Depression is taking a heavy toll on American people today. So are poor health habits, being overweight, drug abuse and poor dietary habits. Is this coincidence? Is there a correlation between poor health and depression? In this article I would like to examine this subject and make a few common sense suggestions.
Depression has a greater impact on overall health than arthritis, diabetes, angina and asthma a World Health Organization (WHO) report stated. Depression is also a good predictor of poor health. But our question today is does poor health cause depression?
From personal experience I have to say that it does. I have always had a lot of good things going for me; a beautiful wife, three talented and intelligent daughters, a good job, good physical condition and a nice house and yard. But I was not happy. I struggled with an average of 5 to 7 headaches per week for about 15 years up until eleven months ago. I was not happy, I could not be happy. Headaches are painful experiences that are not enjoyable. I was depressed far too often.
I once knew of a person who was far overweight. He had other health problems too but it seemed that the majority of them stemmed from him being badly overweight. He was likewise not a happy person. He was taking depression medication often. I could go on and on talking about people who are just not happy with their health being a major factor. What can people do? There are three habits that a person can develop that will almost definitely help.
1. Develop a regular exercise program. If you have not been exercising for a while or are overweight, start slow and build your way up. You may want to start by walking and doing simple floor exercises in your house. Eventually you will be able to jog and do more advanced exercises. There are several good pieces of literature and home exercise equipment that can help as well.
2. Begin to be more careful about what you eat. You may need to cut way back on sugar, starch, donuts, rolls, coffee, soft drinks, etc. Once again, there are many books on the subject. A great informational book is called Sugarettes by Dr. Scott Olson. There is a wealth of advice and good counsel in this book.
3. Everyone needs to get enough sleep. I know many have the argument that they cannot sleep well. The diet and exercise habits maintained have a lot to do with how good a person is able to sleep. Once an exercise program is started and dietary habits improve better sleep should come naturally.
With the implementation of these three, common sense, every day good practices the overall health of a person will improve, and with that feelings of depression may very well lessen as well.