In order to win against something it is first better to understand it. ‘Depression’ is a subject that is not discussed often but today we will talk!
“To be depressed and depression are two different things. To be depressed is a mood change; a state of mind and depression is an illness that requires evaluation and psychiatric treatment”, says Dr. Prakash Kothari, eminent doctor and sexologist.
In 2015, Deepika Padukone shared about her battle with depression. Her bold initiative broke the ice on the topic that most were unwilling to discuss. Many other celebrities like Lady Gaga, Brad Pitt, Manisha Koirala, Varun Dhawan and many more are known to suffer from depression. Most of these celebrities have been brave enough to talk publicly about their fight. According to World Health Organisation, approximately 350 million people of all ages suffer from depression every year. As Dr. Kothari says, depression is an illness that requires psychiatric treatment. And doctors across the world believe that talking is the first step in curing depression.
Dr. Kothari says that loss of interest in doing things people would otherwise love, loss of appetite, loss of sexual desire, sleeping late at night and waking up early in the morning and in severe cases suicidal tendencies are some of the most common symptoms of depression. Sometimes it is difficult to ascertain whether depression is the cause or the result like the chicken and egg story. For instance, loss of sexual desire could lead to depression and vice versa. On asking him how to win against depression, Dr. Kothari offered extremely helpful solutions.
He says that walking in the mornings is the best medicine for depression, going for walks is what the people in the old times would do. Walking oxygenates the mind and reduces anxiety along with depression. But it is extremely important to do so during the morning and not in the evening as two rounds in the morning equals to four rounds in the evening. Also, as a result of the spike in Basal Metabolic Rate due to walks it is advisable to do in the morning as the person would remain awake for an approximate 8-10 hours after. However if the same situation happens in the evening it would be of no effect as the person would go off to sleep in a span of a few hours.
Dr. Kothari goes on to say that Yoga helps a person immensely. In Yoga, he advises three things. Firstly, he advises to practice anulom vilom (breathe in, hold and breathe out) Pranayam which if done right provides immense amount of oxygen to the brain. Secondly, Bhramari Pranayam (breathing in and out making a bee-sound, with your index fingers covering the ears) that instantly calms a person’s mind. And thirdly, Shavasan (lying down flat on your back with your feet slightly apart and hands resting beside your body with concentration on breathing) which gives a tranquilising effect to the human body. Again, this should be done in the morning. This would help depression, as well as anxiety.
Exposure to sunlight everyday, some amount of exercise, communicating with near and dear ones, seeking psychiatric or psychological help and believing in yourself are the most simple ways of coping with depression. It is advisable to remember that just like any other illness of the human body, depression needs to be treated and shouldn’t be ignored. It’s time to TALK.