I read an article which I wanted to share with you. It focused on depression, it’s the most common mental illness. Carers must take care to battle any blues, read more to help yourself….
Depression is twice as common in women as men according to the World Health Organisation. Most everyday carers are female so it’s obvious that attention needs to be taken to enlighten carers, ensuring carers keep healthy; mentally and physically.
I succinctly edited the article’s information, advice and recommendations:
- Exercise is recommended as an antidepressant. 2-3 hours a week is suggested by University of Texas Southwestern Medical Centre in the USA. There must be time in the week for a good walk?
- Eating a diet rich in veggie, fruits, nuts, whole grains, fish , and healthy fats like olive oil may improve blood flow, fight inflammation and repair any cell damage so says a study published in General Psychiatry. Always good to eat healthy foods, eat fresh and remember portion size.
- In a Harvard School of Public Health Study it was shown that women who drank four cups of coffee a day were less likely to fall into a funk! So coffee is good although four cups a day is quite a lot even for me! A recent US National Institutes of Health Study stating people who drank four cups of soft drink were more likely to develop depression than those that didn’t, so restrict soft drinks.
- The average time people take to seek help with their depression is 5 years according to a Singapore Mental Health Study. It’s time to visit the doctor if you suffer from persistent feelings of sadness, loss of appetite, insomnia, lethargy or feelings of worthlessness.
- Your health is at risk if you are depressed as depression triggers inflammation leading to heart disease according to a study from Loyola University Medical Centre,USA. Carers have responsibilities to others so carers health is imperative, prioritize and maintain your health.
- A new study in the Molecular Psychiatry Journal showed depression added 4-6 years to your actual age. I don’t need to wear that on my face!
- In a 2013 survey by www.everydayhealth.com it was revealed 53% of seriously depressed people improved their outlook by kind deeds. A strong argument for contributing to our communities, organisations, local clubs and improving your well-being.
As a carer I maybe at increased risk of clinical depression but with a good diet, a minimum of 2-3 hours exercise a week, some coffee (enjoyed with friends) and actively contributing to my community I am less likely to become seriously affected with depression. If I do feel shaky mentally or physically then a visit to my GP can remedy my psyche in a timely manner.
Carers need to be fit to care and above all else I don’t want to walk around with 6 additional years of worry, distress and wrinkles on my coping face. I actually want to enjoy life and wear a smile. Just be aware and take care of yourself.
Statistics taken from Depression by the Numbers www.shape.com.sg