It may not always be possible to prevent depression . However, the following strategies may help reduce your risk of becoming depressed. Be alert to factors that can increase your risk for depression, such as:
High levels of stress
Major life changes, such as death of a relative, assault, severe marital or relationship problems
History of physical or sexual abuse, or bullying as a child
If you feel overwhelmed by stress or are experiencing symptoms of depression, see your doctor for a physical exam and mental health evaluation. You may be referred for further evaluation or counseling, if appropriate.A network of supportive relationships is beneficial for the prevention and treatment of depression. Supportive relationships serve as a buffer against stress, which can sometimes trigger depression.A high level of religious involvement is associated with a reduced risk of depression. Spiritual faith in the context of organized religion can have a buffering effect on depression. In a group setting, it can provide the additional benefit of social support. A variety of relaxation techniques can help you cope with stressors that may contribute to depression. Examples include meditation , deep breathing, progressive relaxation, yoga , and biofeedback . These techniques help you pay attention to tension in your body and release it with exercises that help quiet your mind and relax your muscles. You can also reduce stress by getting adequate sleep, rest, and recreation. Regular exercise helps you relieve stress and may help prevent or reduce depression. Aerobic exercise and yoga have been found to be particularly beneficial for reducing stress and improving mood. Aerobic exercise can raise the levels of brain chemicals that affect mood, such as endorphins, adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. Other benefits of exercise include weight loss, increased muscle tone, and improved self-esteem. Yoga provides the benefits of stretching and deep relaxation. Alcohol and drugs may contribute to depression. If you think you may have a substance abuse disorder, seek professional treatment. Eat a healthy diet that is low in fat, high in fiber , and rich in vitamins and minerals. A Mediterranean diet may be associated with reduced risk for depression. Specific dietary factors that may be beneficial in depression are the B-complex vitamins (found in whole grains) and omega-3 fatty acids (found in cold-water fish, fish oil , and flax seeds). Get a reasonable amount of sleep (around eight hours) nightly. If you are suffering from insomnia , seek treatment since chronic insomnia is thought to be a risk factor for depression.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
Exercise during pregnancy has been associated with many benefits for mom and baby. This review supports the trend and finds that even one day of purposeful activity per week may reduce the need for cesarean birth.
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Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
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