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September 2020: What do you know about depression?

Two icons, Kate Spade, the fashion designer, and Anthony Bourdain, the CNN journalist, took their own lives in June of 2018. The news not only focused on how people missed them but also spotlighted on depression and suicide rates. In fact, depression affects over 350 million people, men or women, adults, or children worldwide. It is a prevalent mental health condition that many people experience at least some time during their life. Depression occurs in episodes that last couple days, a few weeks, months, to years.

Depression symptoms include:

  • Persistent sadness, anxiety or "empty" mood
  • A feeling of worthless, hopelessness, guilt, or helplessness
  • Difficulty focusing, remembering, or making decision
  • Restlessness, irritability or excessive crying
  • Weight gain or lose too much
  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Suicidal thoughts or attempts
  • Loss of interest or motivation: lack of drive and energy to accomplish the things or activities that they want to do or used to do
  • Persistent physical symptoms, such as headaches, chronic pain, and digestive disorders

There are many treatments currently available, including medications and psychotherapy. However, depression symptoms can spiral out of control quickly and make it difficult for them to seek treatment. Friends and families would be their most significant help to get them to seek professional treatment.

If you are experiencing depression symptoms and feeling stuck under a dark shadow, don’t hesitate to seek help because even the most severe depression is treatable. You are just a small step away from your recovery journey – call your friend or family member for help, or call the crisis line. There is always professional help available for you.

Indeed, small lifestyle change can be a powerful tool in lifting your depression faster while having psychotherapy by professionals

  • Regular exercise (30-minute daily walk or treadmill walk) boosts good brain chemicals such as serotonin, which is just like antidepressants do.
  • Social support reduces isolation. Keep regular contact with friends and family. Some people found volunteering as an excellent way to help themselves while helping others.
  • Mindfulness activities help reducing stress and boost feelings of well-being. The activities include deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, or mindful colouring.