Freeman Cebu Lifestyle

Kill the Depression

- Jen F. Vega -

When we are at our lowest, we acknowledge that we are depressed. There are some who are too consumed with the problem and decide to hibernate in one corner and refuse to be bothered. While others pretend to be okay (and yet they are hurting inside), some prefer to drown in their problems/aches with alcohol or other vices. Is depression normal? Or is it a serious matter?

The sudden loss of a loved one, persistent failures, a totally dreadful experience or any painful scenario can trigger depression. Doctors that specialize in stress and depression also add that certain brain conditions and heredity are also factors that cause depression. However, there are still unknown factors that contribute to this illness yet everything boils down to a sad fact that it is a disease that needs to be treated and has to be prevented. 

The Natasha Goulbourn Foundation is a non-profit organization that empowers individuals who suffer from depression, as well as their loved ones and friends, by providing necessary information on the illness and provide constructive support during the difficult times.

Depression is an illness that involves the mind and emotions. Everyone is susceptible to this disease regardless of what demographic category he belongs to. It cripples a person’s physical, psychological, spiritual and emotional aspects, hence depression must be given due attention since like any other dreaded disease, it can lead to death.

According to the World Health Organization, about 121 million people worldwide are suffering from depression and in 2004, some 4, 570, 810 cases were reported in the Philippines.

A report from the National Mental Health Association of America said that 15 percent of depressed people are most likely to take their lives. Depression is probably the reason why we hear sad stories of OFWs who take their lives, or students who commit suicides after learning that they failed in an exam.

Symptoms of Depression

- abrupt change of behavior such as loss of interest on things once enjoyed, irritability

- either one loses weight or gains weight because of poor diet

- loss of concentration

- one becomes a couch potato, either oversleeps or the other way around

- talks about committing suicide/there have been suicidal attempts

Kill the depression

If you have identified yourself to be depressed based on the symptoms given and has been under its trap for weeks or months, it is better to seek professional help from a doctor or a health provider that specializes on such illness. It is important to be open to your physician on what you feel and how you react on certain situations. Moreover, it is equally important to choose the right doctor who gives the right treatment.

Aside from the necessary medications, talk therapy also “lessens” depression. Your support system, composed of a psychiatrist, doctor psychologist, social worker, counselor, close friends and immediate family members, can actually help you get over it. Through talk therapies, you will be given a different perspective on your situation. The encouragement is as powerful as the dosage of your medication.

On the other hand, if a family member or a friend is depressed, it is important to listen to the person and understand his predicament. Let him feel that you are always there for him, be there during his visits to the doctor. Have patience and get the right information regarding the present to condition of the person in order to do the right thing and say the right words.

A well-balanced diet, enough rest/relaxation, exercise, wellness activities such as massage, spa, yoga, sports also contribute to the treatment of depression.

On September 23, Stanford University School of Medicine’s Dr. David Spiegel, a psychiatrist by profession, will conduct free seminars on “Mind and Body Medicine – Concepts and Practice” at 2 p.m. and “Stress in Health and Illness” for medical doctors at 6:30 p.m.– both put great emphasis on depression – at the Cebu Doctor’s University Auditorium. The Natasha Goulbourn Foundation, headed by its chairman, fashion designer Jeannie Goulbourn and director/Spiegel Lectures overall chairman Dr. Ricardo Soler, is hosting the lectures. For more information, please call 255-5555 or 253-7511 or send email at [email protected].

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