According to a study conducted by The Department of Psychiatry at The University of Melbourne, the number of people suffering from depression has increased dramatically in the last three decades—and that was before the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the already overwhelmed mental healthcare system. According to the study, there are a number of lifestyle factors that can impact the chances that an individual will suffer from depression or another mental health disorder. These factors include: diet, exercise, recreation, relaxation techniques, sleep, environment, socialization, animal therapy and vices. There is compelling evidence that the symptoms of depression can be treated, at least in part, by increasing or decreasing exposure to these various factors.
According to the paper, “diet modulates several key biological processes that underscore mood disorders, including brain plasticity and function, the stress response system, mitochondria, inflammation, and oxidative processes.” This means that the food we eat affects how quickly, and how effectively, our bodies can respond to external stimuli. If our bodies respond inadequately, it becomes more difficult to overcome the physical and mental challenges of everyday life, making it easier for us to adopt a depressed mood. Adopting a healthier diet—rich in whole grains, vegetables, fish, lean proteins, brain-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, nuts, and olive oil—could have a positive impact on, or could altogether prevent, the symptoms of depression.
Exercise is another lifestyle choice that could alleviate the symptoms of depression. “The long-term chronic effects of regular exercise may assist in regulating the neuroendocrine axis and produce a normalization of cortisol levels, while increasing and circulating beta-endorphins.” Cortisol is what we produce when we’re under stress, and leads to elevated heart rates, and more. “Beta-endorphins are neuropeptides involved in pain management, possessing morphine like effects, and are involved in natural reward circuits such as feeding, drinking, sex and maternal behavior.” It is obvious that increasing and circulating our body’s natural beta-endorphin levels through exercise is beneficial and critical to maintaining a positive mood.
In additional to promoting certain types of activities, it is also important to avoid or eliminate others. This involves managing the intake of certain substances that may negatively impact one’s mood. Surveys have indicated that alcohol abuse is common among those who suffer with depression and other similar mental disorders. Despite that fact that alcohol initially produces depressive effects, the resulting biological effects of a hangover can produce a greater amount of “rebound glutamate,” potentially provoking anxiety and dysphoria. Additionally, avoiding caffeine may be beneficial to those suffering from anxiety disorders. However, some studies have shown that “caffeine use from coffee consumption may be protective against depression.”
Contact Tahoe Ketamine
In severe cases of depression, lifestyle changes are not enough to alleviate symptoms. When first-line treatments like talk therapy and antidepressant medications don’t work, Tahoe Ketamine offers proven, innovative treatments for people with depression and other mental health issues. Ketamine infusions are effective for 70% of patients, and the positive results of ketamine therapy can lift the veil of depression enough for patients to make important lifestyle changes that further enhance their results.
Contact us today to learn more about ketamine infusions or IV hydration therapy, or to schedule an appointment.