The rise in depression cases has become an alarming concern across the globe, especially in the last decade or so, where we see umpteen young adults, college students and adults falling prey to the mental illness. Another startling report published by World Health Organisation (WHO) earlier this year, has taken the entire global mental health circuit by shock.
“These new figures are a wake-up call for all countries to re-think their approach to mental health and to treat it with the urgency that it deserves,” said WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan.
The report further indicated that the declining mental health has been a major cause of suicides, especially in the low and middle-income countries. The figures were far from being a relief even closer home, it stated that more than five crore Indians suffered from depression in 2015, and over three crore dealt with anxiety disorders. Latest estimates from WHO show that by 2030, depression will be the leading cause of disability worldwide, drawing attention to the fact that immediate measures must be taken by all countries to address depression and prevent it.
Depression is a mental disorder where the person suffers from prolonged period of sadness, which disrupts not just their mood but daily activities as well. Patients find it even difficult to wake up and get out of bed in the morning. You can also notice visible changes in the person’s behaviour, feelings and sense of well-being. We all feel low sometimes, but this negative state of being can trigger various other health problems, including suicidal tendencies. As we go about with our day, we often fail to realise that some of our silly habits can be putting us at risk of depression. After all, our lifestyle choices play a big role for our overall health, and sedentary lifestyle or unhealthy habits can lead to the onset of various ailments in the long run.
Here are some habits we need to stop –
1. Binge Eating
When the hunger pangs kick in, some of us just lose control and go on a binge eating spree, savouring pizzas with extra cheese, king-size burgers and fries, sugar loaded beverages, etc. Binge eating doesn’t just add extra kilos around your belly, but may put you at depression risk, says a study. Binge eating episodes lead to obesity which, in turn, causes depression owing to weight stigma, poor self-esteem and reduced mobility.
2. Taking Stress
The hectic lives we lead today, stress is almost inevitable. But is comes with severe health consequences. Serotonin is a chemical compound in the body, which is popularly referred to as the happiness hormone. It plays a significant role in a person’s mental and psychological well-being. Due to stress, the level of serotonin secretion could reduce, contributing to the development of depression.
3. Internet Addiction
According to a study done by McMaster University in Canada, excessive use of internet may significantly increase the risk of mental health problems such as depression and anxiety, especially among college-going students. The findings showed that individuals with internet addiction had more trouble dealing with their day-to-day activities, including life at home, at work/school and in social settings.
4. Daytime Sleepiness
We have all been found guilty of being drowsy in the middle of the day, despite a good night’s sleep. While you may think it has much to do with your body’s need for a caffeine boost, in reality it could also indicate obesity and depression. A common symptom of depression is improper sleep. Physiological sleep disturbances, including taking longer to fall asleep and waking up in the middle of the night, explains daytime drowsiness in people undergoing depression.
5. Fatty Foods
Let’s admit it. We love fried and fatty foods knowing very well that they are harmful for health. The thought of biting into samosas, French fries, greasy burgers, and cheesy pizzas make our mouth water instantly, but let’s not give into temptation. In a study done by researchers at the Louisiana State University, they found that a high-fat diet can alter behaviour and produce signs of brain inflammation. Further, it may also increase the risk for depression and other psychiatric disorders.
6. Lack of Exercise
The importance of physical activities for our well-being is not a new thing. A few minutes of walking, jogging or dancing and other activities can charge you up instantly, releasing those happy hormones. The more tied up we get with our work, giving into stress and letting go of exercise, we put ourselves at risk of various health issues, including mental diseases.