Depression is a sensitive issue that has barely been elaborated on, especially in Africa. There is a common notion that has gone viral and it has been passed down from generations till this very day; “nothing can faze the black man and depression is a white man sickness”
This lie has been planted into the brains of the masses and people(particularly doctors in psychiatric fields) have taken a lackadaisical approach towards finding a platform to help people who are in need of immediate treatment, they have failed in educating individuals about what depression really is about.
What is Depression?
According to the Healthline newsletter:
“Depression is classified as a mood disorder. It may be described as feelings of sadness, loss or anger that interfere with a person’s everyday activities, people experience depression in different ways. It may interfere with your daily work, resulting in lost time and lower productivity.”
It has to be emphasized that feeling down at times is a normal part of life but if you’re feeling miserable or hopeless on a regular basis, you could be dealing with depression. Depression can affect men, women and children differently. The health line news also talks about these symptoms below:
Symptoms of depression in men may include:
-Mood: anger, aggressiveness, irritability
-Emotional: feeling sad or empty-Cognitive: difficulty in completing tasks-Behavioral: Loss of interest-Sexual: Reduced Sexual desire
Symptoms of depression in women may include:-Mood: Anger, Irritability-Emotional: Feeling sad or empty-Cognitive: Difficulty in completing tasks-Behavioral: Loss of interest, social isolation-Sexual: Reduced Sexual desire
Symptoms of depression in children may include:-Mood: Irritability, anger, mood swing-Emotional: feelings of incompleteness-Behavioural: getting into trouble at school avoiding friends or siblings
-Cognitive: inability to get work done efficiently well at school, suicidal thoughts
Depression is a serious illness with risks of complications if left untreated, complications include:-Weight gain or loss-Physical pain-Substance use problems-Social Isolation-Suicidal thoughts
There are two major types of depression:
Major Depressive OrderThis is the more severe form of depression. Its characterized by constant feelings of sadness, hopelessness and worthlessness that don’t go away on their own. In order to be diagnosed with clinical depression, you most experience 4 or more of the following symptoms over a two week period
Symptoms-Feeling Depressed most of the day-Loss of interest in regular activities-Insomnia -Feeling of guilt
Persistent Depressive Order(PDD)It is a milder, but chronic form of depression. PDD can affect one’s life more than major depression because it lasts for a longer period.
What treatment can be used for depression?-Medication-Psychotherapy-Light therapy-Avoid use of alcohol and drugs
My view, My Story during the first quarter of 2018, I got depressed. I stopped keeping myself fit which resulted to excessive loss of weight, I couldn’t even sleep in the night sometimes, I didn’t even realise I had been losing a lot of kilos until people always kept asking, “Tobou what happened?”, I then looked myself in the mirror and realised I was a shell of my old self. The very first thing I did was to build my mental strength to never be caught off guard again by this silent Assassin. After spending my time self reflecting and studying, I realised that I had allowed this silent Assassin to catch me off guard, to take a shot at me when I was naive about its weapons. You see, Depression starts to creep into our emotional realm when we start to fixate on our failures and then we start to get anxious about our future and then we start to see negativity in everything. Each of us possesses a human spirit and we fail to realise the amount of power we command, the infinite will we have once we set our minds on a goal. You see, if you had a gun loaded with bullets and you didn’t know how to use it, you could still get killed by a knife. There will always be challenges in life but it is your duty to get up when you get knocked down by life’s right hook, it is a mandate for you get up and achieve your destiny because if you fail you don’t just let yourself down, you let the people around the world down. Depression starts in the mind then captures our soul and makes you think there is no other way, don’t give into this lie, talk to someone, do things that make other people smile because joy is contagious, you’d get infected. I was taking a look at Curtis Jackson’s(also known as 50 cents) story, Curtis Jackson was a man who grew up on the streets, he didn’t have the luxury of knowing his parents while growing up so he was living with his grandparents, he didn’t have the support mechanism that most of us had growing up but that didn’t make him lose sight of his goal, after doing a couple of businesses, he decided he was going to live the streets for good and take on a rapping career. On one fateful day, a few weeks to when Curtis was about to drop his first album, when he finally taught his dream was going to become a reality, he got shot NINE times in his jaw and body, he survived but he had to lay low for a while, during this period, Curtis felt disappointed, he laid on his bed thinking of how his one shot at leaving the streets had become a total failure when he realised the negativity started creeping in, he didn’t let it, instead of wallowing in pain, he used the pain as a source of motivation to get up and continue to rap, he realised that if he didn’t help himself everything he had dreamt of would continue to be a dream, a few years later, he got his big break and he got signed to label.
I brought this true-life story to our attention to let you know that if you are going through a bad situation, you are not the first person to go through such because somebody has got a worse story out there, please don’t give up because when there is life, there is hope.