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Can Yoga Help With Depression?
By Sherrell Moore-Tucker
Have you ever felt depressed? If so, you’re not alone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), major depression is one of the most common mental disorders in the United States.Additionally, women are more prone to depression versus men. Depression is clinically defined as “a period of two weeks or longer during which there is either depressed mood or loss of interest or pleasure, and at least four other symptoms that reflect a change in functioning, such as problems with sleep, eating, energy, concentration, and self-image” based on the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. So if you’ve ever experienced prolonged feelings of sadness, guilt, fatigue, and just down then you may be suffering from depression.
With health observations like Depression Awareness Week and Mental Health Awareness Week, depression has come out of the shadows and is now being recognized as a real illness. Phrases like “just get over it” or “I think this is really all just in your head” were common responses to those who were suffering with depression, but we have more information now and understand that those responses are inappropriate. Depression is no respecter of person. There are a number of factors that may attributed to depression such as biological and hormonal changes like pregnancy or menstruation. Even psychological factors like negative self-talk, body image, and stress may be linked to depression.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?
People with a depressed mood can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, angry, ashamed or restless. They may lose interest in activities that they once enjoyed, loss of Yoga is a natural way to increase serotonin production. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) study suggests that people with depression have lower serotonin levels and serotonin plays a role in happiness.appetite or overeating, problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions, experience relationship difficulties and may contemplate, attempt or commit suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, aches, pains, digestive problems or reduced energy may also be present.
Yoga is a natural way to increase serotonin production. A National Institutes of Health (NIH) study suggests that people with depression have lower serotonin levels and serotonin plays a role in happiness.
WHAT DOES THE RESEARCH SAY?
Once diagnosed your medical provider may recommend treatments such as psychotherapy and antidepressant therapy. In addition, to professional medical treatment studies have shown that practicing yoga aids with the symptoms associated with depression. According to WebMD, in a small study of healthy people with no psychiatric problems, yoga produced greater improvements in mood than walking. Study head Chris C. Streeter, MD, associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at
HOW CAN YOGA HELP?
Sherrell Moore-Tucker is a best-selling author, speaker, registered yoga instructor with the National Yoga Alliance, and a group fitness instructor certified through the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA). In 2013 she created her wellness business which tends to a person’s spiritual, mental, and physical wellness. You can learn more about my services here: www.sherrellmooretucker.com
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