Depression is currently the 2nd leading cause of disability and global burden of disease. Major depression affects 3-5% of our population. Women are 2-3 times more likely to be depressed than men. 30% of hypertensive, diabetics, stroke patients and other chronic disease patients will be depressed. It's symptoms include depressed mood that is out of the control of the patient not improving despite their efforts. Loss of interest in work, family, Academics and hobbies that were previously enjoyable, constant complaints of weakness, loss of appetite, difficulty falling asleep and unrefreshing sleep, feelings of low self esteem, guilt, worthlessness, hopelessness ( the future looks dark, unpromising and hopeless), death wish (wishing for God to end their misery), suicide thoughts and attempts. Other symptoms include constipation, weight loss up to 5% of body weight, poor concentration affecting productivity, low libido (especially someone who used to have a healthy sexual appetite). If depression continues and becomes severe, delusions set in ( believe that they are guilty of offenses that seem minor, begging for forgiveness, belief people are manipulating or trying to harm them and their families), because they have a negative view of their self and the world, they might start having auditory hallucinations ( hear derogatory voices, telling them they are better off dead) as well as visual hallucination ( may see dead people, monsters coming after them). There is hope because treatment is available. At both primary health care level and specialized centers as teaching hospitals and neuropsychiatric hospitals. Drugs are available as well as counseling and psychotherapy and the prognosis is good. Because you can go back to living your normal life again.
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Dr Frances Adiukwu