It’s been 4 years, Arrey has been hungrily hunting for a job. He was ready to do just about every and anything to get a job but he kept on hearing that phrase “We would call you.” For how long would he have to enjoy the comforts and luxuries of poverty and unemployment? His family wish they had the support to offer him. His friends don’t make it any easier for they are no longer friends. Heartbreaking. He is left alone with his thoughts. Depressed, he withdraws from the activities he enjoyed doing. He shuts down. He lost his appetite. He can’t sleep, neither can he focus. “You are useless alive!” That is the only thing on his mind. What is he going to do now? Should he use the blade or the rope? Or maybe parazone would be faster. How would you help Arrey to be useful?
What you should know about depression
Depression is real and lives with us. It is an illness where you have persistent sadness and loss of interest in activities you normally enjoy. You can’t carry out your daily activities for at least 2 weeks.
In addition, people with depression normally have several of the following symptoms:
- Loss of energy;
- Change in appetite;
- Sleeping more or less;
- Reduced concentration;
- Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Depression can affect anybody. Young and old; male and female; rich and poor; ugly and beautiful. Anybody. It is not a “white man” sick. It affects people in all countries.
The risks of becoming depressed is increased by poverty, unemployment, death of a loved one, heartbreaks, physical illness and problems caused by alcohol and drug use. (I hope you see why we talk a lot against alcohol).
How do you treat and prevent depression?
No matter how depressing depression may sound, it can be effectively prevented and treated. But how? Treatment usually involves psychotherapy and/or medication called antidepressants. Seek professional help from your doctor if you experience sadness or mood swings for over two weeks. The earlier the better.
What you can do if you think you are depressed?
- Talk to someone you trust about your feelings. Most people feel better after talking to someone who cares about them. For some people talking to their pastor or priest is a good place to start.
- Seek professional help. Your doctor is a good place to start. Remember that with the right help, you can get better.
- Keep up with activities that you used to enjoy, even when you don’t feel like it.
- Stay connected. Keep in contact with family and friends.
- Regulate your use of social media if it adds anxiety or makes you feel worse
- Exercise regularly, even if it’s dancing to kaba ngondo or to Reniss.
- Stick to regular eating and sleeping habits.
- Accept that you might have depression and adjust your expectations. You may not be able to accomplish as much as you do usually.
- Avoid alcohol. Ah-ha! Okay you can also limit your consumption of alcohol and refrain from using illicit drugs; they can worsen depression.
- If you feel suicidal, contact someone for help immediately
- Beware of persistent negative thoughts and self-criticism and try to replace them with positive ones. Read personal development and motivational articles like those on Nkwain Carlson’s Blog.
- At the end of the day list 3 positive things or feelings you experienced before going to bed
Did you know?
Older people also suffer from depression but it is often neglected. (Could this be the reason why grand pa died unexpectedly? – No!) Depression among older people is often associated with loneliness and depreciating physical conditions and health as well as reduced ability to do things that were possible when younger. Old people are at high risk of suicide. Unbelievable but true!
Now what should you do?
Remember depression can affect anyone. Even you! If you feel depressed, you should talk to someone. Just talking would help. If you suspect a friend or a colleague is depressed, offer them a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen. Talking is the first and biggest step towards recovery. You are never alone. Many other people have gone through what you are going through and they are alive and happy today. So can you! You can be better!
Now let’s talk, how would you help Arrey to be useful?