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Dealing with depression

Paul Adeolu worked five years with one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the country. A management staff, he headed marketing. His family lived a…

Paul Adeolu worked five years with one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the country. A management staff, he headed marketing. His family lived a conformable life: his children attended the best schools, his wife shopped in the biggest city malls.

Everything, however turned south after the company downsized. He became reserved, withdrew into himself: he was suffering depression and needed urgent help.

ThankGod Bala has been experiencing seizures for the last 11 years. He withdrew more into himself after every attack. He became inactive and reserved, not mingling with peers.

He found help with a foundation that works in mental health. His diagnosis was depression.

His mother Mary Bala remembers him as being healthy as a child until he turned four and was taken ill. “Since then he suffered from seizures up to twice a day.”

“He prefers to stay on his own rather than playing with his peers. He was always moody and sad. We tried all we could as parents to make him happy but all to no avail. We have been going from one hospital to the other but couldn’t continue in a long time due to lack of money until someone referred us to Gede Foundation when they came on community visit. And they discovered he was depressed due to what he has been going through health wise.”

Depression is defined as the feelings of severe despondency and dejection. Feeling depressed can be a normal reaction to loss, life’s struggles, or an injured self-esteem.

But when feelings of intense sadness—including feeling helpless, hopeless, and worthless—last for many days to weeks and keep an individual from functioning normally, it may very well be considered clinical depression, a treatable medical condition.

A medical social worker and psychologist, Oraoma Idakwoji, said depression can be identified in individuals who feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable.

They may lose interest in activities that were once pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, having problems concentrating, remembering details or making decisions, experience social difficulties and may contemplate attempt or commit suicide.

The causes range from bereavement, neglect, mental abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse to life events and changes such as childbirth, menopause, unemployment, and financial difficulties.

But she added that there are ways out of it while explaining that, the government, society, and families have a great role to play on individuals who are in a depressed state of mind through rehabilitation, change of environment and support from loved one.

“Counselling and support should be initiated at every point of life expectancy because people react to difficulties differently and so individuals should be prepared through counselling on what to expect, how to handle it, and how to come out of it.

A prolonged depressed mood, especially in combination with other symptoms, may lead to a diagnosis of a psychiatric or medical condition which can be handled quickly through medical treatment.”


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