Healthy Life Style

by: Sam Condon


Depression is a mental illness that affects the entire body. Depression affects your brain because it makes you feel sad, despair, discourage, and hopelessness. It can drain energy from your body, make you drowsy and can lead to suicidal thoughts or actions. This disease effects 14.8 million Americans, and the number increases all of the time. Because there a number of different types of depression, it can affects almost anyone. People that are depressed might also have problems, like eating disorders, anxiety, or cut themselves.

Types of Depression

Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is one of the most common depressions. Persistent depressive disorder (PDD) is when your depression lasts for two years or more. Bipolar disorder or Manic Depression is when a person has mood swings from really high to really low. Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a little different. This is when, for example, in the winter when there is less light, people feel depressed. Psychotic depression is when a person experiences having delusions, hallucinations, and paranoia. Postpartum depression is when a woman have major depression weeks or months after childbirth.

5 Ways to Maintain Health

  1. If you have been diagnosed with depression, turn to a trusted friend or family member.
  2. Try to keep up on social activities, even if you don’t feel like it.
  3. Join a support group because talk therapy could help you.
  4. Allow yourself to be less than perfect because people with depression try to be perfect, and when (if) they fail, they beat themselves up about it.
  5. Socialize with positive people, because if you hang around with other depressed people, you won’t get better.
  6. Keep a negative thought log. When you have a bad thought, write it down and when you are feeling better, think if it was a rational thought.

Symptoms of Depression (General)

  • Loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed

  • Weight loss or gain

  • Trouble getting to sleep or feeling drowsy during the day

  • Feelings of being “sped up” or “slowed down”

  • Being tired and without energy

  • Feeling worthless or guilty

  • Trouble concentrating

  • Trouble making decisions

  • Thoughts of suicide

Is Depression Genetic? What other factors play into getting Depression?

Depression can be genetic. If a person has a sibling or parent that has depression, are 3 times more likely to get it. If someone is living with someone with depression, they are also more likely to get it over time. If a child witnesses a parent or sibling with depression, than they might mimic the symptoms. Researchers have also linked serotonin levels with depression. People with depression might also have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) or panic attacks because of the imbalance of serotonin.

Risk Factors of Depression

Biochemical Factors

Depression is a type of mood disorder that some believe is triggered when brain neurotransmitters are out of balance. Neurotransmitters are the chemical messengers that help the brain and other parts of the body communicate. These chemicals, including serotonin and dopamine, help regulate many physiological functions. Experts believe that lower levels of these neurotransmitters may play a role in why some people are more susceptible to depression.

Genetic Factors

Having an immediate family member with depression or mood disorders can increase your risk. In fact, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) states that if one identical twin is diagnosed with depression, the other twin has a 70 percent chance of developing the same disorder. However, depression can occur in people with no family history of the disease. That is why some scientists believe depression can be a product of both genes and/or life experiences.

Sleep Disorders

Chronic sleep problems are associated with depression. Although experts do not know if lack of sleep causes depression, low mood do seem to follow periods of poor sleep.

Serious Illness

The pain and stress that come with certain conditions can take a toll on a person’s mental state. Many chronic conditions are linked to higher rates of depression. Some of those are chronic pain, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, thyroid disease, stroke, and cancer. Others are multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease.

Things to say to a Depressed Person

  1. Is there anything that I can do?
  2. You matter.
  3. Let me help. Do you want a hug?
  4. Depression is real. You aren't going crazy.
  5. There is hope.
  6. When this is over, I will still be here, and so will you.
  7. I don't understand what you are going through, but I will do my best to show you I am here.
  8. I am not going to leave or abandon you.
  9. I love you (Only say this if you mean it.)
  10. We'll get through this together.

Things Not to say to a Depressed Person

  1. It's all in your head. You need to think positive.
  2. You need to get out of yourself and give back to the community.
  3. Why don’t you try and exercise?
  4. Shop at Whole Foods and you will feel better.
  5. Meditation and yoga are all you need.
  6. Are you happy in your relationship?
  7. You have everything you need to get better.
  8. Do you WANT to feel better?
  9. Everyone has problems.
  10. Some people's problems are worse than your's.
  11. People go through worse things than you, so stop feeling sorry for yourself.


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