The Menace of Depression

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At a point in our life, one can feel down. It could be a relationship break up, bad grade in education pursuit, hopelessness about future and many more. Depression involves the presence of certain characteristic signs, longer and deeper feelings of despondency in severe cases which can be life threatening, with suicide as a possible outcome.

The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasized better on depression as a common mental disorder, characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of tiredness and poor concentration. It can be long lasting or recurrent, substantially impairing a person’s ability to function at work or school, or cope with daily life. At its most severe, depression can lead to suicide. When mild, depression can be treated without medicines but, when moderate or severe, people may need medication and professional talking treatments.

Since depressed people may fail to live up to their potential, do poorly in school and stay on the social margins; in most cases, frequently ignored or untreated; and a certain condition which prevents such people from taking steps to help themselves (hopelessness), unfortunately, the outcome is usually a suicide measure.

Recent stories feel the social media about Uzakah Timi Ebiweni, , 300-Level Medical Student Commits Suicide ‘For Failing MBBS Examination’ in Niger-Delta University (NDU),after plunging into river, and also Temitope Saka, a 17-year-old girl, died after drinking insecticide, Sniper, in the Igando area of Lagos State; other cases of suicide among teenagers in Nigeria and many instances around the world.

Whether or not there is a growing evidence that depression is in part an illness with biological or hereditary basis or economy. is not necessarily what matters here, the essence of this article is to educate and help us understand the danger, symptoms and possible ways to check the menace of depression in your lifestyle. for one thing, being living and keep pushing in your down time is the ultimate, you are so dear to your family/love ones and irreplaceable, therefore, hold that thought and keep staying around!

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Depression often starts at a young age. It affects women more often than men, and unemployed people are also at high risk. Non-specialists can reliably diagnose and treat depression as part of primary health care. Friends and families can may provide all the support needed in a mild cases of depression. We should be there for one another, Having someone who is willing to listen and ask concerned questions can make all the difference. Let’s offer the best we can support rather than neglect; check your inner circle, with this we can build a better world.

It helps to listen in a way that shows you care and empathized, this does not mean entering into the person’s despair; an attitude of careful optimism is appropriate. However, avoid minimizing the person’s pain or making comments like “Everything’s fine” or “Your life is good—you have no reason to feel suicidal!” Try saying something like “I can see how hopeless you feel, but I believe things can get better” or “I hear you; I want to help.” Advice should be simple and practical; for example, “Let’s go for a walk and talk more” or “I am here for you, but you need more professional advice; let’s look up some numbers together.”

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Specialist care is needed for people with complicated depression or those who do not respond to primary health care. Even the most caring and involved friends or families members may not be enough when depression is more severe, it is important to seek and consult Mental Health professional which include psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, religious counselor, general physicians and masters-level therapists. Each type of professional has their own perspective and expertise. The important thing is to seek professional help whenever the symptoms arise whether severe or not and follow prescriptions accordingly.

Common Signs/Symptoms of Depression

Depressed Individual may experience:

  • Loss of pleasure in virtually all activities
  • Feelings of fatigue or lack of energy
  • Frequent tears and bad feelings
  • Difficulty with concentration or memory
  • A change in sleep pattern, with either too much or too little sleep; the person may wake up in the night or early morning and not feel rested the next day
  • An increase or decrease in appetite, with a corresponding change in weight
  • Markedly diminished interest in sex
  • Feelings of worthlessness and self-blame or exaggerated feelings of guilt
  • Unrealistic ideas and worries (e.g., believing no one like them or that they have a terminal illness when there is no supporting proof)
  • Hopelessness about the future
  • Thoughts of suicide
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A Discourse on Suicide and Depression. (Counselling & Psychological Services)

Suicide is the second leading cause of death in young people. A major cause of suicide is mental illness, very commonly depression. People feeling suicidal are overwhelmed by painful emotions and see death as the only way out, losing sight of the fact that suicide is a permanent “solution” to a temporary state—most people who try to kill themselves but live later say they are glad they didn’t die. Most people who die by suicide could have been helped. An individual considering suicide frequently confides in a friend, who may be able to convince them to seek treatment. When the risk is high, concerned friends and relatives should seek professional guidance.

Suicidal thoughts may be fleeting or more frequent, passive (e.g., “What if I were dead?”) or active (e.g., thinking of ways to kill oneself, making a plan). Preparations for death, such as giving away possessions or acquiring a gun, are cause for great concern. A sudden lift in spirits in a depressed person can be a warning sign that they are planning to kill themselves. Any level of suicidal thinking should be taken seriously. This include being conscious of certain misconceptions about suicide such as:

“People who talk about it won’t do it.”

Suicide threats should always be taken seriously. The truth is that few individuals are single-minded in their decision to kill themselves; many are asking for help even as they contemplate suicide.

“People who really want to kill themselves are beyond help.”

Fortunately, this is not the case. Suicidal impulses may be intense but short-lived. The majority of individuals who are suicidal even for extended periods recover and can benefit from treatment.

“Suicide is a purely personal decision.”

This argument is sometimes used to justify a “hands-off” attitude. It is a misconception, because suicide doesn’t just affect the person who dies; it affects others also.

“Asking about suicide can put the idea in someone’s mind.”

Research proves that asking someone about suicide will not “put the idea in their head.” In fact, many people having suicidal thoughts often feel relieved when someone asks. Suicidal individuals are engaged in a private struggle with thoughts of death. Talking about the possibility of suicide can alleviate the loneliness of the struggle and can be a first step in obtaining help.

As Shola Ajayi will put it,” Each time a person talks about their misfortune, somehow, we instinctively want to acknowledge that pain by relating it to our situation. Sometimes, it’s not done out of spite. Sometimes, it’s out of fear or confusion.”

Jim Rohn will say, bring yourself down to the same level with the misfortune person and tell your once misfortune story about the dissatisfaction you experienced sometime ago, your found hope and what you now feel about the future. With this you establish the similarities and connection to get better, the feelings of honor that someone is willing to share their story with you and they also feel better to share and for you to listen to them.

For more helpful information please see the slide below V.Page Hale, Ed.D. on Depresion & Suicide: Risk Factors, Warning, Signs, Prevention, & Postvention;

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