Some years ago in Nigeria, depression was popular as a “white man’s disease”. In fact, whenever you mentioned that you or anyone you knew was going through depression, it was tagged that you were being attacked from your village.
Ever heard the statement that “black man no dey die”? Suicide was considered never an option in Africa, there is even a punishable law against attempted suicide in Nigeria and other African countries.
That has, however, changed over the years.
The growth of the internet and social media and of course, economic downturn, among many other factors have made depression among people even more real.
There is a survey that 1 in every 5 people will likely go through a phase of it at some point or the other.
The recent trend in suicides caused by depression is at an alarming zenith and it calls for serious attention.
So what then is depression? Depression is a state of constant and recurrent sadness medically caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. This can be genetic or caused as a result of societal challenges or loss or anything that brings pain.
Since we now know that this is not a strange phenomenon in the country, what then can be done to prevent or treat depression? Here are 5 measures.
1. Seek Help And Speak Out
If you are going through depression or your loved one is, you should (and this won’t be easy) seek help. There are trained counselors, mental health organizations that can be of help and can help you come out of the phase.
2. Be Active And Interact With Nature
One of the last things you want to do when depressed is to do anything. Most times you just want to lay in bed all day and do absolutely nothing. Sometimes not because you don’t want to do a thing but because you just don’t have the interest to do anything at all.
However, getting active is usually a great way to ease off stress which many times leads to depression. Taking as little as a 30-minute walk can go a long way. In as much as you would not want to do anything, you really should muster up the courage to do so.
3. Understand That You Are Not Alone
One of the reasons we lose hope is because we feel like we are the only ones who a particular challenge is streamlined to. Understanding that depression is not unique to you alone and you can come out of it is like the first step to healing.
This is the advantage of visiting mental health organizations as you tend to speak with professionals and even interact with people who have similar challenges.
4. Understand That It Can Be Treated
Knowing that this is a medical health issue and not an attack from your village can help you get medical help. There are anti-depressant drugs that can be administered to you by doctors to help you calm the chemicals in the brain whenever there is an imbalance.
5. Consciously Change Negative Thoughts
The strongest fuel for suicidal thoughts is negative thoughts and pessimism. Consciously and intentionally changing these thoughts can help us have clear thoughts about life’s challenges.
Having the right mindset will help us approach things with hope and if there are challenges we would see the positive end of it.
This has to be done actively, consistently and intentionally. Also, don’t over-stress it when you don’t automatically start to think right about yourself or about life immediately you start working on yourself.
Give it some time, give it a positive approach as well, having a changed mindset usually takes some time to happen.
One parallel thing with overcoming depression is that you have to be willing to win, to come out of the state, this is the first step. Developing this mindset helps us know the next steps to take.
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