Over the past few years, millions around the world have joined the conversation surrounding mental health to shine an important light on an issue that indirectly affects us all. Whether it is through a friend or a family member, 1 in 5 Canadians will experience some form of mental illness in
any given year.
One of the most common forms of mental illness that impacts Canadians is major depressive disorder, more commonly referred to as depression. According to the Canadian c Association, approximately 8% of adults will experience major depression at some point in their lives. This statistic raises many questions about the causes, symptoms, and more importantly, treatments for depression. Depression is a common medical disorder that negatively affects one’s overall mood, thoughts, and actions. While symptoms vary from mild to severe, a depressed individual will generally exhibit feelings of sadness, disinterest and emotional withdrawal. Further symptoms include difficulty concentrating, increased fatigue & purposeless activity, and changes in appetite & sleeping patterns. These warning signs of depression often lead to difficulty functioning at home and in the workplace.
Symptoms typically last for at least two weeks before being diagnosed as depressed. Like most illnesses, depression does not discriminate against income, age, education or culture. Studies show that nearly 1 in 4 young people will experience depression before the age of 19. The warning signs of depression are similar among all ages, though acts of self-harm and issues with confidence are encountered more in depressed youth. Fortunately, the rise of the online generation has enabled supportive resources and effective treatment methods to be widely accessible. For example, Kids Help Phone is Canada’s top mental health support initiative in Canada, offering 24/7 nation-wide support services to Canadian youth. If you feel yourself or your child to be exhibiting the warning signs of depression in youths, do not hesitate to get in touch with Kids Help Phone.
With the temperature slowly climbing and the arrival of spring, we can’t think of a better opportunity to highlight the healthy and positive ways to combat depression and rejuvenate oneself. We’re wrapping it up today with our top 3 natural & easily attainable treatments for being depressed. Check them out below:
- Exercise – The dreaded ‘E’ word. Despite its sweaty and exhausting effects, exercising releases chemicals known as endorphins that trigger positive feelings in the body. It is also helpful in creating a routine and setting goals, which also prevents engaging in purposeless activity. With the weather finally getting better, make the most of it and exercise outdoors!
- Eating Healthy – While there is no fixed diet that counters depression, studies show that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and folic acids can help ease depression. Examples of such foods include salmon, tuna, spinach, and avocado.
- Take On Responsibility – We know it’s easier said than done, but try to resist the temptation to withdraw from your professional and social life. Taking on responsibility and making commitments
can often serve as the perfect motivator to get you out the door and provide a change of scenery. Ultimately, maintaining such a lifestyle counters depression by grounding oneself and offering a sense of accomplishment.
1 “Fast Facts about Mental Illness.” CMHA National, Canadian Mental Health Association, cmha.ca/about-cmha/fast-facts-
3 “Depression in Children and Teenagers.” NHS Choices, National Health Service (UK), 2017, www.nhs.uk/conditions/stress-
PS: Check out our Prevention Updates HERE!