How Internet and technology have invaded our lives needs no explanation. Most of us have even browsed the internet to look for symptoms and treatments of an illness. Now people in the U.S will soon have an option to take a screening test on Google to check whether they are depressed or not! This is how the test will work: When users will search for “depression” on Google they will see a box atop the results on mobile, which Google calls a ‘Knowledge Panel’. The Knowledge Panel comprises data on what depression is, its symptoms and the possible treatments.
After this, there will be an option to tap on ‘check if you’re clinically depressed’ and take a clinically authenticated screening questionnaire, which the search giant refers to as the PHQ-9. The self-assessment is private and is meant to help steer people who might be depressed towards deeper introspection.
As per Google spokesperson Susan Cadrecha, the feature is being rolled out on mobile in the US soon and it is not meant to challenge a medical evaluation, and instead complement it. “The results of the PHQ-9 can help you have a more informed conversation with your doctor,” according to National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), which partnered with Google on the questionnaire.
According to NAMI, clinical depression is fairly common condition with almost one in five Americans experiencing an episode in their lifetime. But only about 50 per cent of people who have depression get treated for it. Until the feature rolls out in more places, here are certain herbs and food that can help you cope depression and cheer you up –
Bangalore- based nutritionist Dr. Anju Sood suggests that you should add more complex carbs (good carbs from whole grains, brown rice and vegetables) to your diet to fight depression. By limiting carbohydrates, your brain may not be able to produce enough of the feel-good brain chemicals, such as serotonin and you may also feel very lethargic.
2. Protein Rich Foods
“Protein rich foods are known to boost alertness. Some of them contain an amino acid called tryptophan which helps your body make the mood boosting brain chemical, serotonin. For vegetarians, peas, beans, soya, lentils and paneer are good sources of protein and non-vegetarians should opt for lean meat and eggs,” says Dr. Anju Sood.
Brahmi is a perennial herb that has a long standing reputation of curing stress. Brahmi plays a role of adaptogen that means it helps the body to adapt to new or stressful situations. It also increases the serotonin levels in the brain that keep the mind calm.
Ashwagandha is said to relieve stress and anxiety which are the two common symptoms of depression. It contains active compounds like steroidal lactones, saponins, alkaloids and withanolides that provide antidepressant and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps restore the normal physiological functioning.
Also known as the sunshine vitamin, Vitamin D is produced by the skin with the help of the sun’s rays. Many scientific studies have shown that people with depression also had low Vitamin D levels. Depression is also a play of hormones and vitamins that are associated with the production or regulation of certain hormones. “Vitamin D is important for many brain functions. You can have more of fatty fish, especially tuna, mushrooms, orange juice and eggs to maintain your Vitamin D levels and also to manage depression,” says Dr. Anju Sood.
5.Carotene Rich Foods
Macrobiotic Nutritionist Shonali Sabherwal suggests that foods rich in carotene can help in dealing with depression. It is a compound that adds the orange-reddish colour to certain fruits and vegetables. It is important in the diet as a precursor of vitamin A. Carrots, tomatoes and sweet potatoes are good sources of carotene. The more intense the colour of the fruit or vegetable, the more carotene it will have.