Depression is a devastating and sometimes debilitating disease that often gets misconstrued as heightened sadness instead of an actual medical condition. Depression can be treated; however, the signs of depression can be tricky to identify.
Depression results from an imbalance of two neurotransmitters in the brain. Symptoms include extreme sadness, loss of energy, increased anxiety, loss of concentration, mental and physical fatigue, and a loss of interest in normal and favorite activities. There are a number of treatments for depression, which help patients improve their mood and resume their lifestyles.
The common treatments include professional therapy, medications and an improvement in nutrition and physical activity. Apart from these treatments are some simple suggestions to help deal with the troubles of depression:
Exercise - Walking, low impact aerobics, daily outdoor activity.
Relaxation - Yoga, meditation, writing, reading.
Make a "gratitude list" - Things for which you're thankful.
Get more light - Go outdoors, or work in well lit rooms.
Episodes of depressed mood are fairly common during the winter months especially. This is a disorder commonly referred to as seasonal depression. But the good news is that many symptoms of the "Holiday Blues" are manageable.
"We realize how difficult the holidays can be for many of our patients," said Amy Moran, admissions director at ManorCare Jersey Shore. "Our staff strives to involve our patients in events and activities throughout the season in hopes of relieving lonely or sad feelings."
Although these feelings seem to be more common in older adults, it is important for people of any age to consult their doctors if they experience signs or symptoms of depression.