On a continent which is in constant eco-socio-political upheaval, Mental Health has never been so important. Every year the world takes time to acknowledge the importance of Mental Health Awareness. Although this year’s World Mental Health Day is focused on MH in adolescents in a fast-changing and technologically connected world; let’s face it as adults too…
We ALL get bummed the fuck out sometimes!
Not all of us see the other end of it either.
“Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15–19 year olds” – WHO
Because Depression is also not a very easy subject to broach, more so in the African context; we thought to share some ways curated by the World Health Organization you can get out of that dark space.
Before we do, how about we define Depression;
Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks. -WHO (World Health Organization)
Symptoms of Depression include;
“a loss of energy; a change in appetite; sleeping more or less; anxiety; reduced concentration; indecisiveness; restlessness; feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.” – WHO.
If you suspect that you or a friend are Depressed, here’s what you can do if you’re in the bad feels:
- Talk to someone you trust about your feelings.
- Seek professional help. Your local health-care worker or doctor is a good place to start.
- Stay connected. Keep in contact with family and friends.
- Exercise regularly, even if it’s just a short walk.
- Stick to regular eating and sleeping habits.
- Avoid or restrict alcohol intake and refrain from using illicit drugs; they can worsen depression.
- Continue doing things you have always enjoyed, even when you don’t feel like it.
- Be aware of persistent negative thoughts and self-criticism and try to replace them with positive thoughts. Congratulate yourself on your achievements.
The World Health Organization has tonnes of free info on their website about this year’s theme that you can check out here.