Mental health cannot be neglected when discussing the health status of an individual. A person’s physical and cognitive activities are products of his mental state.
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
Depression is a mental or mood condition that results in insistent feelings of sadness and self-withdrawal. Depression is associated with an alteration in the region of the brain that controls mood. Sometimes, it is referred to as depressive disorder or clinical depression (dysthymia).
RISK FACTORS OF DEPRESSION
The era of depression is attributed to some risk factors such as:Negative life experience
Genetic build up
Abuse and a lot more.
THE IMPACT OF DEPRESSION
Depression has a great negative impact on the individual experiencing it:
They experience frequent mood swings because of alteration between nerve circuits.
It tempers with the way they behave, feel and think and can cause emotional and physical problems.
The individual finds it difficult to carry out daily activities and thereby becoming less productive at work.
It can sometimes result in the feeling of a sense of worthlessness, hopelessness and self-isolation which could lead to suicide.
SYMPTOMS OF DEPRESSION
Depression varies importantly among different people, depending on the obvious symptoms the person is exhibiting. Depression can last for two weeks or even more depending on how early the individual noticed it and soughthelp. The following are the symptoms of depression that are common among persons experiencing it at a particular period.
Recurrent thinking of death, suicidal thoughts, suicide attempts or may even commit suicide
Unshakable feeling of worthlessness and hopelessness
Mental fatigue (slow in thinking and speaking)
Difficulty in comprehension and remembering things
Inability to sleep (Insomnia) and uncontrollable sleep
Loss of appetite or craving for food
Feeling guilty about a particular event
Life stagnation: no improvement or no progress
Get distracted easily: Difficulty in concentration
Experiencing fear and lack of self confidence
Always confused and absent minded
Sense of restlessness, agitation and anxiety
Difficulty in carrying out task like taking long time to accomplish a small task
Sense of emptiness, tearfulness and sadness
Not finding pleasure in all normal activities such as sport, hobbies, playing and catching fun etc.
LINK BETWEEN DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE
Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young individuals. Suicidal thoughts are enveloped by painful emotional manipulation; it makes people perceive death as the only option, forgetting the fact that committing suicide is never the best solution to depression but a negative solution. People who had this thought, who did not actualize it were later glad they did not. Although not all individuals who suffered from depression commit suicide but, many people who died of preventable death as a result of depression could have been helped despite the thin line between depression and suicide.
The increasing number of suicide in the world can be traced to depression in that; the percentage of suicide caused by depression is higher than those that are not depression induced.
The chance of death by suicide is due to the severity of the depression. The final outcome of untreated depression or relapse depression is suicide. The best way out of depression is to confide in a friend and open up so as to get a timely help. Although suicide is often blind to its possibility, there are signs to watch out for:
Frequently talking about wanting to die
Experiencing severe depression and mental disorder
Increased social withdrawal
Poor hygienic nature
Dispatching away tangible properties and making other arrangement for death
Having mood swing
Regular hosting of radio programs focusing on how to handle depression should be encouraged
Individuals should take courageous steps to handle stress in such a way that will enhance their self-confidence and increase flexibility.
When confronted with episode of depression or crisis of depression, try and reach out to families and friends for help.
Seek help and treatment early to avoid relapse of symptoms, long-term maintenance treatment should be encouraged
Depression can occur in all ages of life, the signs can also be observed in any category (old/ young, poor/rich etc.)
Depression is not a condition you easily navigate through and feel better but can take long-term treatment. It has been proven that people with this condition get treated and feel better. This is through some medications, rehabilitation processes and counselling services.
Omame Joseph Benjamin is a public health enthusiast with focus on mental and reproductive health. He has passion for reproductive health of individuals and family, and obtained his bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Science from the prestigious University of Jos in Nigeria. He is currently undergoing his postgraduate study in public health focusing on population and Reproductive health at the University of Ibadan. Omame is also a good data analyst with verifiable track record.