But do you know what depression really is? At the base level, it has NOTHING to do with your emotions. Depression in itself is a physical response based on how well balanced your mood stabilizers are.
Imagine that you have a balance scale, like the ones you see on images that represent law and justice. Or just imagine a see-saw. Now on those scales, you ought to have an equal amount of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine, which are your main mood stabilizers.
If the weights on the scale are equal, then you will feel:
- At peace
Now, if your scale is OFF BALANCE, then that is when so-called depression hits, and you'll feel:
- Feeling "doom and gloom"
The key to feeling at peace is to keep your scale well-balanced. When you do things or get involved in something that throws off this balance, you will be a generally depressed person.
Now, depression is either apparent or non-apparent. If you lose your job or lose a loved one, then that's apparent depression. There is an outside cause for your depression. That outside force just threw off your balance scale. When someone asks you what's wrong, you could tell them exactly what's going on that caused your depression.
But then, there's the more prevalent non-apparent depression. This is the tricky one. This is depression that seems to have no cause. You're just depressed for no reason! So, what would you do? Go to the doctor. He would look you over, find nothing physically wrong with you, and just diagnose you with "clinical depression" -- which indicates that your depression is severe enough to disrupt your daily living activities.
But before we just drive to the doc's office to be prescribed some "happy pills," we need to get back to the basics: nutrition.
Your body was designed to need six essential elements in order to survive: vitamins, minerals, fats, protein, carbohydrates, and water. Guess what? Most of us in the United States (or any Westernized country) don't do well in getting all these essential elements. The United States is one of the nations that leads the world in depression rates -- and is also one of the leading nations for sickness!
Why do we in the U.S. are so unhealthy? Well, we just don't eat healthy! Not surprisingly, there are tons of depressed people in this nation. I bet you know at least 3 people who seem depressed for no reason!
When you lack nutrition, your moods would be off balance. This would create depression.
But let's go to basics number two: stress.
If you truly want to kill your moods, then just stress out about something. Stress out about money, kids, marriage, career, school, just stress out about that stuff and you'll be depressed in no time.
One of the stress hormones that we produce is cortisol, which helps you get away from dangerous situations. It's a "fight or flight" hormone and should only last for a few seconds. But when in overdrive, this hormone would wind up breaking down your muscles, bones, and throw your moods off balance -- that is, you'll get depressed more often as long as your cortisol levels are high.
Ah, but let's go to basics number three: general lifestyle.
Dirty house, smoking, drinking, living life on the edge, these things could throw your moods off balance. Celebrities are usually good at being depressed, despite all the money they have. Why? Because they live a stressful lifestyle: always being watched, always going on tours, always being followed by paparazzi, etc. Some celebrities blow their money, turn to drugs, or turn to alcohol trying to find peace.
Having a dirty house is depressing. Don't believe me? Clean up your house and see how you feel afterwards!
Drinking and drug abuse is depressing. Don't believe me? Ride along with a cop and you'll find out very quickly how people's lives are ruined due to drugs and alcohol.
You see, you weren't designed to live on little nutrition, to be overly stressed out, and to live a crazy lifestyle. But what do we do in the United States? All of the above! And it all starts at a young age.
But you know, we weren't conditioned to think about the basics. All we know how to do is to see something wrong with us, hit the doc's office, and get a pill to fix everything. Is this the kind of life you want to live, a life where you have to get a pill for everything that's wrong with you?
When you get depressed and can't find a cause for it, don't panic just yet. Go back to the basics and see if you need to adjust anything. You'd be surprised at the way you're living: little nutrition, lots of stress, and a bad general lifestyle.
By the way, do you know what antidepressant medications are suppose to do in general? Help boost your serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels.
Question: can you not boost these mood stabilizers in another way besides pills?