Unfortunately, depression is often used in everyday vocabulary to describe a feeling of sadness. People who suffer from depression are overlooked and stigmatised as a result. Depression is a real illness that has real-life implications. People going through a depressive episode cannot merely think happy thoughts and pull themselves together overnight. Without treatment, symptoms of depression can potentially last for weeks, months or even years - which can get out of control if left untreated.
Symptoms of depression - in no particular order.
- Thoughts of suicide.
- Insomnia or hypersomnia.
- Lack of concentration.
- Self-medicating with alcohol and drugs.
- Constant headaches and digestive problems.
- Low libido.
- Loss of pleasure in previously enjoyed activities.
- Appetite loss or overeating.
Also known as the silent killer, depression is one of the most prevalent mental disorders in South Africa. Women are two times more likely to suffer from depression than men are, due to the biological composition of the female body. Women are also more likely to seek counselling over men, which makes the statistic even higher.
People who are suffering from depression may suddenly become aggressive at home, try to self-medicate with alcohol and miss work days on Mondays and Fridays.
Depression can be treated with antidepressants, prescribed by a psychiatrist, together with psychotherapy. Remember that depression is not a phase that will pass by on its own. Visit Trevor Hall by booking an appointment if you suspect that you are suffering from depression and need professional help to explore your treatment options.