Scientific Research Is Showing a Link Between Depression And Brain Aging
If you have been depressed, you probably noticed that you don’t think clearly when you’re down. Recent studies have confirmed that depression potentially makes the brain age faster. Pegasus caregivers in San Gabriel can help you fight against that terrible sadness and despair.
Depression isn’t just one feeling with one cause. It’s a mood disorder, and it affects all aspects of your life. It’s an occasional occurrence for some individuals and a part of daily life for others.
Frequently described as a chemical imbalance, depression is more than deficiencies or excesses of a particular chemical. Instead, it is the quality of billions of chemical reactions that take place in your brain cells. Circumstances that are known to lead to feelings of depression include:
- Changes in health
Contrary to popular belief, your brain, not your heart, governs your moods.
There’s More Than One Type
More than one type of depression afflicts individuals. Each type varies in intensity and length of time, according to the cause and the individual. The primary types are:
- Situational: refers to sadness in reaction to events such as the death of someone you love, accident, divorce, or a medical diagnosis. It ends with the passage of time.
- Seasonal affective disorder: refers to the decrease of sunshine in winter, which can cause changes in your brain chemicals. The coming of spring eases it.
- Clinical: refers to long-lasting feelings of hopelessness and sadness. It interferes with the daily activities of life and rarely goes away without treatment.
Individuals with bipolar disorder are subject to periodic depression that needs treatment.
Stress Starts a Downward Spiral in Your Emotions
As it is with so many medical conditions, stress is a big culprit in depression. Stress can lead to the destruction of your brain cells. It also slows the growth of new cells.
Prolonged stress leads to an excessive release of the hormone cortisol. The high levels of cortisol change the structure and function of parts of the brain. That leads to mood disorders.
Stress also causes an inflammatory response. Inflammation is a factor in depression, as well as a host of other medical disorders. Those conditions often generate even more stress.
Low levels of antioxidants are a marker of depression. Excessive oxidants are a source of chronic inflammation. Brain cells don’t function as they should in the presence of stress, oxidation, and inflammation.
The common characteristic of depression is profound sadness. That’s often accompanied by feeling hopeless. Other frequent symptoms include:
- Anxiety or agitation
- Feeling like you’re worthless
- Inability to concentrate, think clearly, or make decisions
- Listlessness or lethargy
- Loss of energy
- Loss of appetite or excessive food cravings
- Sleeping all the time or hardly at all
- Withdrawing from activities or social contact
It’s imperative to seek professional help if you begin to feel suicidal. Pegasus home health care experts can help you or suggest referrals.
Reduce Depression Before It Ages Your Brain
Depression doesn’t automatically mean you’ll lose all your mental ability. Brains have a certain amount of plasticity, giving them the ability to recover from some damage. Seeking early treatment for depression can help your brain resist deterioration.
Lifestyle habits can assist in reducing stress and depression. Your San Gabriel caregivers can help you develop and maintain a healthier lifestyle. Start with stress reduction.
Dozens of ways to reduce stress have worked for one or more individuals. It may take experimentation to discover what works best for you. In general, stress management involves:
- Identifying the source of your stress
- Avoiding as many of your stressors as you can
- Adapting to what you can’t change
- Accepting what you can’t avoid or adapt to
You will benefit if you find at least one activity you enjoy and make a point of doing it as often as possible.
Sunlight is the best source of Vitamin D, which is essential for good brain health. It also makes you feel better because it stimulates the release of mood-enhancing hormones. Fifteen minutes a day works wonders in relieving depression.
Try to exercise daily. Movement increases your circulation, which transports nutrients to your brain. Your brain cells will appreciate the energy boost.
If you can exercise outdoors, you’ll double the benefits to your brain. If movement is difficult for you, our physical therapists will design a program for you. Even a little bit of movement energizes you and helps overcome depression-related fatigue.
Diet is also important. Many vegetables are rich in the antioxidants that prevent oxidation damage to your brain cells. The sugar and high-carb foods you crave when depressed only drag you further down.
Pegasus Home Health Care In San Gabriel Will Help You Battle Depression
Professional help includes medications, therapy, or a combination of both. Your Pegasus caregivers will help you comply with your doctor’s recommendations to reduce or banish your depression. Our goal is to provide the assistance necessary to ensure the best quality of life possible for you.