Most everyone has days where they feel blue or experience sadness and sometimes, there is no explanation for the feelings. Some have a reaction to the weather and feels down on rainy or overcast days. Others may feel down due to problems with relationships, or work-related stress. Even low iron can cause a person to feel down in the dumps. These are all situational and easily remedied. It is when the periodic case of the blues cannot be lifted and there is no easy remedy which can be a cause for concern. It is important for individuals to have the ability to recognize the signs, but it is equally important if not more so, for loved ones to know what to look for and how to help.
Low Iron and Depression
One very common cause of mild to severe depression that is often overlooked and left untreated is low iron. Anemia can cause depressive symptoms and if the individual seeks counseling without having had a medical appointment, the cause of the depression goes untreated. It is always better to see a medical doctor when feeling out of sorts to get a blood workup completed. If placed on anti-depressants when the underlying problem is low iron, the results can be deadly. The reason for this is that when an individual seeks help and is provided a medication, they often place a great deal of hope in that medication and its ability to “heal.” When there is no significant change in mood, this may cause the individual to become even more depressed.
The prevalence of anemia-induced depression is significant in older adults who lack proper nutrition. Menstruating women and adolescent girls who experience heavy flow are also susceptible to anemia-induced depression, especially if their regular diet is also iron-deficient. This is extremely common in those who have adopted a vegan lifestyle. While some suggest that the propensity toward depression must exist, others recognize the relationship between low iron, B12, and other necessary nutrients with depression.
Ruling Out or. Giving In
Finding the source of depression is important. Prescription medications cannot work effectively if the depression is related to a physical condition or to some nutritional deficiencies. One important concern is that of suicide due to the temporary feeling of well-being. One of the signs related to suicide is when the individual has a sudden recovery and has the energy to follow through with a plan. This sudden recovery will find the individual calling and talking to old friends who have been neglected, a sudden cleaning spree, clearing out closets, drawers, and giving things away. This is especially common with those who have had yo-yo depression. Depression that is improperly treated comes and goes, leaving the individual frustrated and tired of the cycle.
Family practitioners are often the first to identify physical and health-related conditions that might manifest into depression. It is important to see a general practitioner on a regular basis for blood work and other tests. This is important for proper referrals such as a psychiatrists, psychologists, or other mental health practitioners. It is too easy to fall into the trap of assuming a mental health issue when it is not – this is causing depression to advance to dangerous levels due to improper or non-existent treatment of the underlying causes.
Sometimes, it is more than just the blues. It is important to be in tune with the moods and how these may relate to the changes in diet. If depression can best be treated with a diet containing increased iron or other nutrients, as well as other positive lifestyle changes, that is certainly a better and longer lasting alternative to prescription medications.
Losing a loved one to suicide can be devastating and often even more so when there are no clear answers as to why such a tragedy has occurred. There are resources for those who have experienced such a loss or who are fearful of such an occurrence. It may prove beneficial to have someone to talk to, to help process those feelings, move through a painful grieving process, or to find out more information on depression and suicide. You are not alone.