We all feel stressed or depressed every now and again, and these feelings are often transient, lasting a day or two. They are a normal part of everyday life. If you’ve felt stressed, depressed, or anxious in the last year, and you’ve felt like you may not be able to cope, then you are not alone.
25% of the population will experience some sort of mental health problem this year. You therefore have a one in four chance of having to deal with some type of anxiety or depression. The alarming statistic
is that the number of patients diagnosed is increasing at a rate of 20% per year. These are the individuals that have become victims of the depression trap.
As long as your depression doesn’t last too long, then it’s considered a normal part of life. But how long is too long?
How long is it safe to feel down before you stand a chance of falling into the depression trap? In my opinion, if your bout of depression lasts longer than a week, then you need to take action and make some changes to escape the trap.
The Depression Trap – A Deadly Depression Cycle.
The biggest problem with depression is that it becomes a self-perpetuating, never-ending cycle. That is why we’ve called it the Depression Trap. The chemistry in your body promotes this cycle and exacerbates the cycle.
When you get depressed, your body produces the compounds that promote depression. Your body produces cortisol, adrenaline, and other compounds that fuel the cycle, and before you know it, you are depressed for no objective or “real” reason at all. Here is a simple example of how this trap works.
You feel down because the boss shouts at you. The brain produces cortisol and adrenaline. These compounds make you feel depressed and anxious. You don’t sleep well that night. When you wake up you feel fatigued. This fuels the body’s production of cortisol and adrenaline. You produce less serotonin – the feel good hormone. You are therefore less likely to exercise. Your body makes even less serotonin and produces even more cortisol. This interferes with your ability to sleep well again. The cycle keeps promoting itself until you wake up one day with a diagnosis of major depression. That is the biggest problem with depression: it is a slow, downward spiral into a deadly disease.
For most of us, feeling a little down or anxious is something we tend to ignore, but if you knew the physical effects of depression, and how it affects your body, then you would be paying far more attention and taking action. Depression that lasts longer than a week or two can severely affect your life.
Prolonged depression and anxiety:
- Reduces your ability to make rational decisions – this affects your performance at work and at home – once again, part of the cycle of depression.
- Increases carbohydrate cravings – which causes blood sugar spikes, leaving you fatigued, again fueling the cycle.
- Affects your ability to choose healthy food over junk food – junk food also promotes depression, which fuels the cravings for more junk food.
- Decreases your immune system, leaving you vulnerable to infections – when you are sick you feel depressed.
- Increases blood pressure and heart rate, making you feel anxious.
- Decreases your ability to digest nutrients other than carbohydrates, which cause sugar spikes.
- Interferes with your ability to get sufficient good quality rest.
If you have been feeling down for more than a week, then you need to take action before your body enters into the cycle of depression.
Here are two natural strategies to help you ditch depression and break the cycle:
- Invest in a natural sleep aid like Fatigued to Fantastic.
A good night’s sleep gives your body time to reset and rejuvenate. The immune system is strengthened while you sleep. Your brain has time to produce serotonin and melatonin, and these are the “feel good” hormones that you need to break out of the depression cycle.
Investment in a sleep support supplement can help you to break the cycle. When you wake up feeling happy, you are far less likely to revert to a depressed state during the day.
- Invest in a natural mood enhancement supplement like 5HTP
Studies show that taking 5HTP can increase the levels of serotonin in the body and the brain, and this can result in feeling better. Since serotonin is a “feel good” hormone, increasing your levels of serotonin may offer a way to get out of the depression trap.
The most important thing to realize is that you need to recognize the trap before you fall into the trap. Take action before depression has a chance to take hold of your life.