Monday, August 11, 2014

OCD and Depression is No Joke!

In light of the passing of Robin Williams due to depression, I want people to be aware that many people are suffering with feelings of sadness and hopelessness. It may hit like a thunderbolt or it may slowly creep up on you, but depression is one of the worst feelings there is. For all of you who have never felt the horrors of depression, you are gifted. Depression takes a huge toll on the body, both mentally and physically. It may help if you notice your physical symptoms. You may get body aches, headaches or stomachaches which you may not realize is depression-related.

Depression is like living in an exhausting, smothering gloom. It is caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals and often co-exists with OCD and many other mental disorders. It can be triggered by sudden life changes (30% of new college students have reported being depressed), staleness of routine (when life becomes dull and the mind gets bored), and also, not having job or relationship satisfaction.

Depression feels as if all joy and the meaning of life has been stripped away, and all that is left is a fog-like trance. It may take all the energy you have to just get out of bed. All too often, depressed people don’t have the energy to seek help, but lying around doing nothing only makes their depression worse. 

Physical exercise is extremely important. Even of you are having a hard time getting up, just walking for 5 minutes, or going around the block is beneficial. Also, being absorbed in a cause, or hobby can definitely help. Another way out of sadness is to force yourself to go out on a beautiful day and commune with nature. If you live near a beach, make the effort to go by the water, as it has been shown that negative ions help mood. Go to a park, to a garden, notice the clouds, watch the sunrise─all these things may help to brighten the mood.

Depression may also be a sign of low-thyroid function, especially if you have gained weight, have dry skin, and are sensitive to temperature changes. Low thyroid, or hypothyroidism, can be a sign of low selenium, which is a mineral that helps brain function. I researched natural sources of selenium and found that Brazil nuts are just about the best natural source. Other high-selenium foods are egg yolks, tuna, kelp, seaweed, watercress, parsley, oatmeal, bananas, apples, brewer’s yeast, and Hawthorne Berry and Peppermint teas. Perhaps adding some of these selenium-rich foods may help. 

Depression in winter may be due to SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder. Light Therapy, which is exposing your eyes to a light therapy device for several minutes in the morning, can help.There are a variety of light therapy devices on the market today. The best ones do not contain any UV (ultra violet) light. 

If your depression is severe, you should seek professional help. There are many prescription drugs that can help, but if you do not wish to take them, other professional methods are also available...
Some of these are: Acupuncture, Biofeedback, Massage, Yoga, and Meditation.

Sometimes, severe depression can turn to suicidal thoughts. If you experience any of these, it is most important that you get help immediately! If you have a close friend or family member that you can talk to, contact them immediately! If there is no one readily available, Here is a list of resources...

National Suicide Prevention Helpline
1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)

 Hotline & Helpline Information
24-hour Hotline
National Suicide Prevention Helpline
1-800-273-8255 (1-800-273-TALK)
Helplines & Resources
Includes many local 24-hour hotlines along with support for suicide survivors, suicide prevention, and suicide statistics.
American Association of Suicidology
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Befrienders International with the Samaritans
Search for support worldwide
Search resources in the United States
Families for Depression Awareness
Prevent Suicide Now
Suicide prevention resources and worldwide hotline links:
Suicide Hotline Listing by State
International Suicide Hotline Listings
Suicide Prevention Action Network USA
UCLA School Mental Health Project:
Hotlines for suicide prevention and other crisis resources
ULifeLine college network

I hope this helps some of the depressed people out there. I wish you happiness, light, and sunny skies forever!

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