As we celebrate World Health Day, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has chosen depression as the health concern affecting a lot of people around the world and it needs to be addressed. According to recent statistics released on the WHO website, depression has increased by over 18% with over 80% of people suffering from depression, living in low and middle-income countries. We are not exactly surprised by this data especially with the increased number of suicide and suicide attempts that we hear of, even in Nigeria today.
According to WHO, depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks. It is an illness that can happen to anybody. An illness that causes mental anguish- anguish with devastating consequences for relationships with family and friends.
Causes of depression
Depression can be caused by poverty, unemployment, life events such as the death of a loved one or a relationship breakup, physical illness and problems caused by alcohol and drug use.
Signs of depression
Asides from the sadness that c0mes with depression, one who is suffering from depression is likely to lose their energy, have a change in appetite, find themselves sleeping more or less, lose concentration, become more and more restless and indecisive with even crucial decisions that could make or mar them directly or indirectly. They become anxious with feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and hopelessness which eventually leads them to contemplate suicide or harming themselves in other ways.
Treatment of Depression
Communication is key in getting rid of depression. There is the need for people who suffer depression to be able to speak with someone who can help them through their current state of mind and help prevent severe mental health disorder. We tend to mock those who see a therapist, referring to therapy as a ‘developed world’ problem. The data by WHO has shown that those in middle and low-income countries need therapy more than the developed world. Living in a state of denial won’t change the fact that you or someone that you know needs help.
In the weeks to follow, we will be bringing you more materials on depression. For now, share this information with your friends and loved ones, encouraging them to seek help if they are suffering from depression or, encourage them to show love to someone that they know that may seem depressed. Depression is no sign of weakness and it could affect anyone.