When you think negatively your brain fantasizes uncomfortable and unpleasant outcomes and vice versa when you think positively. In the case of people with depression, their mind is filled with a pessimistic outlook towards life.
The outcome of repetitive negative thoughts is cognitive restructuring where your brain alters your emotional reactions and behaviors towards unfavorable outcomes. Sort of how like an avalanche only goes faster and gets bigger when careening down a snow-covered mountain.
Some interesting statistics are available supporting the shrinkage of the hippocampus based on which researchers argue that such shrinkage parallels the change in the thinking process of people with depression.
But, the important question is if it is difficult for someone with even a small percentage of reduction in the hippocampus to overcome negative thinking without the full capacity of their brain.
Change Your Outlook
The best antidote to depression is living in the present and connecting with the moment in the given situation.
If you want to break free of a negative thought cycle, then you must first understand yourself. You need to realize your needs and wants and what you have and don’t have. The next step is acceptance!. Try to be grateful for whatever you have and accept it. No resentment, no regret, and no guilt.
The main reason why fighting depression or any other mental health issue is hard because of the stigma attached to it. The best thing is to talk with your loved ones as much you can. They will be non-judgemental, moreover, they know you well and help you correct the negative view about yourself.
Talking to your near and dear ones can boost your confidence and instill hope that you will beat the depression. When your mind is clouded, you can’t see the light, but people around can always guide you on the way.
According to researchers, meditation and yoga are useful strategies that can sharpen your brain and help you think smarter. These practices enhance mindfulness that can improve the neural connectivity in the brain circuit.
Depression in the United States
Today depression is a matter of grave concern across the world. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression as stated by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Talking about the United States, the suicide rate is growing by leaps and bounds. From 1999 to 2010 the suicide rate has increased by 25%. Suicide is highly prevalent among Americans ages 35-64. Every year around 8,00,000 people die due to suicide according to WHO. Further reports that spanned from 2007-2010 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed that almost 8-12% of the population age 12 and above suffer from depression.
A few years ago, the public awareness about depression was very poor, and most used to think that this mental health issue is a lifestyle disease where people are just too weak to live or move ahead in life. Some had a misconception that Depression is a sign of mental weakness.
Some still debate that depression is a disorder or disease. The fact remains that depression is a debilitating condition that drastically affects the lives of millions of people all over the world. It is a globally paralyzing factor contributing to deaths every year.
Depression is more than just being sad, and it is not a symptom of weakness. It isn’t discriminatory against race, gender, or ethnicity. It can affect anyone of any age and class, equally fatally.
Most importantly, depression is not a choice.