Depression should never have a place in anyone’s life because it is harmful to a person’s general well-being and can also lead to other unrelated health conditions and Suicides. Speaking about suicide, the rate of reported suicides in Nigeria in on the increase daily. The hardship in the country has contributed largely to this phenomenon, people are so depressed they think the only way out is Suicide. Just like the few people that committed suicide in Lagos recently, read here.
YOU SHOULD KNOW THIS ABOUT DEPRESSION
Depression is a serious and pervasive mood disorder. It causes feeling of worthlessness, hopelessness, helplessness and sadness. A depressed person has low-grade fatigue, difficulty sleeping, low self-esteem, symptoms of apathy, poor appetite and they definitely have trouble sleeping.
WHAT REALLY CAUSES DEPRESSION?
The cause and how it starts is very complex and these reasons differ from person to person. How you react to situations, things that happen in your life, genetics, your personality and lifestyle all these can determine your level of depression.
THE COURSE DEPRESSION MAY TAKE
John is from a family with a history of depression, he overuses alcohol and hard drugs as a way of coping with his challenging situations. John is going through marital stress and recently lost a close friend all these contribute to deepen his depression. As a result of these situations, John is not able to function at the same level as a normal person; he feels overwhelmed with his problems and he starts losing social support and resources, this deepens his depression even more.
WHAT ARE THE CONSEQUENCES OF DEPRESSION?
There are tons of consequences of depression – a depressed person suffers which affects a lot especially their immediate environment and the people around them. A depressed person suffers many effects; they can be in these categories:
Behavioural Symptoms e.g. Declines from doing everyday task, OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder).
Physical Symptoms e.g. Suffers from fatigue, acute headaches.
Psychological Symptoms e.g. Suicidal tendencies.
Mood Symptoms e.g. Mood swings.
If depression is left untreated it could impair a person’s life and relationships with family, friends and colleagues. It is possible to treat or manage this condition, but first a person has to be open to treatment and accept help. Facing the challenges could be the solution instead of downing pills to solve just the symptoms like pains, headaches, loss of appetite and not the actual problem.
HERE ARE TIPS TO HELP OVERCOME DEPRESSION:
1. YOU NEED SUNSHINE. Do you know that getting up at sunrise and going to sleep at sunset can affect your mental health positively? Exposure to bright sunlight for 30 minutes a day either through sunlight or a light made for this – helps keep your internal clock set. This circadian rhythm helps to regulate our sleep/wake cycle and ensures a good night’s sleep which in turn, helps our physical and mental health. Don’t wear sunglasses though; the exposure must come through your eyes, as your eye is the window to your soul.
2. WORK THAT BODY! In the olden days, some of our grandparents in Nigeria worked in the fields for their food that could easily pass for their workout. In Nigeria today, where the ‘white collar job’ is the order of the day, a simple walk up and down long staircases can help endorphins get released regularly. It’s also a good way to work out and release stress. You don’t have to run a marathon, just get your heart rate up to your target range – around 120 to 160 beats per minute depending on your age and condition. Walking works wonders. Get your doctor’s advice on it first though.
3. BEAUTY SLEEP. Change your sleep routine so that it’s more conducive to a good night’s rest. Turn your lights down and go to bed at the same time every night. Turn the T.V. off. Engage in calming, quiet activities like reading, taking a warm bath, etc. Avoid caffeine and alcohol. Don’t work late or do other stressful activities that cause your mind to race. Remember a tired body and quiet mind are the requirements for quality sleep, as sleep is very important in getting rid of depression.
4. GET IN THE MIX! Socialising is very important! In the Nigerian society going to friends’ birthday parties, wedding, etc. matters a whole lot! There’s no reason you cannot. Involve yourself with close friends and family. You don’t have to engage in heavy conversations about your plight, just have fun. Keep it simple and go to a movie, visit people, travel with friends or family during holidays. Just be with other people and your feelings of isolation will fade. Do these face to face (not online!) and do it regularly.
5. THINK HAPPY ONLY. Become aware of those times you dwell on the negatives in your life – both real and imagined – and stop them. It takes work and persistence but if you constantly tell yourself to ‘stop it’ when you start to go over and over the negatives, then you are building a positive habit that will change your life for the better. Whether it’s the ‘danfo’ that scratched your car in traffic or parents that keep bothering you about marriage – give yourself the luxury of happy thoughts.
A WORLD WITHOUT DEPRESSION
Imagine a world where everyone is actually their brother’s keeper, people would hardly suffer from this condition because it strongly has to do with isolation, discrimination, and criticism that come from everyone around us (note: some kinds of depression may be unrelated to these triggers). Imagine if everyone actually doesn’t do things at the detriment of other people around them, maybe just maybe the world would be free of this condition! Be a friend and a helper… not a foe and a hypocrite!