Via definition, depression is a mood disorder that can cause a persistent feeling of sadness mixed with a loss of interest. Also known as major depression or clinical depression, it affects your behavior, your thoughts, and your feelings, leading to a variety of emotional and physical problems.
To answer the question “can major depression be prevented?”, is going to be difficult. There are many different forms of depression and some stem from a chemical imbalance in the brain, so preventing a naturally occurring chemical imbalance is going to be difficult, but not impossible. We can, however, look at some other aspects of depression to see if there’s anything we can do to help ourselves and the return of the condition.
If you’re aware of the symptoms of depression then being proactive when the signs start showing is one of the best ways to help keep the condition at bay. As difficult as it may seem when you speak with someone that’s a professional in the field you have a chance to discuss the issues. Just talking with someone can be helpful but you’ll also gain some life tools that will allow you to deal with everyday life a little easier.
You don’t need to be suffering from depression to use therapy as something to make you feel better. Many people use it to keep themselves grounded and as a way to navigate the difficult trials of life. Maybe you have some stresses at work or within your home life, therapy can help you see things differently and help you deal with certain problems.
When we exercise, certain hormones and endorphins are released that make us feel good. These hormones include dopamine, serotonin, and oxytocin. All of which are known as “happy hormones”. Endorphins are the body’s natural pain relievers. All of these are released when participating in a form of exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes. The best thing about it is it doesn’t matter what you decide to do. You could go for a run or play golf, head to the gym, or go for a walk.
Staying active is amazing for mental health, but it’s also brilliant for our physical health. When we look at it as a whole, keeping both our mental and physical health in good shape will help fend off depression. Not only will you feel good due to the exercise, but because you’re working out you’ll feel good about yourself and your body.
Stay Connected With Friends
Keeping a healthy social life is a brilliant way to keep the bad feelings at bay. Maintaining your social life will keep your mind busy and occupied whilst giving you a sense of fulfillment. Many people that suffer from depression tend to shut down their social lives and feel alone. This is no fault of their own, it’s just how they feel. So keeping your friends around you will enable you to stay mentally healthy.
Not only this but having a social support group around is brilliant when going through certain stages of your life. Friends are a huge part of your life and play a huge part in keeping your mood level. Stick with your good friends and things should seem a little simpler.
Watch Addictive Behaviours
When people are feeling down they tend to turn to other forms of escapism. Alcohol is a common choice but is, in fact, a depressant in itself. Drinking heavily is going to affect your mood and allow other bad feelings to creep in. If you feel as though you might have a few symptoms of depression then avoiding alcohol altogether is a good idea.
Turning to any other substance is not going to help either. Whilst it may seem like the best idea at the time, getting hooked on any substance isn’t good. It costs a lot of money and drains all the levels of your happy hormones leaving you feeling terrible.
Have A Different Outlet
Many people will have a similar routine every day, and whilst that’s brilliant for some, when you start to feel low it’s good to change it up a bit. Using something different as an outlet is a good way of keeping your mind active and making yourself feel better. Take up a new hobby or join a support group.
Depression is something that can hit you at any point in your life and it often comes unannounced. Whilst there’s no definitive way of preventing it, there are certain things you can do to help keep it away. These points are a good starter and will help you control any feelings you may have that are negative. Don’t let your life slip away from you, take control, and be proactive whilst you can.