Health & Personal

Coping With Depression

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By Goodnews Buekor

This is not my friend, lamented Joyce!

Ever since she lost her job, she wouldn’t come out of the room, and she wouldn’t talk to the kids. Joyce shut everyone out, and on several occasions, I have caught her staring into space and talking to herself.

Life took a toll on Joyce after she lost her job.  Due to the recent quake in the economy, companies had to downsize.  45% of the company’s staff were laid off, with her being one of the victims. With the compounded responsibility as a single mom and the only child of her aged parents, Joyce could not recover from the shock of losing her job. She lost the zeal for everything, including looking for a new job.

“Slowly, I watched my friend sink into a depressed state. I miss my friend.” Rita stated.

Depression also called a major depressive disorder or clinical depression is a global concern and a significant cause of disease that affects people in all communities worldwide. Statistics show that depression affects women more severely.

Research conducted by The World Health Organization in 2008 stated that “While depression is the leading cause of disability for both males and females, the burden of depression is 50% higher for females than males. Depression is the leading cause of disease burden for women in both high-income, low- and middle-income countries.”

What is Depression?

According to World Health Organization, Depression is a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, and poor concentration. Moreover, depression often comes with symptoms of anxiety.”

It is important to note that depression is different from the typical mood instabilities and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in our day-to-day lives. The World Mental Health Survey conducted in 17 countries found that an average of about 1 in 20 people reported having an episode of depression in the previous year.

Depression may become a severe health condition if ignored. It can cause the affected person to suffer immensely and function inadequately at work, school, and family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide.

Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE) also confirms that ” research has consistently shown a strong link between suicide and depression, with 90% of the people who die by suicide having an existing mental illness or substance abuse problem at the time of their death

Symptoms of Depression:

According to The National Institute of Mental Health (NIH), some common symptoms of depression includes:

  • Persistent sadness, anxiety, or “empty” mood
  • Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
  • Feelings of irritability, frustration‚ or restlessness
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities
  • Decreased energy, fatigue, or being “slowed down.”
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
  • Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
  • Changes in appetite or unplanned weight changes
  • Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical

cause and that do not ease even with treatment

  • Suicide attempts or thoughts of death or suicide.

Managing Depression

Everyone encounters trying times and experiences low moments in life. Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to one’s mental health. It is exciting to know that depression can be reliably diagnosed and treated.

The following suggestions can be helpful

  • Talking to family trusted friends, and health professionals about what has been going on with you is the first step to conquering depression. As they can provide valuable suggestions for your problem.
  • See your physician

Major Depression is a critical condition and should be diagnosed by a physician, psychiatrist, or psychologist. It would be best to visit your local mental health centre where these mental health professionals are readily available.

  • Antidepressant Medications

Antidepressant drugs are often helpful in overcoming major depression in adults. Although, research has proven that antidepressants medication is more effective when combined with other coping strategies and self-help skills.

  • The use of Interpersonal therapy (IPT)

IPT is a talking therapy that teaches skills for dealing with friends and family.

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, “IPT focuses on interpersonal and life events that impact mood and vice versa. The goal is to help people improve their communication skills within relationships, establish social support networks, and develop realistic expectations to help them deal with crises or other issues that may be contributing to or worsening their depression.”

  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)

CBT is another effective treatment for depression. CBT is a talking therapy that teaches new skills for thinking and acting more effectively.

“With CBT, people learn to challenge and change unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviour to improve their depressive and anxious feelings,”- National Institute of Mental Health.

Challenges are a part of human life. ” Life is often ten percent what we experience and ninety percent how we respond to it.” Get your life’s groove back!

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