Depression and Yoga

Depression is a common mental disorder, characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness and poor concentration. (According to WHO, definition of Depression).

Predisposing Factors

  • Family History: Immediate family members having history of depression, increases the risk of it. Alcoholism in family also increases the risk of depression.
  • Early Childhood Trauma: Cases like, loss of a parent before adolescence, child neglect, any kind of physical, emotional or sexual abuse and parental divorce are prone to risk for adult depression.
  • Stress: Big life events having negative impact, like loss of a loved one, divorce, or loss of job, are associated with the increase risk factor for depression. Chronic stress conditions like illness, constant pressure from parents to perform brilliant in schools/ colleges, to meet the deadlines at work, can make individual prone to depression.
  • Alcohol: Most of the alcoholism is caused due to depression, thus alcohol and depression is mostly found in same person. Alcohol, a depressant drug, in a depressed person has serious consequences when treated.
  • Marital Status: It’s found that depression is highest among divorced, separated or cohabitating people. It is lowest among single and married. People living alone after being with someone have higher rates of depression.
  • Work Status: Some researches show that, people who are unemployed for 6 months or more, have rate of depression three times more than that of general population.
  • Physical Illness: Certain physical illness that are associated with depression are, Cancer, heart diseases, hormonal imbalance, thyroid disorders, paralysis.
  • Medications: Some medicines give depression-like symptoms, like, Accutane (isotretinoin)- Acne, Lariam (mefloquine) – Malaria, Chantix (varenicline)- stop smoking, Inderal (propranolol hydrochloride)- Hypertension.
  • Age: It is found that first episode of depression is between 20-40 yrs of age.
  • Gender: Estimated that out of four one woman and out of ten one man experiences some kind of depression once in their lifetime.

Asanas Aiding Depression

  • Uttanasana (Stand-bend-forward)
  • Urdha Mukha Svanasana (Upward-facing-dog)
  • Marjariasana (Cat)
  • Balasana (Child)
  • Viprit Karni (Legs-up-the-wall)
  • Halasana (Plough)
  • Sethubandhasana (Bridge)
  • Padmasana (Lotus)

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