Health: Depression

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Depression is eating away many people today, as well as causing enormous social, financial and medical repercussions to the society. Globally, a lot of suicide deaths stemming from depression have been registered over the past two years. Clearly, depression is not limited to the poor; affluent and rich people, including celebrities, are not immune to depression. Notably prominent celebrities, from Mac Miller, Avicci, Chester Bennington to Robin Williams, have fallen victims to depression.

Depression is a mood disorder characterized by persistently low mood and a feeling of sadness and loss of interest. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the most common illness worldwide and the leading cause of disability. They estimate that 350 million people are affected by depression, globally.

Despite that depression is a global illness, it is ironically one of the most ignored ailments. It is, therefore, no wonder why depression continues to drain many people away. Confiding in people isn’t everyone’s biggest strength and this is one of the easiest ways you can battle through depression. It takes a certain amount of courage and self-devotion for one to realize they are depressed and need to speak to somebody preferably a specialist before it’s too late.

What makes depression extremely dangerous is the likelihood of it developing into other chronic behaviour. Depression could have adverse effects on people, like resorting to drastic drug use or self-harm, including, but not limited to pricking and cutting one’s body. Diagnosis of depression starts with a consultation with a doctor or mental health specialist. It is important to seek the help of a health professional to rule out different causes of depression, ensure an accurate differential diagnosis, and secure safe and effective treatment.

Symptoms of depression can include: depressed mood, reduced interest or pleasure in activities previously enjoyed, loss of sexual desire, unintentional weight loss (without dieting) or lower appetite, Insomnia (difficulty sleeping) or hypersomnia (excessive sleeping). It’s important to offer counselling or seek professional help to someone who you identify with these symptoms before it’s too late to offer help. It is time to join hands together to minimize the havocs of depression.

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By Edward Tumwine