If you do suffer from depression, hopefully, you are in counseling so you can determine if it’s a result of brain chemistry and must be treated with medication, or a result of circumstances in your life. Regardless of the cause of your depression, there are certain habits that can make it worse—even if you are medicated for it. Depressives are more sensitive to the effects of small changes in schedules, the company they keep, the weather, the music playing in the room and more. While those who don’t suffer from depression have the mental tools in play to bounce back from little shifts that could bring their moods down, depressed individuals, unfortunately, struggle to find or use those same tools and need to be more careful. Here are habits that are making your depression worse.
The blood sugar spike and crash that comes from drinking alcohol causes next-day blues in most individuals. But the effects can be amplified in those already struggling with brain chemistry imbalances causing depression.
Spending too much time on social media
People with depression need to be careful about the information and images to which they’re exposed. Seeing people who they perceive to have “better lives” than them can affect them more strongly than it does those who aren’t depressed.
Eating fried foods
The trans fats found in fried foods—and other foods like potato chips and pastries—destroys cell membranes in the brain. This makes it hard for the body to produce and digest certain nutrients critical to feeling happy. The effects can be heightened for those already suffering from depression.
Consuming too much sugar
We already know that the sugar spikes and crashes from alcohol are problematic for those with depression. So it’s no surprise that sugary foods cause the same issue. But they also come with the guilt people can feel about eating unhealthy food.
Doing recreational drugs
Everyone—depressed or not—suffers from a small bout of depression in the days after doing recreational drugs. But this bout can be insufferable for those who were already depressed.
Sleeping too much
Oversleeping not only messes with the brain’s chemistry and can cause feelings of sadness, but it also creates a feeling of “missing out” or not accomplishing one’s goals.
Not sleeping enough
Not sleeping enough also wreaks havoc on the brain’s chemistry and can cause depression in otherwise stable individuals. Those who are depressed cannot afford to miss out on those Z’s.
Living a sedentary lifestyle
Moving your body is essential to producing hormones and chemicals that make you feel happy. People who are not depressed may be able to combat the sadness that comes from a sedentary life, but those who are depressed will have a much harder time.
Buying something they shouldn’t leaves everybody feeling a little guilty. But individuals who are depressed can go into a downward spiral of feeling they have no control over their habits and are losing a grasp on their life when they overspend.
Watching the wrong genres
Crime recreation shows, prison shows, documentaries about human injustice and horror films will leave anybody feeling a bit dark. But the ideas perpetuated in these genres can infiltrate the brain of a depressed person more deeply.
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