To consider an answer to this question, we need to take a step back and explore possible causes and contributing factors for the state of our mental health and depression. These can potentially range from nutrient deficiencies or poor health choices, to environmental factors such as exposure to stress, pollutants or toxins.
From social stressors, like bereavement when losing a loved one, adjusting to new changes like n post-natal depression or moving to a new city and being cut off from your established support network to even having a genetic susceptibility. All of these factors can lead to deterioration in mental health and can cause depression.
Is my physical health linked to my mental health?
Given that all bodily systems are interdependent and connected, this should be a valid viewpoint. Here are a few potentially relevant questions to consider when looking at mental health concerns.
- How much serotonin is produced in my gut?
- Do minor nutrient deficiencies affect my mood?
- When was the last time I got some fresh air?
- Are my hormone levels ok?
- Would incorporating a simple but regular exercise routine make a difference?
- Do I really need a social life or friends?
- Am I stuck in a fight or flight cycle?
These are just a few of the questions, though a systematic approach could probably be made once we look at a holistic approach and realize that the mind, body and emotions are connected. This is where seeing a health professional may come in handy. A psychologist can help address concerns, teach coping mechanisms and explore thoughts and emotions, helping you to overcome depression.
Then why do anti-depression meds exist?
Occasionally we may need some added support due to the severity of symptoms. Or to give us time while addressing underlying causes like hormone imbalances or eating disorders.
Sometimes we may not be in the right place in our lives to make major lifestyle changes and so medication can be a solution to break out of such a cycle. Whether medication is needed temporarily or long-term, there should be no guilt or shame associated with it. It does not indicate failure or weakness at all! Recognizing when our bodies need added help in the form of medicine is a skill in itself.
What do I do next?
If you are concerned that you may be feeling symptoms of depression, book a mental health consult with Dr Issma Katib, where we explore your concerns in a confidential and gentle manner, while looking at underlying potential causes. Together we’ll create a management plan that may include lifestyle changes, seeing our in-house psychologist Lize VanDerWalt for that extra support or even prescription medication. Ultimately it is your decision and so you should be involved in the decision making process.
Located in Neutral Bay, Dr Issma Katib sees patients from North Sydney, Neutral Bay, Cremorne, Mosman and more. Taking new patients now, it’s easy to make an appointment online or call us to find out more.