Mental Health & Substance Abuse

Risk factors and ways to deal with depression

Depression is a major disorder that affects the way people think, feel, and even the way they act. People tend to feel upset and sad and lose interest in activities they once liked. Depression usually strikes in the late teens or early twenties and affects women more than men. It is estimated that at least one-third of the women in the country experience depression at some point in their lives.

The symptoms of this condition may occur due to problems like thyroid, brain tumor, or a vitamin deficiency. So, the doctor will need to rule them out while making a diagnosis. The doctors will only diagnose a patient with depression if these symptoms last for at least two weeks. Some of the symptoms that accompany depression are weight gain, excess or a lack of sleep, and performing the same act repeatedly like pacing or fidgeting with something.

Risk factors associated with depression
Let’s look at some of the risk factors that play a role in the development of depression.

  • Personality
    Experts have identified certain personality traits that might be shared by people who are prone to depressive episodes. These include low self-esteem and stress. People who get stressed out or feel pessimistic about most things are more likely to get bouts of depression.
  • Genetic makeup
    Sometimes, the condition is hereditary, and if one’s parents struggled with depression, then they could be at risk of getting it too. In the case of identical twins, if one of them suffers from depression, there is a 70% chance that the other one may also develop the symptoms of depression at some point during their life.
  • Surroundings
    People who are in the midst of troubling social circumstances or live in a harsh environment often find themselves depressed. Prolonged exposure to neglect, poverty, abuse, or violence may have an adverse impact on an individual’s mental health.
  • Biochemistry
    The presence of certain chemicals and the differences in these chemicals in the brain may have an impact on how one feels, and thus, it could trigger the symptoms of depression.

Ways to manage depression
Here are some tips for dealing with depression.

  • Diet
    Eating a diet rich in leafy greens and tomatoes, fruits like berries and apples, as well as walnuts may do wonders in the long run. It is crucial that people with depression should neither skip a meal nor eat too much. Sometimes, antidepressants may also affect an individual’s diet.
  • Daily routine and activity
    It is essential that a person suffering from depression should maintain their daily routine. Some people tend to avoid work and sleep for long hours. It may have a negative impact on the sleep cycle, mood, and food intake. Research suggests that physical activity and exercise may help boost a person’s mood. One can start with brisk walking for about 20 minutes every day.
  • Socializing
    It is necessary to stay in touch with friends and socialize as much as possible. One should try to interact with others if possible. Talking to friends and family members can help people deal with the signs of depression.

If an individual is experiencing the symptoms of depression, they should talk to their doctor or a mental health professional for an expert opinion.