Ndera Hospital, in partnership with the Ministry of Health, on Wednesday, trained 150 health workers from various hospitals in the country on psychotherapy approach of treating patients.
Psychotherapy is treatment of people suffering from depression.
Beata Mukarusanga, a clinical cytologist (a biologist who studies the structure and function of cells) at Ndera Hospital, said the therapy can help one uncover the underlying causes of anxiety.
“We teach them how to make patients learn how to relax, to look at situations in new, less frightening ways; and develop better coping and problem solving skills. Psychotherapy gives you the tools to overcome anxiety. Using injections is good only when you know what you are treating,” Mukarusanga said.
She added that almost everyone has dark thoughts when their mood is bad which could lead to depression.
According to Mukarusanga, the best treatment for depression is psychological.
“Most people may know when they are depressed but without knowing why while others may not realise it. Others may know they are not right and are not functioning well but will think that they have a physical illness,” she said.
Mukarusanga said 20 per cent of the Rwandan population experience depression.
Naasson Munyandamutsa, a psychotherapist at the National University of Rwanda, said therapy should be tailored to one’s specific symptoms and concerns.
If a person has obsessive compulsive disorder, your treatment will be different from someone who’s getting help for anxiety attacks, he said.
He advised patients suffering from depression to discard negative attitudes.
“The length of therapy will also depend on the type and severity of their anxiety disorder. So every health worker should know how to approach people who have such problems,” Munyandamutsa said.