WHAT IS DEPRESSION?

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By Apostle Zephaniah Muturi

Depression is a mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is a type of mood disorder. Although some people use the word “depression” informally to describe feeling sad, depression as a medical condition is different. It is a bad mood that just doesn’t go away.

SYMPTOMS

People with depression can experience a number of persistent mental and physical symptoms, including: feeling sad, worthless, or guilty, feeling irritable or angry, low self-esteem, tiredness and fatigue, difficulty concentrating or making decisions eating more or less than usual, sleeping more or less than usual, loss of interest in activities one used to enjoy, such as hobbies or socializing, loss of libido, or sex drive, and suicidal thoughts. These symptoms can range from mild to debilitating. To receive a diagnosis of depression, these symptoms must occur most of the day or all day, nearly every day, for a consistent period of time. The symptoms can negatively affect how you function in most areas of your life.

TYPES OF DEPRESSION

There are several types of depression. Some are related to physical health conditions, such as endocrine disorders or premenstrual dysphoric disorder, which is related to the menstrual cycle. However, other types can be caused or exacerbated by events happening in a person’s current life or events that affected them in the past. Sometimes, loss or conflict in relationships can be a trigger.

DEPRESSION AND SUICIDE PREVENTION: Whether one has a diagnosis or not, people who commit suicide have a mental health disorder or substance abuse issue. If you or someone you know is at immediate risk of self-harm, suicidal, or expresses that they wish to harm another person, you can ask the tough direct question: “Are you considering suicide?”   Ask the person- “What plans do you have this weekend?  Listen to the person without judgment. If there is a threat of suicide then Call 911 or the local emergency number. You can TEXT MSG: TEXT HOME 741741 to communicate with a trained crisis counselor.  Stay with the person until professional help arrives. Try to remove any weapons, medications, or other potentially harmful objects. If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, a prevention hotline can help. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available 24 hours per day at 800-273-8255. During a crisis, people who are hearing impaired can use their preferred relay service or dial 711 then 800-273-8255. Praying for someone who is struggling with depression is good, but it is important to connect or to refer a person to a doctor or a mental health provider. 

Finally, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in good health, even as thy soul prospereth.” 3 John 2:2.

Online Resources in the Public domain. Please see: www.nami.orgwww.nmha.org

Disclaimer: Suggestions in this article should never be a substitute for your doctor/medical requirements for treatment and follow-up activities. This article contains information, which is meant to raise community awareness in the area of depression.

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