out of depression!
A CLOSER LOOK
Approximately 30% of people with depression are resistant to antidepressant medication. Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) has been found effective when combined with antidepressants. A study was done to evaluate the antidepressant effect when given in conjunction with low-intensity transcranial pulsed electromagnetic fields. The study was a sham-controlled double-blind study comparing 5 weeks of active T-PEMF, or sham T-PEMF. All participants had previously shown resistance to treatment with medication. Weekly assessments were done using both clinical ratings and patient ratings. The sham group saw no change after 4 weeks. Participants doing active T-PEMF showed significantly better outcomes, with the changes occurring within the first weeks of the study. The T-PEMF treatment was superior to sham treatment in participants and few side effects were observed. (study found in the Society of Biological Psychiatry 2010, Martiny)