Depression is defined as a common mental disorder that presents with depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, decreased energy, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, and poor concentration. Moreover, depression often comes with symptoms of anxiety (WHO, 2012). Depression usually starts between the ages of 15and 30, and according to WHO the burden of depression is 50% higher for females than males (WHO, 2008).
Depression is the most common of the affective disorders; it may range from a very mild condition, moderate, or severe. Its symptoms are depressed mood, loss of interest and enjoyment, and increased fatigability.
Symptoms of depression include:
- Agitation or restlessness
- Irritability or angry outbursts
- Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
- Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
- Fatigue, tiredness, and loss of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things aren’t going right
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
- Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
- Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
- Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
- Reduced sex drive
- Insomnia or excessive sleeping
Having known what depression is and its symptoms there is a need to provide simple steps to overcoming depression. Some of the steps to take are listed below:
(a) Change your thought
Your thought life determines your mood, how you see yourself, how you put energy into what you do, etc. That means if your thought life isn’t well managed, you will end up being hurt by what you think.
I will recommend that you fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
(b) Change what you listen to and what you read
It is no longer news that the world is surrounded with sad news; you hear economic recession, natural disaster, auto and plane crash, and all manners of sad news. It is very rare to hear good news from media, friends, and families. And it is what you listen to or read that will eventually form your thought. Therefore, it is important you feed your mind with good news and what brings hope and life to you.
(c) Never be hopeless
A man without hope is a walking corpse because such man has lost every reason to stay alive. Hopelessness is a major cause of depression and once you fail to see a way out in any situation, you start dying inside.
(d) Always do a self-talk
I read of a man who likes talking to himself, there was a time he said to himself “my soul why are you dejected, be filled with joy and rejoice” There are times things don’t go the way I have planned it and all I do is to speak to myself – c’mon everything is going to be alright.
Speak words of encouragement and life to yourself and you will see your mood becoming lively.
(e) Associate with people who have great enthusiasm, energy and are positive about life.
(f) Find a reason to be thankful
Regardless of what you are passing through or what surrounds you, manage to laugh and always be thankful. Lack of gratitude makes the heart sick and can lead to depression.
(g) Engage yourself in works that you love, brings you joy, and make you have a sense of purpose.
Lastly, let me give you one of my favorite words “When doubt filled my heart, your comfort gives me a renewed cheer and hope”