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

Which one? Anxiety or depression…

I am not a doctor.  I am writing as a friend who has suffered from one or both of the above, so let me make that clear.  After the diagnosis of my last disease, Hashimoto’s, I was fine.  I knew I could be put on thyroid medicine and everything would be magically “solved”.  It wasn’t that easy…not by a long shot.  I started having severe food allergies and was in pain.  The link above shows you some of the symptoms of my newest disorder, but what I did not realize was that food allergies can also cause some of the same symptoms.

I had my first panic attack.  I thought perhaps I was having a heart attack…really.  After months of living with anxiety, I saw my first ever therapist.  She told me to read a book.  It was nice, it was, and it taught me about the value of “now” and how to practice breathing techniques.  I breathed.  I am still using those techniques and told my friend about them as she also suffers from anxiety.  We breathed together.  I looked up natural ways to help and finally, one night, my husband realized a medicine I was on for acid reflux was probably blocking my magnesium.  Here is another article about dealing with panic attacks.  It suggests using magnesium, vitamin B12, vitamin B1, and vitamin D.  I already knew my D was low from a few years prior.  I had never even thought about magnesium.

The therapist was asking me if I was depressed, and while I felt that way at times, I wasn’t sure that was the underlying problem.  I realized I wanted another explanation because I really felt like she wasn’t connecting the dots.  I began researching what happens when I ate certain foods, or when I didn’t eat on time because I was avoiding food.  I found this article here on 11 Natural Treatments for Depression.

I called my cousin.  We are very close, and I knew she went through this.  I wondered if there was something in our family that caused this kind of thing to come out, and then I remembered she had thyroid problems at one time too.  She was really sick as a child…maybe illness was the connection.  Around January of this year, I finally made a connection to improperly balanced hormones as well.  I have too much estrogen.  Definitely needed balancing.  I read about maca powder, and I’ll never forget the first time I bought it at a local health food store.  The woman said “What do you THINK that will do for you?”  It was not said nicely.  I told her exactly what it would do and how it would give me energy, balance my hormones (hopefully), and contained calcium, iron, magnesium and selenium as well as essential fatty acids and 19 amino acids.  Take that snooty lady.  I now order it online:)

So, I can’t be sure exactly what was going on I just knew I had to cover ALL my bases.  I knew over the course of 4 years, my body was trying to tell me what I needed, but at the time, I had no idea how to balance it out.  Do NOT lose hope.  Talk about it, and seek medical help if it is really bad.  My family probably wouldn’t want me sharing this, but meh.  I have lost distant cousins due to depression, and a great-grandfather.  I do not take it lightly.  I do not think I can handle it without help.  Bravo for stepping up and admitting you need help.  Please reach out.

Patience

 

 

Thoughtful Thursday…

For those of you who are new to my blog, I want to say welcome.  I started this blog as a way to release some of the pent-up anger I was feeling over my health conditions.  I knew others out there were probably feeling the same way I was, but at the time, I had not met anyone at all with the same combinations of diseases I had.  As a matter of fact, if you go way back into my blog archives when I talk about the early years of my diagnosis, I did not meet anyone for over ten years or more who even had one of my conditions.  It was a very difficult time in the beginning because I had no idea what was going to happen.

So I tied this blog concept into my love of Tolkien, the fact that as a hard-headed youngster I actually burned my hand reaching for the stove (I thought there was soup there…wanted to help), and then right before my wedding, my skin started to blister and my hands felt like they were on fire all the time (PCT).  There have been many times when I felt some sort of resentment towards others as they lead their “normal” lives.  I kept it inside and “stuffed” it down.  I did not explode on others, but I was not nice to people I cared about.  The thought was, they will forgive me.  Okay, so maybe I didn’t consciously think that way, but looking back, I know it was easier to push them away when I was hurt.  Much like a wounded animal.

Now, 17 years after meeting my future husband, I can say he is finally learning this and I am learning erm or trying not to react to my pain.  Some of what has helped me is as follows:

  1. I met a doctor who actually said, “If you don’t like the job I’m doing, you can fire me.”  Technically he is my chiropractor, but no one has ever told me that.  So it counts.
  2. I surround myself with positive quotes, positive people, and positive things.  If I can’t, I will leave a situation.  It took me a while to realize I didn’t have to stay to make a point.  I could leave and that would be a good point too.
  3. I avoid situations I don’t want to be in.  I am learning to say no more often.
  4. I found a person who has some of the same theories I do about Hereditary Hemochromatosis.  I have been saying for over 15 years that if this is genetic, we don’t know enough about what that could mean.  You are messing with genes here.  Here is his link as he has been researching a bit longer than I have.  Leslie Johnston, D.V.M.  He has put together a list of things he thinks is linked.  Yes, it seems like a long list, but number 117 sure is true.  My family would agree.
  5. My porphyria friends.  Where would I be without my tiny band of porphyria friends.  Such a nasty disease and you all cope as best you can.  I know that I have the cutaneous kind, but we are still a band of fighters.  Each of us fighting our different kinds.
  6. My Hashimoto’s diagnosis (thyroid) is still one of the things I don’t understand, but eating on a restricted, mostly clean, mostly gluten-free diet improves some things, and for that, I thank my husband for being supportive.  We walked away from the most delicious looking bread just because he knew it would cause me stomach issues.
  7. A whole new world of friends on The Burned Hand’s Facebook quote sharing page.

So, I have not forgotten all of you, my dear friends, who are fighting disease.  I might not post as many updates as I once did, but I promise you, if I come across some research that will help, I will let you know!  This post is just to let you know I am thinking of you.

One More Round