- Clinical depression is more intense
- Clinical depression lasts longer (two weeks or more)
- Clinical depression significantly interferes with effective day to day functioning.
- Do you suffer from low energy, or fatigue?
- Do you feel hopeless, negative, or pessimistic?
- Do you have persistent sad, anxious, or flat moods?
- Do you have difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decision?
- Do you suffer from recurring feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness?
- Have you lost pleasure in hobbies and activities that you once enjoyed, including sex?
- Do you suffer from sleep disturbances such as insomnia, early-morning waking, or oversleeping?
- Have your eating habits changed, resulting in weight loss or weight gain?
- Do you suffer from restlessness, or irritability?
- Do you have thoughts of self-harm?
10 Steps to recover from depression
"Hypericum perforatum extract is therapeutically equivalent to imipramine in treating mild to moderate depression, but patients tolerate hypericum better."
Regular exercise releases feel-good brain chemicals (neurotransmitters and endorphins) that may ease depression. Exercise has been found to work as well as medications, but may take longer to take effect.
Are you following a diet that helps you to combat depression? There are some essential foodstuffs that can help you to recover your wellbeing:
- Omega 3’s
Research shows that foods rich in B vitamins and omega-3’s may boost your mood. Make sure that you consume enough omega-3’s by eating two servings of seafood per week or by taking fish oil supplements. Salmon, tuna and trout are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
Many people who suffer from depression are deficient in folate, a type of B vitamin. Natural food sources of folate are liver, spinach, papaya, lentils, avocados, raspberries, black eyed peas, red bell peppers, beans, broccoli, greens, and orange juice.
Lack of iron, or anemia, is said to contribute to depression. Natural food sources of iron include meat, lentils, beans and leafy green vegetables.
A 1991 study published in Biological Psychiatry suggests that lower levels of selenium in the diet correlate with anxiety, depression, and tiredness. Natural food sources of selenium include fish, Brazil nuts, beef and turkey, garlic and whole grains.
- What to avoid
It’s important to stay off alcohol if you are feeling depressed. Alcohol is a depressant and will lower your mood (even though it may feel good initially.)
If you are depressed, you are likely to suffer from a sleep disorder. It may be that you feel exhausted when you go to bed, but can’t get to sleep. Or that you wake up in the early hours and can’t get back to sleep again. Personally, I use a combination of three sleep strategies:
- Use a sleep hypnosis recording, created by Jon Rhodes.
- Use an eye-shade, or block out light with thick curtains.
- Use Melatonin in order to reset the body clock.
Besides being physically relaxing, massage may also cause the body to produce fewer stress hormones and may also increase the body’s production of feel-good endorphins and the mood-altering hormone serotonin.
Natural sunlight seems to work best for people who have seasonal depression, called SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder. In fact, extra sunlight can help all forms of depression. Make sure you go out into the sun for a few minutes whenever it shines. If you live in a climate with little sunshine or find yourself depressed in the winter months, you may want to invest in a Solar Simulator. It’s a special lamp that simulates sunshine.
One of the main factors that can precipitate depression is stress. Take a step back and refocus your life. Think of ways you can get others lighten your load. Can you push out the looming deadline? Can someone help you with the task that’s getting you down? Can you delegate or team up with someone?