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Depression Rx: Lifestyle, Lifestyle, Lifestyle!

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More and more studies are revealing that if you’re an adolescent girl, you’re at greater risk for being depressed than if you are an adolescent boy.

A sampling:

• Pre-adolescent boys and girls have about the same low level of depression. But when they reach puberty, depression in girls increases well above that for boys.

• Poor social relationships is a key reason depression is higher for adolescent girls than boys.

• Another related factor is low self-esteem. Poor social support combined with low self-esteem increase the chances of getting depressed when faced with stressful situations or negative life events.

Causes demystified
It often takes more than one stressful event or situation to trigger depression. Examples include a history of physical, emotional or substance abuse; traumatic life events; hormonal changes; or a family history of depression. A culumation of unresolved issues is usually the underlying cause of depression. Because depression is caused by a combination of factors, a combination of approaches for relieving it is the most effective solution.

Change lifestyle, decrease depression
The most powerful step you can take to diminish depression is to make changes in your lifestyle. There are four key lifestyle components that are linked to preventing, diminishing, and even overcoming depression and other major ailments.

They are:

Diet. Consume a nutrient-dense diet that consists mostly of fresh whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, with fewer nuts and seeds, and small portions of low-fat dairy, and lean fish, poultry, or meat, and you’re taking a strong step toward overcoming depression. EmpowHer writer and expert, Deborah Kesten, MPH, writes more about defeating depression with diet in her article, “Depression Rx: Make the Food-Mood Connection.”

Stress. This most neglected aspect of lifesyle warrants your full attention if you want to reduce depression. If you are over-busy, over-challenged, and over-worked, you need to find a balance, a time-out where you can relax, focus, listen, and let the issues settle so that you can see the horizon.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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