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Behind The Happy Face: A Few Hidden Truths And Facts About Depression And Suicide

Behind The Happy Face: A Few Hidden Truths And Facts About Depression And Suicide

Perhaps, you can still remember the day when your sister called you to tell you the bad news. Her best friend and colleague at work decided to call it quits and ended her life. She was found hanging on a beam of her dormitory room. Nobody knew this was coming. Just the week before, she was with you at the beach. You invited her for a short summer break and she showed no signs of any depression. In fact, she appeared happy and cheerful. Now, she was as dead and gone, with no clear explanation of why. So what could have happened to her? How could this have happened to an otherwise cheery girl like her?

The act of intentionally carrying out the mission to cause his or her own death is generally known as suicide. There are many causes or reasons that lead to a person committing suicide, some of which include, depression, mental disorders, and drug or alcohol alcohol addiction. Aside from these, excessive social pressure, economical failure, grief, emotional imbalance, and interpersonal relationships also tend to encourage a person to commit suicide.

So how come your cheerful friend decided to end her life?

She never appeared to be gloomy at all. Depression can be very hidden. A depressed person can appear normal and happy on the outside but can be breaking down on the inside. You have asked her friends at the dormitory where she resided and they said that she was often in her room, often looking spaced out and lonely. Turned out, she had horrible problems at home that she can’t escape from.

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People who have suicidal thoughts are confused. They don’t know where to turn to for help and who to ask for help. For them, ending their life is moving forward to a better one. This false promise gives them hope that when they finally end their life, they won’t feel depressed, lonely, or empty anymore. Studies show that suicidal thoughts have a lot of causes. Aside from genetics and an undiagnosed mental illness, people who were exposed to a negative experience in life are prone to depression and sometimes succumb to suicide because of it.

There might be several life-changing experiences that can cause depression, like a death of a loved one, a divorce, a breakup, losing your job, financial problems, issues with your house or your car, physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuse, and at times, bullying in teenagers. Depression can have physical signs, like weight loss or weight gain, loss of concentration, feeling weary or lethargic, neglect of personal appearance, or withdrawal from the company of others.

The method implemented by people for committing suicide differs from culture to culture and from place to place. In the underdeveloped and developing countries, use of pesticide and hanging has become widely used methods for committing suicide while in developed countries, the use of a firearm has evolved as a common method. In the United States, almost half of suicides are committed with the use of a firearm. Other common methods of suicide in US are asphyxiation and poisoning, which results in about 40% of suicide cases. But the most common method in which one commits suicide is through the use of pesticides, which accounts for almost 30% of suicide deaths worldwide.

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Other general methods used for committing suicide are hanging, diving from a big height, like from a building, bridge, or cliff, smoke inhalation, exsanguination, self-drowning, electrocution, and coming in front of a moving train or traffic, are the most widely used methods for committing suicide.

It is estimated that around the world, roughly about one million people commit suicide yearly and it is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. It is found that men are more prone to committing suicide than their counterparts and the most common age group of people committing suicide are between 15 and 35. The age between 15 and 35 is the prime time when people begin to realize the actual meaning of life and come across many hurdles and challenges.

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It is not that suicide cases are “the new-world” phenomenon because incidences of suicides go way back to our ancient times. We must have heard about a Hindu practice known as “Sati”, where the widower has to immolate herself on her husband’s pyre whether willingly or with force from the society and family.[1] This practice is still carried out in some of the remote villages of India. Also in the samurai era in Japan, suicide was a form of punishment given for failure.

Suicide cases are not limited to death of single person, but it can also be a mass suicide where a large number of people commit suicide. These types of suicides are generally done for some religious beliefs or as a form of protest. A 1978 incident of a mass suicide by members of Peoples Temple in Guyana acts as an example of this kind of case.[2]

So what could we do to prevent this?

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    Experts say that people who are suffering from depression should go to a specialist if the blues do not go away after two weeks. Psychiatrists can prescribe consultations depending on the degree of depression that the person is feeling instead of anabolic steriods[3] and prednisone and all other forms of so-called anti-depressant synthetic medicines.[4]

    When mild depression is diagnosed, the patient can go on consultations or counseling groups, a common ground of support people that can understand him or her better and help each other in the process. If major depression is diagnosed however, he/she is prescribed antidepressants or, at times, when the patient cannot help themselves and poses danger to him or herself and to others, they are confined and given electro-shock therapy. These are all meant to save them from themselves and the life-threatening effects of depression.

    In the present scenario, suicide is generally committed when the person lacks the will to continue in today’s cutthroat competitive world. People have considered suicide as an easy resolution to any problems, difficulties, or failures that one faces in their lives and don’t have the courage to fight back against. It is often seen that the most common reason for anyone to commit suicide nowadays is either failure. This can translate to failure in studies, failure in business, and failure in meeting the expectation of the society, family members, and stressors in the home or between the partners. But whatever the problem may be, committing suicide has not and will never be the solution. One must have a positive attitude towards life and must have the courage to fight back whatever the situation might be.

    The most important thing is the support that depressed people get from their family and their friends. Let them know that they are not alone. They can turn to you for help if they really need it. Suicide does not have to be the only answer.

    Reference

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    Junie Rutkevich

    Game Developer of iXL Digital

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    Last Updated on February 21, 2019

    12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

    12 Best Brain Foods That Improve Memory and Boost Brain Power

    Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

    But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

    I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

    Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory:

    1. Nuts

    The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

    Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

    Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

    Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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    2. Blueberries

    Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

    When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

    3. Tomatoes

    Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

    4. Broccoli

    While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

    Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

    Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

    5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

    Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

    The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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    Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

    6. Soy

    Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

    Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

    Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

    7. Dark chocolate

    When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

    Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate:

    15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

    8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

    Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

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    B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

    Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

    Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

    To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

    9. Foods Rich in Zinc

    Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

    Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

    Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

    10. Gingko biloba

    This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

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    It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

    However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

    11. Green and black tea

    Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

    Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

    Find out more about green tea here:

    11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

    12. Sage and Rosemary

    Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

    Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

    When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

    More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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