It is only natural to feel down after an illness like the flu. Sometimes symptoms like the runny nose, coughing and fatigue, among others, persist and this may trigger a temporary bout of depression as can taking lots of medicine for the illness. Being ill can drain the immune system in the body, causing general exhaustion and frequent mood swings.
Symptoms of post-flu depression include, feelings of despair, hopelessness, deficiency, fatigue, too much sleep or too little sleep, difficulty in getting out of bed, irritability, unable to think clearly or make good decisions, lack of appetite, not enjoying regular activities. Persistent flu or getting it frequently, can be even more depressing. The flu, however, should not be confused with the common cold. A person with flu has little or no energy to get out of bed and usually has lack of appetite to eat.
You must not let the depression get to you. Do not succumb to the post-flu depression easily. Follow what the doctors advise, do not try to take shortcuts. Get plenty of nourishing rest and spend as much of the day in bed as possible. This way, by sleeping and resting enough, your body's natural immune system will be allowed to fight the flu on its own. Drink lots of fluids especially drinks that are rich in vitamins and other nutrients. Doctors usually prescribe an antibiotic to treat any bacterial complications from the flu. Continue taking the medicine as prescribed even if the systems ease.
It is only natural to feel rather weak if you have an illness but do not make it an excuse to become lazy, whenever possible, help yourself to get back to normal and feel better slowly towards full fitness. Often it takes three to seven days to get over the initial effects or even longer. If, for any reason, you still feel sick after more than one week or you don't feel like your normal self within a couple of weeks, it is recommended that you make another visit to the doctor.
Post-flu depression can be just as detrimental to your health especially if healing takes a long time. Prevention is better than cure, and in order to prevent a flu infection, we need a healthy immune system. Vaccinations do not always provide protection especially against certain strains of influenza such as avian flu or bird flu. Therefore it is better to take preventative measures for protection. We have been told often enough to remember to wash hands frequently; eat more chemical-free and organically grown food; take a daily intake of natural organic yogurt to reduce susceptibility to flu infections; cover the mouth or nose with a tissue when coughing and sneezing; increase supplement intake of Vitamin C and cod liver oil; get adequate sleep and regular exercise; reduce stress through relaxation, exercising or music; refrain from sharing cups or other items with someone who has the flu; and limit alcohol consumption to prevent dehydration, etc.
We've been taught since childhood days of the importance of maintaining self-hygiene. We should continue reminding each other now and for generations to come.