Leh we tok bot pwelhart!
At some point in our lives, depression, “pwelhart” will affect many of us directly, or someone we love. It is now the leading cause of disability worldwide. Over 300 million people suffer from depression each year, including 240,000 in Sierra Leone.
Signs and Symptoms
Depression is a common mental illness, characterised by feelings of extreme sadness, los of interest or pleasure in activities the person used to enjoy, feeling of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, tiredness, and poor concentration. Depression can be long-lasting or recurrent, impairing an individual ability to function at work or school or cope with daily life.
Who is affected?
Depression can happen to anybody. It affects people of all ages, including children and older people, and across different social backgrounds. It can be triggered by difficult life events such as unemployment, bereavement or trauma. There are also a specific form of depression which can happen to women who have recently given birth, called ‘Postnatal Depression’. This is very common and affects as many as 1 in 6 women after birth. it can affect their ability to care for themselves and/or their baby.
What you should know
Depression is a medical illness, and just like other illnesses it can be treated.Treatments usually involved talking therapy, and sometimes medications. People who get treatment do better and can live normal, happy and healthy lives! In Sierra Leone mental health services are available in all districts, and are free and confidential to use.
In many countries, mental disorders, including depression, are severely stigmatised. Overcoming this stigma will lead to more people getting help. Ir is extremely important that we work together to support people affected by depression and other mental issues and help them recover.
If you think you or someone you know might be affected by depression never by afraid to ask for help! There are mental health services available in all districts, which are free and confidential. Contact you district hospital or health workers for advise!
Talk to someone you trust about your feeling. Most people feel better after talking to someone who cares about them.
Seek professional help.Your local worker or Mental Health Nurse is a good place to start.
Remember that with the right help, you can get better.
Keep up with activities that you used to enjoy when you where well.
Stay connected. Keep in contact with family and friends.
Exercise regularly, even if it’s just a short walk.
Stick to regular eating and sleeping habits.
Accept that you might have depression and adjust your expectation. You may not be able to accomplish as much as you do usually.
Avoid or restrict alcohol intake and refrain form using illicit drugs; they can worsen depression.
If you feel suicidal (that life is no more worth living), contact someone for help immediately!
Continue reading What you can do if you think you may have depression →
Speak with one voice on mental health issues in Sierra Leone
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