Depression is a debilitating condition. It is classified as an illness or a disorder. As many as 16 million Americans are diagnosed with a major depressive condition each year.
According to the World Health Organization, 264 million people worldwide suffer from depression. Up to one million people end up taking their lives each year because of this terrible condition.
We can treat depression in several ways. If you believe that you’re experiencing the symptoms of this disorder, speak with your doctor immediately.
It is imperative to start a treatment plan that can help you start feeling better.
How Does Depression Start?
In the months after the coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions, depression diagnosis rates tripled in many countries. That data doesn’t include estimations of people who experience symptoms without going to their doctor.
Depression can be a genetic issue, triggered by life events, or be an acute problem from a combination of both. It often creates sadness, loneliness, and feelings of being meaningless.
We often think that the opposite emotion of depression is happiness, but it is actually continuity. You feel like being productive, which means you start the work of accomplishing something.
Although there isn’t a cure for depression, most people can ease their symptoms by following their treatment plan.
Positive affirmations could be a worthwhile addition to your treatment approach if you haven’t experienced success using other methods.
How Can I Tell If I’m Affected By Depression?
There are many kinds of depression.
Some people experience short-term episodes lasting no longer than two years, while others have a chronic condition that follows them throughout their lives.
The degree and the total number of symptoms can vary from person to person. Some individuals may experience periods of more severe depression at particular points of their lives, often triggered by significant life events such as the breakup of a marriage or a loved one’s death.
It should be noted that depression is not the same as the sadness that accompanies grief.
A specific incident causes grief, and its symptoms will eventually fade, while depression, though such incidents may aggravate it, is an already existing condition.
The symptoms persist well beyond or even in the absence of a triggering event.
What Are the Symptoms of Depression?
Depression can look and feel different for everyone. How each person experiences it depends on their life circumstances, general health, and existing support network.
Most people experience feelings of sadness when dealing with depression. This issue may extend to a lack of interest in previously pleasurable activities, social events, or employment.
Some individuals experience less energy. It may feel like a challenge to get out of bed in the morning with acute depression.
It may cause feelings of worthlessness. This issue may lead to sleep problems, eating disorders, and concentration issues.
Some people experience constant movement with their depression. It may present as leg shaking, hand wringing, or pacing.
The most serious symptoms involve suicidal ideation.
Anyone with at least five of these unwanted symptoms that persist for 14 days or more should speak with their doctor about depression.
What Happens to the Brain During Depression?
People diagnosed with depression tend to have high amygdala activity levels. This area is responsible for emotions.
When you have an intense emotional experience, whether it is love, joy, or anger, the amygdala is responsible for those sensations. With depression, sadness tends to come through with even higher intensity.
Chronic depression causes this issue even when someone may not be experiencing the symptoms of their condition.
Why does this issue occur? The brain’s neurotransmitters may play a role in this condition.
Neurotransmitters and Depression: What You Need to Know
Your brain uses neurotransmitters to pass information throughout the body. It’s responsible for the actions or reactions that you experience when specific sensations or stimuli occur.
When the neurotransmitters fail to function as designed, chemistry-related brain disorders can develop. That includes depression.
Three primary neurotransmitters are responsible for many of the unwanted depression symptoms that people experience.
Serotonin is responsible for regulating sleep, appetite, and mood. It is found in lower levels in people with depression, directly connected to higher suicide risks.
Norepinephrine can increase anxiety levels when depression is present. When it has unbalanced levels, it may affect an individual’s motivational and reward-based perceptions.
GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid) can relieve anxiety at appropriate levels. People with depression tend to have less of it, which translates into more intense feelings and emotions.
Additional Factors That Can Influence Depression
Depression can form quickly when a chemical imbalance exists. It also develops when specific triggers exist.
These additional factors may cause depression or enhance the symptoms that individuals experience.
1. Genetics can cause depression.
Although brain chemistry, environmental and other factors account for 60% of clinical depression cases, genetics accounts for as much as 40%. A “depression gene” isolated by a British research team, called chromosome 3p25-26, was found in over 800 families with depression.
2. Women are more likely to develop depression.
Women have higher risks of hereditary depression and an overall diagnosis. If a family member experiences this condition’s unwanted symptoms, a woman has a 42% chance of developing a similar outcome.
Men face a 29% risk under the same circumstances.
3. Ongoing stress can trigger depression.
Stress causes the body to produce cortisol. This chemical works to stimulate the fight-or-flight survival mechanisms.
When it is present in the body, most people experience higher norepinephrine and adrenaline levels simultaneously.
This cocktail suppresses the neurotransmitter balance that the brain needs to send messages. With lower serotonin and melatonin levels, problems with appetite and sleep management begin.
As the body continues moving toward imbalance, new depression episodes get triggered.
4. Childhood trauma can cause chronic depression.
Those who have experienced traumatic events in their childhoods such as physical or sexual abuse, the death of a parent or loved one, or other traumas, are at a higher risk for depression. The trauma can become “locked” in the body.
By becoming conscious of how this trauma has affected one’s life trajectory, they can learn to release the trauma that can affect brain chemistry and alleviate depression.
5. Long-term medical issues can be depression triggers.
Those experiencing severe medical problems can also become depressed. Physical pain, regular life disruptions, work and relationships, consistent long-term medication and their side effects, frustration, and grief can trigger depression.
Having a support system and finding an activity that makes patients feel useful and gives them a sense of purpose can help combat depression related to medical illness.
6. Difficult emotional circumstances can influence depression.
The investment of time and emotional energy and the vulnerability offered in trust and physical intimacy can lead to devastation and depression when the relationship ends. Learning to let go of feelings of loss, resentment, abandonment, or other heartbreak emotions can help prevent depressive episodes from triggering.
Developing a habit that encourages self-care and self-love, including positive self-talk, can help fight against depression.
Affirmations for Depression to Start Using Today
Affirmations change your brain chemistry. The positive messaging compliments other treatment approaches to create a potential foundation for recovery.
If you experience the symptoms of depression, don’t let the feelings be overwhelming! Take a deep breath, permit yourself to relax, and choose one or more of these affirmations to repeat.
- I am surrounded by love and support.
- My family loves me.
- My friends care for me and value my friendship.
- Being depressed is not my fault. I don’t need to feel guilty.
- I am whole and complete.
- My life has value and meaning.
- My life is worth living.
- This feeling will pass; just keep breathing.
- I am capable of feeling good, positive, and content.
- My depression doesn’t define me.
- My loved ones deeply cherish me.
- I don’t need to do, be, or produce anything to be loved.
- I don’t need to prove anything to anyone; I need to take things one step at a time.
- I know my friends and family need me, even if I can’t see my worth right now.
- I am proud of myself for getting through this day.
- I can overcome this moment and have a good day.
- I am grateful for [fill in the blank].
- I deserve peace, love, and health.
- I am exactly where I’m supposed to be.
- I love myself unconditionally.
- I love myself and release myself from feelings of guilt, hurt, and sorrow.
- I can have a new beginning.
- I am in the process of positive change.
- I am healing.
- I am in charge of how I feel, and today I choose peace.
- I am at home in my body.
- My soul is at peace and my body is healthy and beautiful.
Could Positive Affirmations Help with Your Depression?
Although positive affirmations are a valuable part of a treatment plan, these repetitive phrases are not substitutes for your doctor’s advice.
It helps to use your favorite affirmations as part of your overall self-care routine.
Try repeating one of them for 3-5 minutes when you first wake up. You don’t need to say them loudly. They’re effective when whispered or spoken in your mind as though.
What makes an affirmation such a practical option is that it is useful anywhere. If you need a quick pick-me-up, this tool can have you feeling better!
If you know someone who is dealing with depression, don’t ask them why they have these symptoms. Point them toward these affirmations instead. When you can be there for them, your support can mean everything.
Depression can be debilitating. Severe conditions can be life-threatening. When you have all of the tools your treatment plan needs to get you through those situations, more opportunities to thrive can develop.
Add these affirmations to your routine today to see if they can help you out of a dark moment.