Just this week, I have seen three patients with depression requiring treatment. Treatment options include medications, therapy, and self-care. Self-care includes things like sleep, physical activity, and diet, and is just as important as meds and therapy — sometimes more so. I am passionate about diet and lifestyle measures for good health, because there is overwhelming evidence supporting the benefits of a healthy diet and lifestyle for, oh, just about everything: preventing cardiovascular disease, cancer, dementia, and mental health disorders, including depression. Diet is such an important component of mental health that it has inspired an entire field of medicine called nutritional psychiatry. What it boils down to is that what we eat matters for every aspect of our health, but especially our mental health. Several recent research analyses looking at multiple studies support that there is a link between what one eats and our risk of depression, specifically.
Depression is rated by the World Health Organisation as the leading cause of disease burden amongst high income countries. Depression is characterised by feelings of worthlessness or guilt, poor concentration, loss of energy, fatigue, thoughts of suicide or preoccupation with death, loss or increase of appetite and weight, a disturbed sleep pattern, slowing down both physically and mentally, agitation restlessness or anxiety. There are many factors that can contribute to the development of depression such as psychological issues or biochemical imbalances, and triggers such as major stress or trauma. There are also a number of nutritional imbalances that can make you prone to depression, which are explored further down. In Britain, 1 in 20, or around 3 million people, are diagnosed with depression. Unipolar Depression is rated by the World Health Organization as the leading cause of disease burden amongst high-income countries. There are 2 major classifications of depression: typical and atypical. Depression is diagnosed on the basis of symptoms in a questionnaire test, the most common being the Hamilton Rating Scale of Depression, or HRS for short. This contains questions about your mood, guilt feelings, suicidal thoughts, insomnia, agitation, anxiety, physical problems, sex drive, and so on.
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Few people are aware of the connection between nutrition and depression while they easily understand the connection between nutritional deficiencies and physical illness. Depression is more typically thought of as strictly biochemical-based or emotionally-rooted. On the contrary, nutrition can play a key role in the onset as well as severity and duration of depression. Many of the easily noticeable food patterns that precede depression are the same as those that occur during depression. These may include poor appetite, skipping meals, and a dominant desire for sweet foods. The most common mental disorders that are currently prevalent in numerous countries are depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and obsessive-compulsive disorder OCD.