Symptoms Of Depression In Women Of Color
Depression is a common mental illness that comes in many forms and is not talked about widely enough in Jamaica. Depression can affect anyone, but there are certain risk factors that make experiencing depression more likely. One of these risk factors is sex, with women twice as likely to experience depression symptoms than their male counterparts. Another risk factor is genetics, where a child of a parent with depression is more likely to develop the illness.
Depression is multifaceted and affects all areas of a person’s life. It affects your sleep, immune system, relationships, job, just to name a few. Depression is a serious illness and is not equivalent to the occasional bad day. Symptoms Of Depression In Women are much more than simply feeling sad, it encompasses a host of other feelings. Before we get into the action steps to deal with it, it’s imperative we look at the symptoms.
What Are The Symptoms of Depression In Women Of Color?
- Prolonged depressive mood
- Sleep problems – Sleeping too little or too much
- Change of appetite – Eating too much or too little
- Difficulty concentrating
- Prolonged feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness
- Feelings of guilt
- Frequent crying
- Isolation of yourself from your loved ones
- No longer finding joy in things you once enjoyed
- Lack of energy and fatigue
It’s important to note that not everyone will experience all of the depressive symptoms above. This list is not meant to be exhaustive.
Strategies For Symptoms Of Depression In Women Of Color
Even in the most severe cases of depression treatment is possible.
Here are ten action steps to take if you are experiencing symptoms of depression:
- Tell someone what you are feeling – This doesn’t have to be a therapist Initially, this may be a trusted friend or a parent. When people are experiencing depressive symptoms, they tend to towards isolation, but this may do more harm than good. Keep in touch with people, preferably a good listener.
- Exercise – Helps to regulate your mood, providing you with feel-good endorphins. Engage in a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day. Don’t worry about being all at once! It is suggested that taking ten-minute walks can significantly improve your mood. If you want motivation and help planning your exercise click here.
- Get some sunlight – Thankfully for us Jamaicans, the sun is here almost every day, whether we like it or not. On that note, getting adequate sunlight shouldn’t be so difficult. Lack of sun can make depression worse. It is recommended that you get at least 15 minutes of sunlight every day to improve your mood. Try eating your lunch outside the office or classroom if you can, for starters. You can also make simple tweaks to increase the natural light in your own home.
- Stack up on Vitamin B – Yes, your diet does impact your mood. You are probably tired of hearing this, but you have to eat better. Vitamin B12 and folic acid are essential for your mood as deficiencies can trigger depression. Getting the right amount of both can help to alleviate it. You can get these essential vitamins from dark green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, chicken and eggs. However, if for some reason you can’t eat those foods or you prefer not to, you should be able to pick up the supplements at your local pharmacy.
- Meditate – Meditation is a relaxation technique that can help to manage depression and anxiety, which often walk hand in hand with each other. Meditation reduces cortisol, the well-known stress hormone, lower blood pressure, lower the heart rate, as well as harness more positive emotions. Yoga is one resource available to you so enroll in a class or allow the internet to be your best friend and Google some techniques. Yoga With Adriene is one of my favorite online teachers
- Find a hobby – During a depressive episode, it is common to not receive any enjoyment from things that you usually like to do. However, it is still important to find things that you do like to do. The aim is to make a strong effort to push yourself, kindly. Get out of bed even though it is very difficult. You will feel better. Try learning a new skill, pick up a new book or start following a new sport. Even though some of these suggestions can be enjoyed in bed, you can go read a book in a park or outside on your verandah. Give yourself a change of scenery.
- Tackling your negative thinking – In my opinion, this is the hardest action to take, but the most rewarding if done right. Keep in mind that the negative things you come up with are not true and you don’t need to listen to them anymore. As soon as you start to think something negative, stop it in its tracks. Since I’m really passionate about this step you can click here, here, and here for more information on how to do this.
- Take the attention off yourself – It is easy to stew in a depressive mood and wallow in self-pity. However, when you start planting seeds of love and support outside yourself, beautiful things can come to bloom such a better mood. Volunteer and support charities. The human contact will do you well and you’ll finally realize that people do actually care about you.
- Practice self-care – Okay, we know you aren’t very satisfied or like yourself very much right now, but hear me out. Start setting a sleep schedule to make sure you are getting the right amount of sleep for your body. In addition, try not to skip meals. When you do eat, cut down on the consumption of excess fats, sugars, and caffeine. They taste good, but they are not your friends.
- Seek professional help – Please don’t be ashamed or afraid to seek professional help. Even more so if the symptoms appear to be becoming worse, particularly with the contemplation of suicide. You are important and you owe it to yourself to do things that will keep you around for as long as possible. If you are a university student, check out your health plan, more often than not free therapy is available to you, please use it.
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