Mental health is very crucial for healthy living. Understanding how one’s mind works and continuous growth of the mind should be a practice we all follow. The mind should be exercised regularly through use and also well rested just like we feed, exercise, and rest the body for a good balance and to be able to get the maximum benefit. Failure to observe this leads to burnout, and prolonged or unchecked burnout leads to depression.
Depression is a common mental disorder globally with estimates of hundreds of millions affected. Depression is characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, tiredness, and poor concentration. Often, depressed people have multiple physical complaints with no evident physical cause. This can be a physical manifestation of the internal pressure within; through depressed thoughts and beliefs distorting the body’s normal homeostasis state.
Anyone can get into a depressed state and come out of it, however, prolonged depression due to the inability to come out of it is dangerous to both self and others. This is because prolonged depression can lead to suicidal thoughts or suicide. Depression can be long-lasting or recurrent, substantially impairing people’s ability to function at work or school and to cope with daily life.
Prevention programs have been shown to reduce depression, both for children (e.g., through protection and psychological support following physical) and adults (e.g., through psychosocial assistance after disasters and conflicts).
There are also effective treatments. Mild to moderate depression can be effectively treated with talking therapies, such as cognitive behavior therapy or psychotherapy. Antidepressants can be an effective form of treatment for moderate to severe depression but are not the first line of treatment for cases of mild depression. They should not be used for treating depression in children and are not the first line of treatment in adolescents, among whom they should be used with caution.
Management of depression should include psychosocial aspects, for example; identifying stress factors, such as financial problems, difficulties at work or physical or mental abuse, and sources of support, such as family members and friends. The maintenance or reactivation of social networks and social activities is important.
With the current global crisis of the coronavirus which is fast spreading and the vaccines limited, the only working solution for now being the prevention of its spread through containment, treatment, and isolation or social distancing. With this, there has been a need for lock-downs and early curfews, which has led to businesses closing for specified periods, also institutions such as churches, social events like concerts, weddings, and huge meetings just to mention a few with the aim of social distancing to curb the spread of the virus. Most of us if not everyone is feeling the effects of this. When it comes to incomes, both employees and employers have been affected and could lead to stress from the lack of earnings necessary to sustain many, an extension of the situation may lead to depression. Other causes that may contribute to depression at this time include burnout from staying at home for too long and cancellation of sensitive plans such as weddings. We all need to be aware of these causes, anticipate and try to prevent through acceptance, constant communication, creating new activities to keep us distracted such as indoor games for kids like board games, find a book and read with someone, watch lots of movies together, snuggle and chill. Doing this while being mindful of self and others will help in maintaining a healthy mind.