The silent killer
Getting to understand the types and causes of depression
THERE is no way depression can be taken lightly after Mahikeng-born rapper, HHP, whose real name is Jabulani ‘Jabba’ Tsambo, recently passed on after a lengthy battle with depression. This shows how deadly depression can be if it’s not dealt with in the right way.
BATTLE WITH DEPRESSION
In the past, many celebrities have opened up about their battles with depression. Even though it may seem that they’re living large, these celebrities have encountered their fair share of rough times.
The rapper’s death comes as an example of how people are ignorant when it comes to depression and, according to the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (SADAG), they estimate that one in five people suffers from a mental illness once in their lives and HHP’s story proves that no one is immune to depression.
Tzi Sun, the author of The Art of War, states in his book that to defeat an enemy one has to fully understand the enemy. That is why clinical psychologist, Charity Mkone, who specialises in mental illness, helps us understand the silent killer called depression much better.
WHAT IS DEPRESSION?
Most people don’t even know what depression is, even though they might be battling with it on a daily basis. The lack of knowledge when it comes to mental illness is the reason a lot of cries from people battling the illness have fallen on deaf ears.
Charity says that there is a stigma when it comes to depression because most people fail to see it as an illness and often think that it is something that most of the time affects one’s mood.
She also adds that depression can affect any person, even children. She says this is because
DEPRESSIVE DISORDERS INVOLVE YOUR BODY, MOOD AND THOUGHTS
depression is an intersection between biological and emotional factors.
SADAG says that a depressive disorder is a ‘whole-body’ illness, involving your body, mood and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things. A depressive disorder is not the same as a temporary blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depressive illness cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months or years. Appropriate treatment can help most people who suffer from depression.
TYPES OF DEPRESSION
Depressive disorders come in different forms, just as other illnesses, such as heart disease. SADAG briefly describes three of the most common types of depressive disorders. However, within these types there are variations in the number of symptoms, their severity and persistence.
Major depression: This is manifested through a combination of symptoms that interfere with the ability to work, sleep, eat and enjoy once pleasurable activities.
Dysthymia: This is a less severe type of depression. It involves long-term, chronic symptoms lasting years that do not disable, but keep you from functioning at your full potential or from feeling good. Sometimes people with dysthymia also experience major depressive episodes, also called double depression.
Bipolar disorder: Formerly called manic-depressive illness. Not nearly as common as other forms of depressive disorders, bipolar disorder involves episodes of depression and elation or mania. Sometimes the mood switches are dramatic and rapid, but most often they are gradual. Bipolar disorder is often a chronic recurring condition.
Early in the year, in an interview on Metro FM, HHP was speaking about his battle with depression where he opened up about some of the things in his life that might have led him into depression. The rapper stated that he had never worked a day in his life because of his love for music.
“Music has always been my life, music is my breath. They say if you really do something you love, you’ll eat at its altar so I have to eat from the music thing,” said the rapper. “So at the time, its like deadlines are involved, brand equity is involved, this sound is what is playing on radio so many things happened that took me off track.”
The Bosso ke mang hitmaker also stated other things that triggered his depression like the school fees for his son getting expensive for him and all of those things happening in his life at that time led to him thinking that the best solution was to ‘check out’.
Charity clarifies a few triggers of depression. “A person dealing with the mental illness will experience a depressed mood during most of the day, especially in the morning and you also feel worthless or guilty almost every day,” she says. “You have almost no interest or pleasure in many activities nearly every day. You think often about death or suicide (not just a fear of death).”
SADAG: 011 234 483 For suicidal emergency: 0800 567 567
HHP passed on after a long battle with depression
Depression can affect anyone, including children, and if not dealt with correctly it can have devastating effects