Suicide does not kill; sadness does.
Everyone feels sad for some reasons or the other. It is an emotion that needs to be felt and expressed at times. However, some people may have prolonged periods of feeling sad even when the triggering event has long past. He or she may be going through what is called Depression. The word “Depression” is used loosely by many people and the media for feeling sad. But Depression is more than feeling sad and low. It is an illness that you need to be treated for.
Here are some symptoms of Depression:
· Feeling low and sad for more than 2 weeks
· Thinking about committing suicide
· Feeling hopeless
· Feeling helpless
· Feeling worthless
· Not sleeping well
· Not eating well
· Loss of interest in activities that used to bring pleasure before
· Loss of interest in social interaction
· Loss of interest in work
· Unable to feel happy or excited
· Easily irritable
· Not motivated to maintain hygiene or self-grooming
This is not an exhaustive list but if anyone has been going through some of the symptoms listed above, he or she needs to get help. It is good if he or she goes to a doctor to make sure there are no other illnesses that may be causing these symptoms.
The treatment of depression is a combination of medicines and psychotherapy. Psychotherapy is a treatment where a therapist helps you to deal with your problems by talking and discussing about them.
Depression can happen to anyone; even a child. It does not discriminate. From all ages, all types of professionals, all genders, illiterate or literate, rich or poor, anyone can have depression. It could be you, your best friend, your mother, your father, your brother, your sister, your loved one, your neighbor.
Depression does not happen because of anyone’s fault or anyone’s sin. This is an illness that can be treated and it is nothing to be ashamed of. If you think you have depression, tell a friend or a family member you trust to help you get the right type of professional help. Ask your doctor if he can refer you to a therapist. Likewise, if you feel that your friend or your family member is having depression, please give them a lot of support and help so that they can be treated by the right professional.
Imlibenla Mongro is a Clinical Psychologist in Christian Institute of Health Sciences and Research, Dimapur