Yoga for Depression - The Yoga Way to a Happier Life

When you hear the word "depression", probably the first thing that will come to your mind is sadness. And yes, you thought right. Depression is a state of sadness. However, it is not to be confused with major depression, which is a mental condition characterized by a severe state of sadness or melancholy that has reached the point of hindering a person from functioning well socially.

While simple depression (or a depressed mood) may only last for a short time and can be treated easily, major depression can last for a longer time and treatment can vary from person to person. Major depression is also more dangerous because not only does it disrupt your social functions, but it has more serious symptoms such as:

  • Being fatigued physically and mentally
  • Change in appetite
  • Feeling of intense fear or melancholy
  • Irritability
  • Loss of interest in usual activities
  • Changes in sleeping patterns (e.g. insomnia, excessive sleep, or loss of REM sleep)
  • Trouble in decision-making or in concentrating
  • Feelings of guilt, hopelessness, or helplessness
  • Delusions or hallucinations
  • Recurring thoughts of suicide or death
Aside from major depression, there are other categories of depression:
  • Dysthymia - This is a long-term depression that lasts for at least two years. Its symptoms are the same - but not as intense - as those of major depression, although people who suffer from Dysthymia are also prone to major depression.
  • Bipolar Disorder - This is characterized by mood swings that go from depression to mania (extremely elevated mood) and vice versa.
  • Postpartum Depression - This is experienced by a woman some time in the first two years after giving birth as a result of physical, mental, and emotional fatigue. This type of depression must be treated immediately as it deters the mother from being with her newborn baby.
  • Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - Also known as winter depression, a person who has SAD possesses normal health condition throughout the year but suffers from depression during winter.

Of course, like other mental disorders, depression should be consulted to medical professionals. They will give you proper medication and treatment with regards to your personal condition. As a supplement to the treatment, you can choose to practice Yoga while in the process of recuperation. Yoga will help reduce stress, create a peaceful state of mind, and promote a positive outlook on life, which is a great weapon for fighting depression.