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Tips on Dealing with Factors that Cause Depression

As the month of May approaches, which is known as MENTAL HEALTH MONTH, one needs to focus on taking action for mental health conditions. It is noted that 4 out of 10 disability cases in the United States are the result of mental health conditions. In September of 2007, the United States Senate passed a mental health "parity bill" that requires mental health insurance coverage be no more restrictive than general health care, but the House and Senate must now agree on how the bill is to be written. Many mental health care providers are hoping that the parity bill will be a success so that mental health disorders can be treated properly without expensive costs for the consumer.

As we focus this month on depression, here are a few pointers which will help one deal with the factors that often bring on signs of depression.

Stress- We all have stress in our lives, but the key to a less stressful life is how you cope with stress. If you are having insomnia or lots of headaches, listen to that! Your body is telling you that something is causing the headaches and the inability to sleep. It might be a time to connect with your health care provider to determine the causes of these problems. Sometimes stress is brought on when we try to be perfect about certain tasks at hand. Actually, we can all be happy without being perfect. When you feel stressed about things, try some relaxation techniques in your regular schedule as often that alone will relieve some of the stress.

Exercise- It is noted in a study from Duke University Medical Center, that regular aerobic exercise works as well as any antidepressant does when treating a major depression problem. Just 10 minutes of walking can release mood-boosting chemicals in the brain which will help with getting rid of depression. So put on those shoes and go for a brisk walk. Not only can that exercise help with depression but also help you to be more fit all over.

Friendships- Make sure you have social ties within your community because friendships often help buffer anxiety and depression. Our local library offers many creative classes to make things which evolves around being with people and forming new friendships. Take a pottery class at Southern Indiana for the Arts or volunteer to help out a local organization. Become involved in church activities outside the regular Sunday services. These are all ways to make social ties within the community.

Get outside- Now that spring is here, getting outside in the sunlight for a few minutes a day is a great way to relieve the blues. This keeps your body's internal clock working normally and helps enhance your mood. Notice how great you feel on a sunny day?

Check your diet- Eating good foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids helps your brain send out "feel good" neurotransmitters. Foods that are rich in omega-3 are salmon, walnuts, canola oil, fortified cereals, beans and leafy greens. Be sure to cut down on caffeine and sugar as well.

All of the above are good ways to deal with depression in your life. Be sure to contact your local health provider if symptoms do not subside. For more information on depression and how to deal with it contact Mental Health America at 1-800-969-6642 or go online at

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