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The 5 Myths of Depression You Should Stop Believing

The 5 Myths of Depression You Should Stop Believing

Depression is sometimes called the “invisible” disease because you cannot see it through a microscope or medical body scan. How do you fight against an invisible problem? I would think it would be hard. Plus, it is scary to imagine some disease lurking in your brain without being able to operate on it! Although being diagnosed with depression can be scary and daunting, there are some specific myths about depression that all of us must cast aside in order to stand against depression and win.

1. Depression can’t be treated

This myth is one that you absolutely cannot believe. Depression is a challenge, not a death sentence. In fact, as soon as you embrace the possibility that you may be experiencing depression, the better your chances are of learning to manage your depression. As a psychotherapist, and as someone that has dealt with depression personally, it is a battle that can be won. I have personally witnessed many clients of mine overcome the grip of depression and reclaim their life. Put it to the test: talk to any therapist, psychologist and/or even your doctor, and you will hear the same thing: depression is treatable and you CAN overcome it. Do not delay another day. Face it and fight it head on.

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2. The only way to treat depression is through medication

Medication can be great for depression. It can definitely relieve many of the symptoms you may be experiencing, but it is definitely not the only way to treat depression. Actually, my experience has shown that only using medication is good for a while, but it does not remedy depression outright. For example, think of a brand new car. This brand new car is wonderful in all aspects. It smells wonderful, it shines beautifully, and it runs crappy. Why? Because it has a bad tire. One, and only one bad tire, can ruin a brand new car. It is the same with depression. You are the new car, but this depression is causing you to run bad. Medication will help fix that tire for a temporary time, but it will not fix the tire for good. There are many therapies used in psychotherapy that can help, in addition with medication, to relieve depression. Believe it or not, therapists are specifically trained to help reconfigure the way you see yourself, the world, your experiences and even your memories so that any depressive ghosts no longer attach themselves to your life.

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3. If I’m depressed, there’s something flawed inside me

It is a quirky statement to say that because you’re depressed, you are internally flawed. If you use that same logic and apply it to people who are physically ill, would you say they are flawed too? Sure, they are physically sick, but it does not mean that there is something embarrassing, shameful or dishonorable about them, does it? Yes, some people contribute to sicknesses because of diet, or bad habits, like smoking, but it does not mean that anyone that is sick is an alien invader of the human race and must be ostracized from society. Some people get sick for unknown reasons and sometimes we just don’t know why certain illnesses pop up in our lives. It does not mean you are broken, despicable or unworthy! Having the challenge of depression simply means you have a fight in front of you and that it’s time to lace up the gloves. When you get a cold or a stomach flu, you do things to make it better, right? It is exactly the same with depression. Do something to make it better. Thinking that you are flawed has nothing to do with being depressed and getting out from under its grip.

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4. My family can’t help me through depression

This is probably one of the biggest myths about depression. Actually, the opposite of this myth is true. Without your family’s help and support, depression can get worse. Studies on the relationship between depression and family have shown that the support and communication with family can increase self-esteem, a sense of belonging and reciprocal positive interactions. This benefit can only be achieved by having your family learn about your depression and ways in which they can be your greatest entourage and support team. There is nothing in the world as valuable and as powerful as the support and love from family. There are several reasons why family is a great weapon against depression. First, family can demonstrate that there is variety, spice and purpose to life. Second, family can send positive messages to you about life and about you. Positive interactions with family members will help you feel supported, loved and will increase your ability to take care of yourself. Third, family can help you feel like you are connected and that you belong to a group of beings bigger than yourself. More is better in fighting something like depression!

5. My spouse cannot help me through depression

If you happen to be married, or in a committed relationship, then depression could try to stick its ugly hands into the relationship and really cause some havoc. However, you and your partner could unite and fight depression together, instead of allowing it to become a wedge. Actually, studies show that a person can improve simply by being in a relationship where both are working towards actively fighting against depression. On the other hand, improvement is not as good if the depressed individual is going to counseling alone or is fighting depression alone. Again, two are better than one when it comes to depression. Get open about your challenge and get specific recommendations from a licensed therapist on how to turn the tide of your relationship before depression has a firm grip on it.

Featured photo credit: suffering via freeimages.com

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Last Updated on August 12, 2019

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

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 and brain power:

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.

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.

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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.

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

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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!

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Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

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