Are You Aging Five Times Faster Than Normal?
Nobody looks forward to aging. Most people fight it tooth-and-nail.
But one of every ten Americans is fighting a losing battle. If you’re one of them, until you address the underlying condition that is accelerating your aging, that won’t change.
What is this nasty condition that causes you to age so much faster? Surprisingly, it’s depression.
It’s Not All in Your Head
As a society, we tend to dismiss depression as a purely emotional or mental problem. If you’ve ever suffered from depression, you’ve probably had someone tell you, “It’s all in your head.”
Depression doesn’t just attack your emotions, and it isn’t just an issue with mental health. Depression attacks your body at a cellular level and puts you at higher risk of getting old and sick before your time.
Scientists figured this out by looking at the DNA of depressed individuals compared to those who weren’t depressed. They found that people with depression had shorter telomeres.
Now, I’ve mentioned telomeres before. They’re the little caps on the end of your DNA that keep your DNA in good repair. Long telomeres are a sign of cellular youth. Short ones indicate aging and all that comes with it.
Depression shortens your telomeres by a lot—ten years worth in just two-year span. You read that right. Living with depression quintuples the speed at which you age!
Accelerated aging means you’re more likely to fall victim to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and Alzheimer’s. So finding ways to treat your depression now could add years—happy, healthy years—to your life later on.
Don’t Resign Yourself to Depression
Expert opinion is in. Depression is not a normal part of aging. But older people do have a higher risk of experiencing depression.
It makes sense. The longer you live, the more big life changes you face, and those can take a toll. Plus, age increases the risk of a number of health issues that can also trigger depression.
But you should never resign yourself to living with depression. It isn’t a normal part of aging and it’s something that you can recover from. The first step is to recognize the signs.
Common symptoms of depression include:
- Lack of energy
- Loss of interest in things you usually enjoy
- Changing sleep patterns
- Anxiety or worry
- Changes in eating habits
- Physical aches and pains
- Social withdrawal
- Loss of your sense of self worth
It’s important to note that you might be depressed even if you aren’t feeling sad. If you have any combination of two or three of these symptoms, that’s cause for concern.
Effective Ways to Treat Depression
The first step in treating depression is to get help.
Talk to your doctor and rule out purely physical causes of depression. Some nutrient deficiencies can cause depression, so that might be an easy fix.
Beyond your doctor, consider working with a therapist. Talk therapy is an effective treatment for depression, according a variety of studies on the topic. When choosing a therapist, don’t be afraid to shop around and find one who you feel comfortable with.
If you’re struggling with severe depression, it may be wise to consider medication if your doctor recommends it. Carefully consider all treatment options and choose the best combination for you.
Exercise regularly and really work up a sweat.
For just about anyone suffering from depression, exercise can help. In cases of mild to moderate depression, numerous studies show that exercise is just as effective as medication for improving mood and relieving symptoms.
Exercise also works as a preventative against future bouts of depression. Plus, it’s just good for you.
Take mood-balancing supplements.
Some supplements can prove very useful against depression.
- Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids: Your brain needs essential fatty acids to function properly and to regulate a number of processes, including your mood. Multiple studies have found that people with depression exhibit low omega-3 levels, and studies testing the effect of omega-3s on people with depression have been positive. Try taking 2 grams of omega-3s a day. Fish oil or cod liver oil is the best ways to supplement.
- Folate: Your brain also needs this B-vitamin to function at its best. Folate deficiency is also associated with depression. Try taking 800 micrograms of folate a day. To keep your B vitamins in balance, also take 1 milligram of vitamin B12.
Depression takes a toll. It diminishes your quality of life and ages your body at a more rapid pace. It’s vital that you pull out at all the stops when fighting this vicious condition. Talk to your doctor, visit a therapist, and incorporate natural solutions. Taking these steps will help you get back to feeling like yourself, and you’ll do a huge favor to your long-term health.
P.S. — Keep this lifesaving information close by. You may need it! Staying healthy and keeping your immune system in top shape can help you battle depression before it starts. Health-savvy individualists are looking to centuries-old medicine to boost their immune systems (and it works against antibiotic-resistant superbugs too!). A surprising number of worried scientists say this is exactly the right thing to do.