Beat Depression

Depression is a “whole-body” illness, involving your body, mood and thoughts. It affects the way you eat and sleep, the way you feel about yourself, and the way you think about things. Depression is not the same as temporary blue mood. It is not a sign of personal weakness or a condition that can be willed or wished away. People with a depression cannot merely “pull themselves together” and get better. Without treatment, symptoms can last for weeks, months or years. Appropriate treatment, however, can help most people who suffer from depression.

Symptoms of Depression

Not everyone who is depressed experience every symptom listed. Some people experience a few symptoms, some people experience many. Also, the severity of symptoms varies between individuals.

  • Persistent sad, or “empty” mood.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies that were once enjoyed.
  • Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism.
  • Insomnia or hypersomnia, early morning awakening, or oversleeping.
  • Appetite and/or weight loss or overeating and weight gain.
  • Decreased energy, fatigue and feeling run down.
  • Increased use of alcohol and drugs, may be associated but not a criteria for diagnosis.
  • Thoughts of death or suicide; suicide attempts.
  • Restlessness, irritability, hostility.
  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering, making decisions
  • Persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment such as headaches, digestive disorder and chronic pain.
  • Deterioration of social relationships.

Home Treatment of Depression

Although therapy and anti-depressant medication are effective, home treatment is also important. You can do the following to help yourself.

  • Get out of bed. Staying in bed all day will make you feel even worse.
  • Get enough sleep if you have problems sleeping.
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs. They may make your depression worse.
  • Do things you used to enjoy before depression. Reading, painting, listening to music etc.
  • Keep yourself occupied so as not to allow yourself to think about negative things.
  • Get regular exercise, even walking around the block.
  • Surround yourself with positive influences.
  • Read as much as you can about your illness, so you are fully aware of it.
  • Be patient and kind to yourself.
  • Do volunteer work. Help others. Go to old age home, a hospital, a church, a school, even if it is just once or twice a week. Remember you are an important part of your community.

 

For more information please sms SADAG on 31393 or go to www.sadag.org. For counselling, please call the counsellors on 0800 567 567 or 011 262 6396. SADAG is open 8am to 8pm, seven days a week.

 

 

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