Depression is a common mental illness that is often overlooked. Globally, about 264 million people are depressed. In Nigeria, about 7 million people are depressed. Everyone feels sad, upset or unmotivated every now and than. But depression a prolonged feeling of sadness and loss of interest that exists for more than 2 weeks.
Depression is not just a feeling that will go away or you’ll snap out of it. You need to “work” to get out of it and get help. It is like any other physical disease that takes away your energy and requires medical attention. Depression can occur due to lack of money, lack/loss of job or a loved one, heartbreak, marital problems, physical illness and so on.
Signs that you’re depressed are;
- Prolonged feeling of sadness
- Unexplained crying
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Self hurt (e.g cutting yourself with blades)
- Lack of sleep
- Isolation from friends and families
- Thought or talks about death or suicide
- Feeling of guilt.
- Lack of sleep
- Headaches or pain that do not respond to treatment
- Anger, worry or abusive behavior
- Negative thoughts and actions.
Are you depressed? You’re not alone. You have more control over depression (and your thoughts) than you think. Here are some things you can do to snap out of depression;
- Reach out to friends and loved ones. Create new relationship with people. Have new friends to can talk with
- Do things you used to enjoy such as dancing, cooking, watching movies, playing games
- Get enough rest and stay away from stressful situations
- Be involved in daily exercise eg jogging, walking, dancing etc.
- Eat healthy diet
- Learn and try something new. Volunteer to teach or help others
- Set attainable goals and reward yourself for achieving it
- Challenge your negative thoughts and replace with positive ones
- Don’t compare yourself with others. Know that today isn’t a true picture of what tomorrow will be. Be hopeful
- Speak to a psychologist. Therapies help.
Do you have a friend that is depressed, here is how you can help
- Reach out and listen to them. Your friend may be reluctant but keep asking questions, be empathetic and show interest
- Involve their loved ones.
- Encourage your friend to go for a medical check up or see a psychologist
- Support them during therapy
- Share this post with them
Written by Tolulope Adepoju, Nurse-Midwife