I should start this blog by saying that I am not gay. I have no plans or intentions of becoming one, although I know that being gay is wonderful. I am a long-standing supporter of the LGBTQ+ community considering many people in love are a part. Every year, I would attend their parades, join some civic rallies for gender equality, and wait with everyone else for all the states to allow same-sex marriage.
For someone who has been around gay people for decades, I could say that the biggest misconception about them was that they were always happy. It won’t be difficult for others to deduce that since effeminate guys could be especially cheerful and “extra” wherever they go. Even if someone calls them names on the street, they would often ignore them and continue their merry way, thus creating the illusion that nothing could make them sad.
However, I met many gay men and women who used jokes and laughter to hide their depression. One famous example of that was the drag queens. More than the fame, money, and glamour, many of them started doing makeup and wearing extravagant clothes to escape reality and be someone else, even for a few hours. It would not always work, but they were still doing it to feel happy.
My best friend, who came out to me in high school, became depressed as she could not do the same thing to her parents. She tried many times over the years – for instance, she would comment about how cute those gay couples were together – but her folks would often act disgusted and say that they were lucky not to have a gay kid. It was hurtful, yes, but she did not want to cause a rift in the family because of her gender preference, so she chose to own her pain and hide for as long as possible.
When the LGBTQ+ organization I sponsored went to a hospice for gay people diagnosed with AIDS, I found out that almost all of them no longer talked to their loved ones. They were either ashamed to let them know about their disease or disowned by their family. After all, one of the oldest notions out there was that being gay and having sex with the same sex was the surefire way of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. Since they could not change their families’ views, they ended up depressed in the hospice, waiting for their demise.
What is the number one cause of depression?
According to studies, it is challenging to identify the primary cause of depression because two or more reasons often coincide. However, another research also suggests that 40% of it can be blamed on genetics, considering many people with depression have other relatives with the same disorder. The remaining 60% is a possible mixture of physical, emotional, mental abuse, stress, grief, and other issues.
What increases the risk of depression?
Below are the factors that can increase your chances of getting depression:
- You are a woman. Studies suggest that women become more depressed than men because the former often experienced hormonal changes. That is especially true if you combine it with stressful events like losing a loved one, getting a divorce, etc.
- You have sociocultural issues. Feeling like you belong to the minority or earn less than what you deserve to get can be a risk of depression. After all, your self-esteem decreases, and you feel isolated from the rest of society.
- You feel misunderstood by everyone. That includes your parents, siblings, friends, and partner. When that happens, you always think you are alone in this world, which causes you to fall into depression.
- A loved one has been diagnosed with a mental disorder before. Having a mentally ill blood relative indicates that you are at a high risk of having a similar condition to others. However, it may not appear until something – or someone – triggers the symptoms.
- You are taking a medication that has depression as one of its side effects. This occurrence is more common than people realize. Depressive symptoms are typically experienced once the sedative properties of pain relievers and sleeping pills go away.
- A pre-existing mental disorder may comorbid with depression. In this case, the latter is possibly a result of dealing with the former.
What causes long-term depression?
A persistent depressive disorder is a long-term depression that any of the following can cause:
- Neurological imbalance
- Witnessing or experiencing traumatic events
- Being in a stressful situation all the time
- Existing mental disorder (e.g., anxiety, eating disorder, personality disorder, etc.)
Is long-term depression curable?
No, long-term depression – or any form of depression, for that matter – is not curable. Scientists have been trying to find a cure for this mental disorder for decades, but they need more time to come up with one. On a positive note, there are effective ways to treat depression and make its symptoms manageable, such as:
- Taking antidepressants
- Getting therapy
- Joining support groups
What is the best medicine for depression?
Any antidepressant categorized as a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) is ideal for depression. However, according to a 2017 study, Zoloft has been the most prescribed antidepressant during that year. It indicates how much psychiatrists believe in the product’s effectiveness.
What drug is the happy pill?
Prozac is known as a happy pill for depression. It is one of the most common antidepressants in the United States. Based on a 2017 study, 11% of their respondents find this drug effective.
Despite the reported positive results of taking an antidepressant, people should understand that it is not recommended to continue the medication for years. You want to learn how to deal with your depression, not depend on drugs to make you happy.
What is the best natural antidepressant?
St. John’s wort is the best natural antidepressant at this time of writing. It is an herb that can be found in different parts of Europe, Africa, and Asia. Many people have reported feeling less depressed after consuming it regularly, even though it is not FDA-approved. While it is technically all-natural, you should still talk to a specialist before eating or brewing St. John’s wort, primarily if you are taking cancer medication or blood thinners.
What is the new treatment for depression?
The newest treatment for depression comes in the form of Stanford Accelerated Intelligent Neuromodulation Therapy (SAINT). This experimental treatment works by sending approximately 1,800 electrical pulses to the brain every session to calm the mind and stimulate new neural pathways.
According to the paper published by Stanford University, 19 out of the 21 participants who were initially depressed at the beginning of the study turned out to be in the non-depressive range in the end.
What can I do instead of taking antidepressants?
In case you do not wish to take antidepressants, you can do the following:
- Look for a talk therapy that you are most comfortable with. The most common one is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which enables individuals to change their thought processes to improve their behavior. In case it does not work for you, you may try online psychotherapy, counseling, or interpersonal therapy.
- Start exercising more regularly. It does not mean that you need to sign up for a gym or CrossFit membership, considering doing so will most likely require you to exert too much effort on the program. Instead, allocate at least 30 minutes every for walking, swimming, running, jogging, biking, or whatever aerobic exercise you are into.
- Join local support groups. There should be at least one group that helps depressed people deal with their issues in your area. Otherwise, you can connect with them virtually.
Do plants help with depression?
Yes, plants help people deal with their depression. Studies reveal that putting plants inside the house can reduce your stress level and physical discomfort – two of the many issues connected with the said mental disorder. However, they are yet to figure out what causes this effect.
How can I improve my mood naturally?
- Eat omega-3-rich foods like salmon, walnuts, flax seeds, anchovies, etc. According to studies, omega-3 fatty acids can protect you from getting depression.
- Eat yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and other probiotic-rich foods. The reason is that probiotics are known to improve the signals that go in and out of the brain. The more healthy bacteria live in your gut, the lesser your chances are of feeling depressed.
- Eat quinoa, wheat, brown rice, millet, and other whole grains to obtain more B vitamins from your diet. Such nutrients can improve your brain function, lift your mood, and sharpen your learning skills.
- Have a nutritious meal every morning. Although there is not enough study to back the need for breakfast daily, many researchers claim that doing so lowers the possibility of getting depression.
- Add leafy greens to your diet every day. Dark-green vegetables are supposed to have many folates, which is essential for the production of happy hormones and less association with depression.
- Moderate your caffeine intake. It is understandable to want a cup of coffee as soon as you wake up, but it is not recommended to have it every hour of the day as it can make you nervous, anxious, and depressed.
What plant relieves stress?
Various plants are said to relieve stress, namely:
- Aloe Vera: The anti-inflammatory properties of this plant may lower your anxiety level.
- Chamomile: Drinking chamomile tea can reduce your inflammation and anxiety and increase your chances of sleeping well.
- Chrysanthemum: Drinking chrysanthemum tea can have a relaxing effect on the body.
- Gerbera: It is ideal for cleaning the benzene in the air, reducing your anxiety (and possibly preventing cancer).
- Jasmine: The tea or essential oil form of the jasmine plant effectively helps a person fall asleep peacefully.
- Lavender: Lavender oil is a safe, calming product that adults and babies can use for relaxation purposes.
- Peppermint: If you need to be mentally alert to reduce your frustrations, you can soak freshly chopped peppermint leaves in warm water and inhale their aroma.
The fact that I could not do much to help alleviate the depression of my brothers and sisters in the gay community had always saddened me. I wanted to do more for them, to make them feel loved all the time, but I couldn’t speak to every parent who refused to accept their kids’ gender preferences. All I can do now is a vow to continue supporting the LGBTQ+ community and encourage others to embrace gay people with open arms.