p>With the dark and cold months upon us, I figured it might a good time to write a quick piece on the subject of depression, or seasonal affective disorder and how training and diet might be helpful in overcoming those illnesses. As someone who has battled with mild, and not so mild depression over the years, this topic is somewhat personal. I hope that my experience will be of help to others.
Disclaimer: I will not touch upon the subject of anti-depressants, since I am by no means qualified to speak thereof. If I mention medication, it is only in the context of my personal experience, which is not to be taken as scientific fact.
So let’s dive right in. How do you know that you are depressed? Truth is you don’t. It is a moving target and you can only do so much to asses your degree of depression.
Typical symptoms would be: loss of interest in usually pleasurable activities (such as getting huge), fatigue, changes in appetite, sleep disturbances (sleeping too much or too little), difficulties concentrating, anger, anxiety, indecision (that is particularly bad, it gets to the point where some people can not decide which dish to order in a restaurant), and apathy.
Men tend to exhibit irritable behavior, women have feelings of sadness. None of these statements are absolutes, but if you find that three or more symptoms fit you, you might want to take a closer look.
As hard as it is, do not rely on self-diagnosis. It will only make things worse. Try to find someone you can trust and speak openly to. Sometimes an outsider, i.e. a qualified professional works best.
Let’s assume you have established that you suffer from depression or SAD.
Should you now curl up on the couch and eat donuts? Trust me, I know that feeling, and have wanted to. While this sounds tempting, it will only make things worse for you in the long run. Once you come off the sugar high, you will feel like a train had hit you. Nobody feels particular great when you are packing on the pounds.
10 Tips to Stay Strong and Motivated
Here is my top tip-list on how to slay the dragon called depression.
Tip #1 – Get Help
Get help. Sounds easy, yet it is the hardest part. After all, aren’t we a bunch meat eating, heavy metal listening, alpha males with extraordinary amounts of muscles? Yes, but I still wouldn’t pull my own tooth out if it hurts.
Talk to to whoever you feel comfortable with, whether it is family member, a friend or a pro. Sometimes it is easier to deal with those matters in front of a neutral professional, so seek out a therapist if you feel it could be helpful.
Tip 2 – Free Yourself of the Stigma
Free yourself of the stigma. Very often, people who suffer from depression feel like other people don’t take them seriously. Well meant advice such as: “it is always darkest before dawn” or “pull yourself together” doesn’t really help. Depression is a medical condition and needs to be treated as such.
If your surroundings aren’t supportive, it might be time for a change. I mean it. Nobody would tell a cancer patient that “he is just feeling down.” You should get the same respect. Please note, I said respect, not pity.</p
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