Ease Depression with these 5 Steps

This article is not medical advice, but it is intended to help you on your journey.  While I don’t know if anything can actually prevent you from becoming depressed, I believe that my diligence helped me come out of it.  The signs that I personally experienced were from my own combination of invisible diseases.  I was diagnosed with “secondary depression” stemming from pain.

Symptoms you might experience:

  1. Loss of energy or fatigue even after sleeping.
  2. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt that you are to blame.
  3. Weight loss or gain…in my case it was gain.
  4. Thoughts of suicide or just nothingness…as in what would happen if you didn’t exist?
  5. Restlessness, insomnia, or wanting to sleep all day long.
  6. No pleasure in any or all activities, and/or no joy or happiness in other things that used to bring you joy.
  7. “Hermit” behavior and not speaking to anyone.

While there are certainly more symptoms, these are just a few that are warning signs your body is trying to tell you something.  What do you think your body is trying to tell you?  There could be many underlying health problems mimicking depression that can be corrected and/or helped once noted.

5 steps to take if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms:

  1. Have your thyroid checked, your vitamin levels and possibly even your adrenal glands.  If you open the link on thyroid, in the fine print of the article, it says this:  A 2005 study found that subjects with Hashimoto’s disease displayed high frequencies of lifetime Depressive Episodes, Generalized Anxiety Disorders, Social Phobia, and Primary Sleep Disorders.  What had I been trying to tell my doctor for over a year?  That there was a link.  When he refused, seriously, to listen to me I went to a functional medical doctor instead.  The body gives us these warning signs as a way of letting us know that we really are not in balance.  I could see that I was not, and definitely knew something brought it on because never in my life had I felt so empty.
  2. Get more Vitamin D.  I take this one right here, but have your levels checked first.  I started looking into the most pure form of phytotherapy, or plant-based nutrition supplements, and was personally sold by the methods of how this company preserved the nutrients in the most readily available form.  I read that Vitamin B-12 and other B vitamins play a role in producing brain chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions. Low levels of B-12 and other B vitamins such as vitamin B-6 and folate may be linked to depression.  So I also decided to take a gluten-free multivitamin.
  3. Check and see if you suffer from food intolerance as it a real thing. Like most people, I used to think that food intolerance caused unpleasant reactions like diarrhea, swelling of lips or tongue, etc. I would not have associated my food with what was happening in my brain and gut until I studied the effects of what I was eating.  I journal the questionable items which might have sugar or gluten to see if that is what triggers my response or mood shift now.  When I am away from foods I need to eat, and make do with foods that I should NOT eat, there is a consequence in my body.  My body warns me almost immediately now.
  4. This one is hard, but drink less caffeine.  Anxiety often happens along with depression, and too much caffeine can make you nervous, jittery, or anxious.  There is no clear link; however, it is well known that cutting out sodas and sugary drinks that spike your energy and then leave you in a slump and replacing with water will leave your blood sugar levels at a more normal balance, which will, in fact, help you in the long run.  Plus you might just sleep better this breaking the cycle.
  5. Exercise in some way shape or form daily.  People get mad at me for pointing this one out usually, but it brings us back to the endorphins. I wrote about this a while back, but it is true that endorphins help us.   In my own way, I always have dark chocolate here, so I hope you opened my old post up there as it has a funny clip, plus I do yoga and walk, get outside, etc.  Truly is life saving to get exercise.

While these things might seem insignificant to others who do not know what it’s like to be trapped in a world of nothingness, these tips really could help save a friend’s life.  Keep the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on a card as well.

Articles I have written on autoimmune can also help you in your research on gluten intolerance, leaky gut and more.

  • The great puzzle takes you back to my allergy tests.
  • Fog speaks on what it’s like to have brain fog.
  • War on me talks about my inside battle.
  • Motivational Monday on this day talked about tips I used to get by daily in pain.
  • The Thief is one of my faves and talks about old age being a bitch.

sadness

Grief, endorphins, and pain…

There comes a time in your life when you begin to think the universe is conspiring against you.  The last week has been that way for some of my friends and to be honest, it hasn’t been a bed of roses for me either.  The pain that I was experiencing last year in my shoulder decided to come back this week.  Just enough to make me uncomfortable doing my day-to-day activities.  It was almost like it was teasing me.  I decided to ignore it.  It started hurting worse…ha.  I felt like a kid who had his hands over his ears going “I’m not listening to you…” and then humming to myself.  There are worse things in life than my pain and I know that.

Grief is also a kind of pain that hurts deeply.  I read that the purest pain you have known comes from grief.  For those of you just entering the first stage this week, you are still at the shock stage.  Once you get over the initial shock, you will be looking for emotional release.  During this time, your friends can help you cope.  This stage is usually where I can help.  Laughter is one of the best things for you because as you know it produces endorphins.  As you know, endorphins are produced in the brain to help ease your pain.  Basically, it’s like taking some morphine.  So now I know why my friends keep me around.  Ha.  Apparently, chili peppers and chocolate can lead to enhanced secretion of endorphins.  Ohhhh.  Now it makes sense why  that lady mixed those two ingredients together in one of my favorite movies…ummm.  Have a peek for yourself:

After you have eaten your chocolate and looked at Johnny Depp, I mean watched the movie, go out for a run.  Seriously, the next thing you need to put in your life to cope with your feelings is exercise.  Just last week I surprised myself with a new time on this fake 5k I run in my head while I am on the elliptical machine.  What do I mean by that?  Well, each time I get on the machine I put a goal in my head to beat.  Sometimes someone will help me out by “running” near me.  In my mind, I beat them.  Don’t judge.  It works.  I felt so much better last week that I kept going and was not tired at all.  The endorphins were working.

The last thing I am going to recommend to my friends is to start a journal or even a private blog.  Writing down your feelings can be very therapeutic.  Trust me.  Knowing I have an audience doesn’t change what I have to say; instead, it helps me to focus my message.  What I would tell myself, I also tell my readers.  I am living the burned hand theory daily.

“Every evening I turn my worries over to God.  He’s going to be up all night anyway.”  ~Mary C. Crowley

Note:  here is a post you might like called Suffering is Optional