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How To Avoid Depression

  • Dr.Deepanwita. mfine Ms. Deepanwita Roy
  • 4 Min Read
  • Fact Checked

How to avoid depression?

As individuals, we all experience bouts of sadness, crying spells, irritability and feelings of loneliness and despair in our lives. Sometimes we can identify the potential causes behind it or often spend significant time trying to figure out what must be wrong with us? If the symptoms persist over a long period of time and affect daily functioning substantially, it could be depression. 

 

Potential causes of Depression

There are several potential causes of depression. It’s not always that all the symptoms would be visible all at once and they can range from biological to situational causes. Learning more about the causes or triggers of depression would help anyone to understand how and what they need to do in order to prevent them.   

Biological factors:

  • Gender: Prevalence of depression in women has been twice that of men. 
  • Hormones: Changes in female hormones such as estrogen and progesterone during menstrual cycles, during postpartum and even during menopause may rise the risk for depression. 
  • Family history: Someone is at a higher risk of developing depression if they already have a family history of depression. 
  • Brain chemistry: Chemical imbalance in parts of the brain that manages mood, thoughts, sleep, appetite and behavior also contributes to causes of depression. 

Psychosocial factors:

  • Early childhood trauma: Some significant and life altering life events affect the way your body reacts to fear and stressful situations and later becomes a cause of depression. 
  • Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions such as chronic illness, insomnia, chronic pain, cancer, parkinson’s disease, stroke, untimely heart attacks also increases the risk of depression. 
  • Substance use: A history of substance or alcohol misuse can affect one’s risk of developing depression. 
  • Life events: Failed relationships, episodes of loss of someone close, bereavement and grief can also be a contributing factor for developing depression.

 

Can depression be avoided?

No one chooses to be depressed in any phase of their lives. However, sometimes the challenges of our lives make it difficult and unbearable for us and we succumb to loneliness, despair which further leads to depression. Depression can never be completely avoided but as we all know ‘prevention is better than cure’ hence, depression can be prevented even if you have received an earlier diagnosis of the same by incorporating a few fundamental changes in your life. 

 

Identify the trigger that contributes to stress and leads to depression

Stress is an inevitable part of our daily living. At some point in time, it could be our career, our jobs that we are doing, it could be our personal goals and aspirations and at other times, it could be our relationship with parents, siblings, friends, spouse and partners and so much more. While eliminating stress from our lives is not entirely possible but learning the triggers that contribute to stress, managing the triggers within our capacity and leaving the rest can really help us sail through difficult times. 

 

Our body is our temple

Famous boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr has said, ‘Your body is your temple. You do your body good, your body will do you good’. To prevent depression, we must emphasize on looking at our body or our physical health. 

  • Sleep well. No matter how busy or exhausted or tired you might be, make sure to focus on good sleep hygiene, prioritise sleeping for 6-8 hours every night and maintain a consistent sleep schedule. When we sleep, our body gets a chance to be rejuvenated again. 
  • Exercise. Our busy schedule might leave us with very little time to focus on exercises but even a 30 mins of brisk walking or basic stretching and hands-free exercises at the comfort of your home can show immense effect on how you feel physically and mentally. When we exercise, our body releases endorphins which helps in boosting our mood. 
  • You are what you eat. Your diet consists of 80% of how you feel physically. While you’re allowed to have cheat days, focus on eating healthy on other days. Balance is the key when it comes to your diet. Be mindful of what you’re eating and how you’re eating and it will help in not just managing weight but also how you feel emotionally.   

 

Reconcile relationships

As individuals, we all are social beings. As much as we might enjoy our me-time and solitude, at the same time, we need companionship and support from external sources. To prevent depression, it is important that we stay connected to our near and dear ones. The covid-19 crisis has taught us that isolation can be difficult and it’s time we take forward the learning and include more meaningful relationships in our lives. In addition to building and maintaining connections, stay away from toxic people. Ask yourself the question, who are the people who don’t contribute to my personal and professional growth. Once you know the answer, don’t shy away from disconnecting yourself from these people. 

 

Consider therapy

Psychotherapy and counseling is not just for people undergoing trauma or a clinical condition such as depression, anxiety and so on… Therapy can be a life-changing decision for anybody open to work towards change. There are a lot of times, we feel the need to be heard, we feel the need to vent out and we feel the need to know a different perspective. Consulting a psychotherapist trained in being non-judgmental in their approach would help you to find the right assistance to your concerns or might just help you to find a space to vent. As we embrace another new year 2022, it’s time we break through the stigma and start normalizing therapy for our wellbeing. 

 

Consult a psychotherapist online today at the comfort of your home.

Read more on depression guide

  • Dr.Deepanwita. mfine
  • Written by

    Ms. Deepanwita Roy

Consultant Clinical Psychologist (RCI Registered ) at mfine with 7+ years of clinical experience. Prefer a holistic approach in therapeutic practices using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and mindfulness-based interventions. My interest areas lie in managing stress, anxiety, depression, sleep problems & providing care & support to the LGBTQIA+ community. Apart from providing regular online consultations, I take interest in writing content related to mental health, engage in conducting webinars for EAP programs and work on research and development.

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