- April 7, 2021
- Posted by: Dr. Nnamdi Elenwoke
- Category: Health
Concern should drive us into action and not into a depression. No man is free who cannot control himself. Pythagoras
Depression, some have described this as the invisible anvil round the neck while trying to swim in the ocean. It is a condition challenging to tell, yet it is very much among us. We all go through a low mood at some time or the other; however, there are certain times some people would go through this for a prolonged period, affecting their daily lives and relationships and may need support to go through it.
Anxiety and other mental health experiences often accompany depression, making the person’s situation more complex. So help is critical to deal with depression.
It has been noticed that depression is associated with low proportions of certain chemicals in the brain like serotonin, which has also helped develop various approaches to the management of depression.
A couple of medical conditions mimic depression, and it is always helpful to rule them out when one suspects depression. Worthy of mention is hypothyroidism and anemia. In the face of certain conditions, depression should be explored because there is a high risk of depression in such a population: Postpartum, those with chronic pain, those going through substance use problems.
It’s so difficult to describe depression to someone who’s never been there, because it’s not sadness. I know sadness. Sadness is to cry and to feel. But it’s that cold absence of feeling—that really hollowed-out feeling. J.K. Rowling
When a person is going through depression, we must continually explore the risk of suicide and the risk of abuse in the person’s life to give them the necessary support.
To manage depression, I think of an adage that says, “we have space in between our fingers so that the next person’s fingers would fit in there”. It is essential to know that you are not alone and need support both professionally and otherwise.
It has been seen that a combination of medication and non-pharmacological support has given the best results, and many options could be tailored to help the individual. Also, community support is vital and further buttresses the importance of non-pharmacological aspects of treatment.
Depression is a prevalent condition and shows us that we need to join hands to support one another, and what we can do together is more significant than what we accomplish in isolation. Our great actions are even more remarkable when they have an impact on the greater society. However, the community is even more impressive when each individual can thrive as a part of society.
Helping you overcome Depression was written by Dr. Raphael Pali. He is an experienced Medical Officer with a demonstrated history of running medical facilities. Follow him on LinkedIn.