The number of people in Scotland treated with anti-depressant drugs has risen by 5% in the past year and since 2009/2010 the use of anti-depressants has increased by a staggering 28.5% – two-thirds by women in the 50 – 54 age group!
This is a world-wide trend in the developed countries and quite frankly, extremely alarming!
Depressive thoughts and behaviors are habits that can be changed without the need for drugs, which have huge side-effects including suicide! So what is depression exactly and what are natural modalities can we use to stop and reverse this trend?
Depression is an emotional disorder characterized by sadness, inactivity, grief, difficulty concentrating, feelings of loss or emotional withdrawal. As our moral and self-esteem suffer, we ‘shut down’ both emotionally and physically. Depression can also be the result of suppressed emotions and energies. Small changes in lifestyle help develop personal fulfillment, which prevents this very negative psychological state.
- self-love: decide to create a positive situation in everything you do that helps promote self-esteem.
- mutual relationships: involve yourself with motivated people who have a positive attitude – who show their love freely and who share in giving and receiving.
- meaningful work: find a type of service that gives you a sense of purpose and identity.
- goals and visions for the future: think about the desirable changes you want to make in your life and take small steps towards achieving these every day.
Depression can result from hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) – a state that I saw particularly in young women in my Cardiac Risk Profiling over the years. This physiological state is characterized by swings in emotions from extreme highs to extreme lows. This condition can be caused by too much sugar in your food. In this case sugar gives you a short burst of energy followed by a plummet in blood sugar from an overproduction of insulin resulting in fatigue, depression and anxiety.
If you suffer from hypoglycemia avoid foods that contain sugar, alcohol, coffee and fruits that contain large amounts of sugar.
Eat fresh vegetables, whole grains, and sprouts are excellent for balancing blood sugar.
Depression can be caused by low levels of vitamins C and E. Salads with cucumber and fresh parsley with lemon juice as a dressing are rich in these vitamins.
This emotionally imbalanced state can be a result of shallow breathing causing not enough oxygen in the blood. If you are feeling low, pay attention to your breathing and if shallow close your eyes and concentrate on breathing deeply through your diaphragm. This relaxes your body and by slowing your breathing down to where you are taking four slow breaths per minute will change dramatically the way you feel! Do some sort of exercise that you enjoy and isn’t an emotional drain on you helps as well as the ideas above.
Allied to these simple changes – if you can completely understand and practice living these three small words – accept what is.