The Truth about Depression – Know the Facts
It Can Happen To Anyone
At some times during our lives we all feel sad, low or grumpy. These feelings are completely natural and will usually pass or subside fairly quickly. Depression, on the other hand, is a mixture of these feelings, in addition to others, which take the sufferer beyond what is normal to experience from these emotions.
Someone suffering from depression may experience feelings of intense sadness, lack of interest, fatigue, despair and even thoughts of taking their own life. Depression is a serious illness and often leaves the sufferer feeling very isolated and alone.
Although there are many studies currently taking place to try and discover why it is that people come to suffer from depression, it’s currently widely accepted that it can happen to anyone at any time.
When Can Depression Occur?
As mentioned depression can affect anyone, of any age, but there are a few key times when both men and women are particularly susceptible.
Depression can often take hold during the challenging teenage years. The onset of puberty and the changes taking place in the young persons life can have an effect on how this illness manifests. It’s important to note that teenage depression should be taken just a seriously as adult depression.
According to the National Health and Research Council (Australia 2007) approximately 20% of young people will have experienced depressive symptoms by the time they reach adulthood.
Symptoms may include a loss of energy, lack of desire to interact with the world socially and in some cases can go hand in hand with substance abuse, such as the use of drugs and alcohol. Unfortunately in the long term, the use of such substances can only serve to worsen the original symptoms.
One detrimental effect of depression at this age is that it can reduce social and vocational opportunities for the sufferer, as these young people often miss out on educational milestones and find continuing employment a struggle.
Contrary to what some people believe, it is completely possible for someone who has no history of depression to suffer from an onset of the illness later in life. This can happen for a number of reasons.
The death of a loved one, the onset of physical illness (such as heart disease or cancer), chronic pain, loss of employment, loss of independence, or loneliness can all be huge factors in a later-life depressive episode.
Depression in older people is of great concern as according to the World Health Organisation those over 65 are most likely to take their own lives due to the illness.
Women are around twice as likely to experience depression as men but men are more at risk from taking their own lives as a result of depression.
Women are more likely to seek help in the form of ‘talking therapies’ and men are less likely to seek help altogether. In many cases drugs and alcohol become the preferred choice for finding relief from depressive symptoms, for men. Again, unfortunately these often make the symptoms worse over time.
How To Get Help
The good news is that at whatever stage of life depression sets in, there are lots of very successful treatments available. It’s advisable to talk to your doctor about the range of options available to you, or to encourage a friend to seek help if you think that they may be suffering from depression. There are also many alternative choices for treatment as well. One of these alternative choices is implementing a Paleo Diet.
The Paleo Diet and Depression
The Paleo Diet (as in Paleolithic), also known as the Hunter-Gatherer Diet, is known to have good effects on the body’s ability to respond to depression. Many of the foods included in the diet work to reduce inflammation in the body, causing a rise in mood, as well as a general decrease in the symptoms of depression.
Foods included as part of the diet include fish, pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruits, fungi, and some nuts.
Foods not included are grains, legumes, potatoes, refined salt, sugar and heavily processed foods. All of these have a damaging effect on the body and do not assist with the recovery of good mental functioning.
If you would like to know more about the Paleo Diet have a look on the Paleo Network. Otherwise please feel free to explore this site for further information on the topic and to see how it can have a positive effect on depression.