R.C. McCarthy: ’Safeguarding Mental Health’ gives this as the best advice for depression: ’’Different people must contend with the different trials but adversities in some shapes or the other come to everyone. Life is a procession of people bearing crosses and when one carries his awkwardly, he interferes with his fellow marchers’’
The word depression is no longer new to everyone, not even to teenagers or adolescents. The word depression sends a shiver into the spines of people when mentioned and shrinks even the brave into their shells.
What do you understand depression to be? Why depression? Could it be controlled by the affected or by medications or therapy? What are the panaceas to avoid depression? These are some of the issues we are going to focus on in this piece. We shall also give life scenarios for us to understand better.
Simply put, depression is a condition of low mental vitality or dejection. It is regarded as an extremely complex disease caused by variety of reasons.
CAUSES OF DEPRESSION
- Some experience depression when having a serious sickness or loss of an intimate friend or relation. Medical experts have also said that depression could be caused by a transfer from the generation of parents to their offspring.
- It is also believed that isolation or loneliness owing to loss of parents or benefactor or guardian whereby leaving the child destitute could push the child into a state of depression because of lack of attention.
- Apart from the above, sexual assault could also be responsible for depression. If a woman is sexually assaulted (raped) it may remain indelible in the mind of the victim and each time she thinks about it, makes her depressed having lost her self- pride. At times, it makes such a woman hates me and prefers to remain single or even isolate herself from the company of men because of her bitter experience with men.
- Some medications could also resort to depression. According to medical experts, drugs such as beta-blockers or verse pine can increase the risk of depression. So also revealed that drugs such as Codeine, morphine, and anti-cholinergic were taken to relieve stomach cramping have been found to cause a form of mental disorder marked by great elation and violent action
- Drugs and Alcoholic could also cause depression have become addicted to it. Research indicates over 500,000 Australians will experience depression and substance disorder at the same time at one time or the other in their lifetime. In Nigeria, WHO says sufferers of depression are 7,079 .815.
WHAT ARE POINTERS TO DEPRESSION –HOW TO DETECT IT?
WORRY AND ANXIETY
Worry and anxiety have been found to be some of the symptoms of depression. Anybody who worries much about his personality or wants to be a perfectionist or sensitive to personal
Criticism is prone to depression. Closely connected to this is long-term unemployment or relationship leading to long-term isolation or loneliness or work stress are vulnerable to depression.
It should be noted that we all have a moment of depression or show some of the symptoms mentioned above but this does not indicate that we are depressed. Also, not everyone experiencing depression will have all the symptoms lump together
Overwhelmed by your guilt or conscience and thoughts could get you worked up and makes you always sad. This makes the person to lack self-confidence, unhappy miserable, and frustrated. This is the time a depressed person will think and say,’’ What is this life for? Why am I still living? ‘’ life is not worth living’’, It is better I quit than in this mess!’’ etcetera.
Depression is not something to toy with and it is better handled by ‘talking out’. Here is what a 17-year-old lady, Florry, has to say about her health condition’’ Nobody has ever talked Mental Health with me and I had no idea of what was happening to me ‘’
Kobiz(not his real name) in his own case ‘’ I cover up my depression with alcohol for many years until I met with a compassionate guardian and a medical expert who introduces me to series of therapy ‘’ ‘’Before then, I indulged myself in secret hemp smoking and alcohol which made me become violent and eager or agitated most of the time. My mates noticed my unusual outbursts whenever there was a simple issue to discuss’’ I was put through psychological counseling and therapy before I found my feet’’.
Depression has to be diagnosed by a qualified mental health professional. It does not go away easily but involving a mental expert will enable the person to manage it with the right information.
According to World Health Organization (WHP), the latest figures indicate Nigeria has 7,079.815 sufferers of depression. This is 3.9% of the country’s population and an additional 4894.557 Nigerians (2.7%) of the population suffering from anxiety disorders.
Suicide statistics in Nigeria carried out by Haruna Ibrahim indicated that there were 79 reported cases of suicide between April 2017 to May 12, 2018, with a WHO study that showed Nigeria as the 30th most suicide-prone country in the world.
The high rate of depression and suicide are attributed to the scarcity of practicing psychologists and therapists, the high cost of seeking medical attention and hiring a professional psychologist, the fear of confiding in strangers or even members of the same family because of fear of stigmatization and discrimination.
The writer of this piece had been under the supervision of a chronic depressed alcoholic boy for ten years. My discovery is that a depressed person feels bad to discuss his problems with anybody, not even his parents or mates. They keep to themselves and take solace in the silent use of illegal drugs available. However, when you show genuine love to a depressed person, build his confidence to the level that he can trust you, a depressed person could open up for discussion and subsequent therapy, though he may initially resist any help saying ‘’nothing is wrong with me’’.
As mentioned in this article, depression is not a feeling that will go away immediately; it’s not a character flaw or a sign of weakness. It requires diagnosis by mental health experts.
If you want to offer succor to a depressed person, offer the person emotional support or encouragement having seen the symptoms in his or her life. Offer hope to them and don’t scare or use force on them because they need their space. With a genuine concern for them and realities talk with them, they will get over the depression in phases.
To the depressed, you don’t need to think that all is over. Take control of your heart and thoughts. Believe that you can overcome your state of health if you want to, by speaking out to anyone you can trust especially a health expert. Never think that suicide, jumping into a lagoon, or other forms of wicked or devilish ways is the solution.
You are the creation of God of the universe who knows what you are passing through and ready to bail you out if you think positively. Be adamant to get out of your depressed state because you can.