Take Kontrol: Feel Better

The Big D

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You may have had it. You may have never had it before. You may be going through it right now. Depression. Depression is often mistaken for laziness with each symptom ignored to avoid encouraging a pity party. The cure to depression is not to smack you on the butt and tell you to keep it moving and be tough. It’s not always that easy to shake negative feelings.

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The National Institute of Mental Health describes depression as a common but serious mood disorder. It causes severe symptoms that influence how you feel, think, and handle daily activities, such as sleeping, eating, or working.

Kontrol Tip: There are a lot of healthy foods that can help you fight depression. Improve your mood by eating foods like mushrooms, fatty fish (salmon), blueberries, tomatoes, nuts, seeds, and beans. Turn to foods high in vitamins D, C, and E to fight depression.

To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks. The symptoms are:

  • Appetite and/or weight changes
  • Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
  • Irritability
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
  • Decreased energy or fatigue
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment

Kontrol Tip: If you are feeling depressed the sun is your friend. Sunlight helps your body produce vitamin D. Go outside!

Exercise helps with depression. A simple walk outside can improve your mood. Let nature nurture you! Take your mind off things and surround yourself with good energy by signing up for yoga or dance classes. Yoga and dancing helps relieve stress and anxiety.

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You are encouraged to see a doctor if exercise and eating healthier does not improve your depression. Try therapy. Get help if you need to and do not be ashamed. You are stronger than you know.