Wednesday 20 July 2022


July is The Samaritan’s Talk To Us Month and 24th July is Samaritans Awareness Day…to remind everyone that their Volunteers are there to take your calls 24/7.

Depression is a serious issue and some people who are suffering from depression aren’t even aware that is what they are suffering from. 

Did you know you could be suffering from depression without feeling sad?
 Depression can take hold gradually, and  increasingly dominate your perspective - and your life.

Symptoms of depression can take a variety of forms and not all are immediately obvious to the people suffering from them or to their loved ones. 

Here are five signs of depression to look out for and seven ways you can try to deal with them. 

1. Persistent depressed (low) mood. 

It's natural to feel down from time to time and everyone feels low or down at times or upset by many different situations in life that might occur. However when your low mood starts to affect things you might once have enjoyed or persists for a longer time than usual it can be a sign of depression. 
Maybe you have begun to lose interest in things you once enjoyed and maybe you’ve started to be withdrawn and are missing workouts or catch ups with friends because of your low mood. 

2. Feelings of worthlessness. ...

You may be experiencing a feeling of desperation and hopelessness. When your self esteeem is low you may feel useless, worthless and insignificant, and believe you have nothing valuable to offer the world
When you feel like this you can feel worthless and start thinking and talking about yourself negatively. 

3. Feeling anxious constantly 

Many people with symptoms of depression have feelings of anxiety. Of course it’s natural to have moments of excitement or have bouts of nervous energy. However, are you feeling overly anxious about things? Think about how long your anxiety lasts and how often you feel anxious as well as why you might be feeling anxious. Extra stress at work or in a relationship can cause anxiety but if it is ongoing and you have general anxiety without knowing the root, sometimes it is a sign of depression. 

4.  Constant fatigue 

Are you Feeling constantly tired? 
Feeling fatigued and too tired physically, mentally and emotionally can be a common sign of depression. 
Your energy levels may feel low and sometimes you can feel overwhelmed by activity and the prospect of keeping focused. A type of brain fog can hit you and you can feel drained by normal activities. Your sleep might also be affected by a general unease caused by depression. 

5. Always smiling, but not feeling it

Masking your feelings and pretending to have a great life can also be a sign of depression. Sometimes the bigger the smile, the bigger the depression it hides.  An overly positive attitude, or a perfect life on social media and always being the one to make light of things can sometimes be masking your real feelings as to what is going on. We often dismiss our own sadness or change the subject when we are in denial about how we feel.. People who say, “Yeah, I’ve been really down lately … but I’m fine. Honestly. How are you?” sometimes need a helping hand. 

Depression is a complex disorder and can affect your sleep, your interaction with people and your enthusiasm at work or school. It can impact on your energy levels, your appetite and your general health, making you feel like you are always ill, have digestive problems  or are in chronic pain. It can take the shine off of life and remove your lust for things you normally love. 

Depression in all its forms can be treated with medication and psychotherapy, and it’s best to contact your doctor or a medical expert to seek advice about the next steps you can take. 

However you can also try to make some simple lifestyle modifications to try and help you and your loved ones on their journeys. 

Here’s seven other things you can do to help.  

1. Talking

 Talking with a friend or family member you think is depressed and spending time  with them can make all the difference can help and the Samaritans are available to speak to you whenever you need a friendly voice to help you through your most difficult times. Call them for free on 116 223 any time, any day.

2 Exercise

Exercise can be a helpful way to relieve some symptoms of depression because it increases brain chemicals called endorphins. Just a few minutes of mild exercise can boost your mood and it will help your heart health, and general well-being. Even a short walk every day, or ten minutes of Joe Wicks , or dancing is a great start to get things moving.

3. Turn Negative Thoughts around

It’s easy to get caught up in negative thinking and think, "I'm a failure," or  "No one likes me," or "Nothings ever going to change,"
These thoughts can  reinforce depressive feelings but you can try to turn them around with positive thinking.
Instead of thinking ‘I’m a Failure’ start asking, "How do I know that?"  Or think about your past successes, even moments when you do remember smiling. 
Sometimes we need to fake it before we make it and by thinking of good times and not believing the negative thoughts in your head we can begin to work our way out of a depression. 

4. Change up your diet
Processed junk foods that are sugary, salty, and high-fat might make you feel good at first but can cause spikes in blood sugar, weight gain, and make you bad tempered.
More wholesome options like fresh fruit, salads, lean meats, oily fish, and whole-grain bread can all help you feel better inside and raise your mood. 
Alcohol can also lower your mood so try swapping unhealthy drinks with healthier options. 
Drinking lots of Water is also essential for your body to function well.

5. Herbs and Spices and special teas 
There are natural vitamins, minerals, herbs, and spices that can help to improve your mood and relieve symptoms of anxiety and depression. You can buy these as supplements or can purchase a tea like VAHDAM® India tea which is now stocked in Holland and Barrett and contains herbs  like Ashwagandha, Turmeric and Ginger that can help to cleanse your body and boost your mood. Ashwagandha is an amazing  herb long been used in Ayurvedic medicine for treating various health conditions including depression. It contains adaptogenic compounds that are known for relieving symptoms of depression and anxiety and can help fight degenerative brain conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s. 
The spice Turmeric and its active ingredient cucumin  has been used for centuries in India and China to treat conditions like skin diseases, infections, and stress and some research has found that the bright yellow spice might also help ease symptoms of depression. 
Ginger is also meant to help reduce anxiety by increasing serotonin and dopamine levels.

6. Sleep
When you are depressed and anxious it’s hard to sleep  so you need to try and switch up your routine to get a more restful sleep throughout the night.
Switching off your phone and stopping scrolling an hour or so before you go to bed to rest your brain can help. 
Getting into a routine of going to bed at the same time every evening can also get you settled.
 A dark and quiet bedroom will help you to calm your brain and a room that is cool Weill help you to fall asleep quicker. Avoid caffeine and stimulants  for at least two hours before going to bed. Sleep can make a huge difference to your brain and body and help it to regenerate, repair, and renew. Try it for a few nights in a row and feel the difference.  

7. Laughter and charity
Laughter, they have always said, is the best medicine and  will increase dopamine levels in your brain.
Treat yourself to fun things like a night of comedy shows or movies. Watch fun thing online and have a giggle about funny things with friends or colleagues to try and boost your dopamine levels. Even just smiling releases positive chemicals to your brain.  
It will also make you feel better and distract you from yourself if you begin helping someone else.
When we are depressed  we become introverted and self absorbed so helping someone else with their lives can take us out of ourselves.  Looking after someone else’s pet, or helping an elderly neighbour or attending a local charity drive to help others can help to elevate our mood. 

VAHDAM products at H&B.JPG

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