Health: Coping with Depression

Depression is a state of despondency or dejection. In majority of the cases it is usually secondary to some tragic situation occurring in one’s life.

Depression is a state of despondency or dejection. In majority of the cases it is usually secondary to some tragic situation occurring in one’s life.

Sickness, some major accident, death of a loved one, financial crisis, all these kind of situations can lead one to depression. In some people this depression may be short lived, they get over it within a few days. But some individuals continue suffering from depression.

These individuals become apathetic towards life, they stop talking, laughing, eating and sleeping. Exceptionally   some persons may over sleep. In extreme cases, the individual attempts to commit suicide.

Lack of interest in work makes them lose their jobs which   creates financial problems thus adding on to the depression.

A person suffering from depression needs to be counselled. He or she has to be told that what has happened is over and nothing can undo it. They need to move ahead with life. 

An individual has responsibility towards his family and depression should not overshadow it.

They should not be criticized in any manner, otherwise they will not heed to the advice given. One has to be very patient and loving while counselling individuals suffering from depression.

They shall be cooperative only when they consider the counsellor to be a friend.

It is very important to keep a person suffering from depression very busy, both physically and mentally. It is aptly said that, “an empty mind is the devil’s workshop”.

If they sit idle, their mind tends to wander repeatedly on the tragic event leading to depression.

Thus they should be kept involved in some creative useful activity all time. Gardening, reading, making handicrafts, e.t.c . are activities that keep a person occupied and happy.

For the same reason, vocational rehabilitation of an individual gives him a new chance to get on with life overcoming his grief and thus helps cure depression.

Meditation and prayers also help a person to soothe his depressed mind state. Breathing exercises(pranayama) in yoga is a very useful technique to help people relax  mentally and  it also cures depression.

Alcohol and other addicting substances are often abused by individuals suffering from depression. But they provide only temporary respite from depression, rather after their effect finishes off, a person may revert back in to depression.

They have so many adverse effects on one’s physical health that a person using them is sure to suffer from many health related problems later, apart from the depression. Therefore these substances should be avoided.

Drug treatment though given to treat depression, does not provide total cure. Tranquilizers and sedatives which are used simply suppress the depressive symptom but do not   remove it totally.

Thus on stopping the drugs there is a high risk of reversal of depression. On long term use, a person invariably develops some side effects of these drugs.

These side effects like stiffness of joints and body, abnormal postures of limbs and or face, habituation, become more troublesome to manage than the depression.

As an individual suffering from depression   does not eat properly, gradually he develops malnutrition and becomes more prone to develop other diseases. Therefore he should be motivated to take a nutritious diet.

People suffering from extreme depression have to be watched closely so that they do not commit suicide. 

Taking care of a person suffering from depression is also a very exhausting work for the care providers. This is truer for persons who have been victims of major accidents or severe violence as in wars, terrorist attacks or genocides and suffer from depression as a consequence.

Care givers have to be very careful in their approach to the patient. Because, any loose comment can send him back to the depressed state. 

Therefore   professional institutional care   may be for a short while and is    better for such cases than care given by relatives. At times a person feels more comfortable with sympathetic strangers as compared to relatives.

True cure of a person suffering from depression would be when he starts behaving and working normally and looks happy. No other treatment or counselling is needed after this.

E-mail –rachna212002@yahoo.co.uk

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