Tuesday, November 1, 2011

10 Ways to Stay Depression-Free

By Catherine Winters, Special to Lifescript
Reviewed By Edward C. Geehr, M.D.
Published October 28, 2011

"You finally beat depression. But even after the sadness lifts, your symptoms may return. So how can healthy habits like ditching the booze, getting more vitamin D or practicing yoga help? We talked to experts about the top 10 natural ways to manage moods. Plus, how much do you know about depression? Take our quiz to find out...

After months of battling depression, you’re feeling normal again. Your doctor or therapist has given you tools for staying positive, and you know the warning signs of a depressive episode so you can get help as soon as you sense them.

Now’s the time to enjoy life – and to take better care of your physical and mental well-being. Depression is a lifelong, chronic condition, and it needs to be maintained like any other disease.

“You have to approach depression the same way you would diabetes. There’s a vigilance you have to maintain for a balanced life,” says Alan Manevitz, M.D., associate professor of clinical psychiatry at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City.

Besides medication or therapy, that means practicing healthy habits associated with better moods.

Healthy living is an important part of self-care, Manevitz says. For example, when you eat right, brain cells get appropriate nutrition so “the brain works at its maximum,” he explains. And exercise releases endorphins, brain chemicals that act as natural antidepressants.

Here are 10 lifestyle changes that can keep you feeling your best. "

(See link above for some great reminders of how to get out of a funk... )