Cop­ing with DE­PRES­SION

Al­though many peo­ple refuse to ad­mit that they are de­pressed, help is avail­able

Move! - - YOUR HEALTH - By Boi­tumelo Nt­soane

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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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