Treatment for depression generally in the traditional method is a combination of psychotherapy and medications. But, not everyone gets relief from such sessions. It has been noticed that only one-third of the population gets the result from their first trial which may cause heterogeneity in the comparison between studies.

There has been a growing interest in mind-body practices in recent years that can improve psychological well-being. It has shown a sharp increase in popularity over the last decade in yoga. One study has shown that percentage of the US population who had practiced yoga increased from 5.8% in 2002 to 10.1% in 2012.

There are many research projects which have found that yoga can decrease the symptoms of depression and also it is just as effective as exercise in reducing symptoms of depression. Researchers have also found that yoga relieves in log term symptom reduction and also decreases symptom severity and increases treatment remission rates. 

How to find out that you have depression

Depression is a serious condition that negatively affects how a person feels, thinks, and behaves. In contrast to normal sadness, clinical depression is persistent and often interferes with a person’s ability to experience or anticipate pleasure and significantly interferes with functioning in daily life. Untreated, symptoms can last for weeks, months, or years and if inadequately treated, depression can lead to significant impairment, and other health-related issues, and in rare cases, it can also lead to suicidal attempts. 

A person can be diagnosed with major depression when he or she experiences at least five of the symptoms listed below for two consecutive weeks. At least one of the five symptoms must be either (1) loss of interest or pleasure or (2) depressed mood.

Symptoms include:

  • Depressed mood nearly every day,
  • Diminished interest or pleasure in activities most of the day,
  • Changes in appetite that result in weight gains or losses unrelated to dieting,
  • Difficulties in sleeping and changes in sleeping patterns,
  • Loss of energy or increased fatigue,
  • Irritability or restlessness,
  • Constant anxiety,
  • Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, or worthlessness,
  • Difficulty concentrating, thinking, or making decisions,
  • Thoughts of death or suicidal attempts.

In modern days depression is common among women as well as men. About 20 percent of women had experienced depression in at least one episode across their lifetime. Scientists are finding many potential causes for and contributing factors to increased risk for depression in women. Researchers have shown that hormones affect brain chemistry, impacting emotions and mood. Girls and boys experience depression at about the same frequency during adolescence. By adolescence, girls are more likely to experience depression than boys. Researchers have pointed out several possible reasons for this imbalance. The hormonal and biological changes that occur during puberty are likely to contribute to the sharp increase in rates of depression among adolescent girls. In addition, research has also shown that girls are more likely than boys to continue feeling bad after experiencing difficult situations or events, suggesting they are more prone to depression.

How depression can be prevented

Illness like depression can be experienced at any age and can affect anyone. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), people are more likely to experience it if they:

  1. have a family history of depression,
  2. have experienced stress, trauma, or a life-changing event,
  3. have a physical illness, for example, cancer or,
  4. Are using other substances or certain medications?

People who are suspected of depression are also the ones who have a higher risk of developing chronic stress. Some people are born with genetic factors that increase their risks of chronic stress whereas others develop it during childhood. It is not always possible to avoid stress but taking proper sleep, taking breaks from the work, and getting regular exercise can help to cope with depression as well as stress.

Research shows that physical activity such as exercise or yoga can act as an antidepressant, and experts encourage doctors to include it in their treatment. It also describes exercise as an underutilized treatment for depression. The expertise says that it can boost both physical and mental well-being.

It is not always possible to prevent depression but, effective treatment is available, and some lifestyle choices can help to manage symptoms and prevent a recurrence. If symptoms of depression are overwhelming or if a person is thinking about self-harm, suicide or death they should seek immediate medical attention.

Why yoga is the best to manage depression 

Yoga is a physical exercise that has different body poses, breathing techniques, and meditation. The therapy may help with depression and your symptoms, such as difficulty in concentrating or loss of energy. Many people use yoga therapy to manage many problems such as mental and emotional problems like stress, depression, anxiety disorders, ongoing chronic or long-term pain, overall health and well-being

As an exercise, yoga is a natural way to increase serotonin production which plays a role in the treatment of depression and is believed to play a major role in happiness as well. Some of the research projects also suggest people with depression have lower serotonin levels.

Yoga is also helpful because of its gentle, calming, and fluid nature. Each pose is flexible, so people of every age and all levels can practice. Your instructor will emphasize concentration, breathing, and smooth movement. They will also encourage you to focus on positive images or scenarios to calm your body and mind. It also increases heart rate variability (HRV) or changes the time between heartbeats by increasing the relaxation response over the stress response in the body and high HRV means that your body is better at self-monitoring or adapting particularly to stress.

Yoga can also reduce heart rate when it is resting and can help lower blood pressure, due to yoga one can easily breathe, which also increases pain tolerance. It is generally safe when practiced properly, beneficial for people who want to improve concentration, and also available in many styles for all levels.  

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), by 2030 depression will be the leading cause of disability all over the world. At this time, it is the predominant mental health problem followed by anxiety, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder – as well as being the 10th leading cause of early death.

Want to join yoga classes? Schedule your free trial yoga class with Yoganta now.

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