Depression (major depressive disorder) is a serious medical illness that affects people’s feelings in a negative way and influences the way they think or how they act. Depression is unfortunately very common mental disorder. It causes loss of interest in activities you once enjoyed. People with depression feel sad most of the time and throughout longer periods of depression a variety of physical and emotional problems may arose that can decrease one’s ability to function at home and at work.

Depression symptoms vary from mild to moderate to severe and can include:

  • Changes in appetite – unexpected significant weight loss or gain
  • Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
  • Energy loss, increased fatigue and lack of motivation
  • Feeling guilty or worthless, useless ,  incompetent, hopeless
  • Difficulty concentrating, focusing, thinking and/or making decisions
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Social withdrawal
  • Constant sadness
  • Suicidal thoughts or thoughts of death, not caring for your life and well-being
  • Lack of emotions and feelings of detachment

In order for someone to be diagnosed with depression, symptoms must last at least for 2 weeks and can go on even for a year in a single depression episode.

While biological or hereditary reasons for depression exist, depression can also occur for psychological or situational reasons.  Depression affects 1 in 15 adults in any given year and 1 in 6 people will experience depression at some point in their life. First symptoms of depression usually appear during the late teens to mid-twenties although it can strike at any time. Women are more likely than men to become depressed and some studies have shown that one-third of women will experience a major depressive episode in their lifetime.

Several factors can play role in depression:

Personality – generally pessimistic people, or people with low self-esteem, who are easily overwhelmed by stress are more likely to become depressed.

Environmental factors – such as poverty, neglect, abuse or exposure to violence can make people more vulnerable to depression.

Genetics – depression can run in families and can be passed on from parent to a child.

Biohemistry – differences in certain chemicals in the brain may contribute in development of depression.

Being sad and feeling depressed are two different things.

Mild to moderate depression can be treated with either medication or psychotherapy, not both. If none works separately then they should be combined. Severe depression is treated with medication and psychotherapy and in extreme cases with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT).

There are number of things that people can do in order to help themselves and manage depression symptoms. Regular exercise, certain supplements, eating healthy diet, avoiding alcohol (a depressant) can help reduce symptoms of depression.

Depression is real illness of the mind and body. Just because we cannot see it, it does not mean it does not exist. It is there, and it can be helped.

Here are some natural ways how to try and live stress free life while creating relaxing environment for your mind and body with right foods , drinks and supplements.