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Depression: Understanding, preventing, and treating it

April 25, 2013

While there are a lot of studies about depression, the answer as to why people get depressed is still unknown. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH) believes that depression is caused by a combination of genetic, cognitive, and environmental factors, which include trauma, loss of a loved one, financial problems, broken relationships, and even stress.

 

Image Source: npr.org

Image Source: npr.org

 

Although medical studies have proven that depression can easily be treated, prevention is still the best cure. Doing activities that promote a healthy appearance may make a huge difference in how people who are prone to depression see themselves. In addition, eating healthy, taking some time off for travel and relaxation, and hanging out with friends who can make them laugh and reduce their stress can lessen people’s chances of having a depression episode. Exercise, too, can help prevent depression, as during a vigorous exercise routine, endorphins, which can boost a person’s mood, are released.

 

Image Source: depressionnews.org

Image Source: depressionnews.org

 

As with any illness, early diagnosis and treatment of depression can lessen both the intensity and the duration of the symptoms, and may even reduce the chances of a relapse. Doctors may use either psychotherapy or medication, or even a combination of both in treating depression. However, treatment, especially through medication, can take weeks before it can truly relieve the patient of the symptoms.

 

Image Source: sharecare.com

Image Source: sharecare.com

 

Depression may be dangerous at times, as extreme cases can sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts. But with enough support from friends and family, it can be prevented.

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