Depression is a silent killer

Depression is a silent killer

There is no single way to express depression to someone who doesn’t understand it, but to start off it can help if you can define how it affects your thoughts and feelings on a daily basis, how it can change in intensity and how recovery isn’t an overnight miracle.

Depression sleeping through the day in a dark room, ignoring calls and texts from family and friends, feeling lonely but not wanting company. Depression is a disease and can happen as a result of life events, hormonal changes, genetics, medication and gender. It’s called a silent killer for a reason. If you are still here today, I love you.

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Mental health is a subject everyone needs a little knowledge, after all it affects us all one way or the other.  One of the most common misunderstandings about depression is that it is like feeling sad or down, but it does go beyond that as people with depression may not enjoy things they once loved and enjoyed and feel like nothing can make them happy.

In addition, depression may make one feel like there is no way to feel good or happy again. Their self-esteem vanishes, as they feel like they are insignificant or a disappointment at everything. They fail to see the positive qualities in themselves. When it c0mes to sleep it may become difficult as they may wake up early and not be able to go back to sleep, for others they may sleep excessively but still wake up feeling tired or unrefreshed despite the extra hours. When it comes to energy, a person with depression may find it difficult getting out of bed, they may feel exhausted all the time and too tired to do simple tasks.

Their appetite vanishes as food may not seem appetizing. Depression is a real mental illness, those who live with depression can not simply decide to stop feeling depressed, unlike typical sadness, depression can feel all-consuming and hopeless.

Depression saps one out of motivation to do the good things and as way of clawing ourselves out of depression, it is essential to remind ourselves we will feel good again. It can start with small goals to gain momentum and then build from there. Being gentle with self-key as improving from depression takes time. One can embrace improving sleep quality by creating a comfortable sleep routine, excising regularly and eating healthy. Above it all it takes a lot of energy to beat depression and living with depression and fatigue is a challenge you should not have to go through alone.

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It is essential to realize that no two people are affected by depression the same way neither is there a one size fits all treatment to cure depression. It is good to become informed as it can help one find treatment. Treatment for depression includes therapy, counseling and medication. While one can’t control someone else’s recovery from depression, one can start by encouraging the depressed person to seek help.  

Vanessa Kalukwete

Vanessa Kalukwete is a University of Zimbabwe psychology graduate student. She is also the mental health columnist.

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