Coping with DEPRESSION
Although many people refuse to admit that they are depressed, help is available
Boitumelo Ntsoane is a qualified pharmacist and businesswoman. She holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from Rhodes University, a certificate in Business Management from the University of North West, and was part of the Goldman Sachs-GIBS 10 000 Women Certificate Programme
DEPRESSION is a chronic disease, but you still find people who believe that it is not an actual problem. But what is depression? Have you ever felt the blues, felt a bit sluggish and just so sad? If it lasts for a longer period and doesn’t just pass over, its depression. It is an emotional state that eventually leads to physical strain too.
WHAT CAUSES DEPRESSION?
The most common triggers of depression include loss, money problems, divorce, social awkwardness, bullying, abuse, loneliness and mental illnesses. Depression can happen to anyone, but women are most likely to experience it than men. It is also common among teens.
The good thing is that depression can be treated. If you are suffering from depression, the challenge may be not accepting that you need help or people around you not acknowledging that you have a problem.
SOME OF THE SIGNS
A lot of people suffering from depression start to exclude themselves from their families, friends and eventually their lives.
They feel life is too difficult, are just too sad to do anything and don’t see a need or have the strength to do anything. Other signs of depression include extreme sensitivity, irritability, fatigue, decreased energy, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, binge eating or loss of appetite.
There are various types of treatment methods such as therapy. There is also medicinal treatment where a doctor will prescribe medication to you to help you cope.
However, dependency on the medication may occur and may often lead to addiction, thus it is important to take therapy seriously to try to resolve the root of the problem.
Other things such as exercising have been known to help because they release happy hormones (serotonin). Getting more rest and sleep and even healthy eating will do wonders for your health.
ADMISSION TO HOSPITAL
Depression may lead to hospitalisation, especially if you become a danger to yourself and those close to you. You may be admitted in a general hospital or a mental hospital depending on your diagnosis, the seriousness of your condition and your doctor. Hospitalisation can be involuntary or voluntary.
Support groups can help you communicate and interact with people who are going through the same thing. It always helps to be surrounded by people as being alone and not having a support structure can have an impact on your healing.
WHERE TO GET HELP
People who suffer from depression are most likely to think of suicide as a last option, especially when they feel hopeless and can’t take it anymore.
It is important to be on the lookout for suicidal signs such as the person talking or joking about suicide, self-criticism and risky behaviour. USEFUL CONTACTS South African Depression and Anxiety Group 0800 21 22 23