Short stories, Travel and Health Information
In these times of Corona when many of us in varios parts of the world are compelled to live in isolation or socially distanced from others, it is easy to lose that Connectdeness that characterises the human condition.
As a result, we are seeing in these times an increase in patients presenting with mental health problems – particularly Depression.
Most folk are not really sure what Depression is – and aren’t aware that it can be a serious disease which can cripple previously healthy people unless managed properly.
The medical condition termed Depression is far from simply feeling sad. All of us human beings occasionally feel emotions of sadness and loneliness, some more than others. Sometimes, something in our lives does not go as we expected .Death or the ending of a close and intimate relationship causes us to lose someone we love. It is quite ‘normal’ to experience feelings of grief and sadness in such situations.
When however these episodes of despair and desperation become so prolonged that they interfere with your day to day functioning and your quality of life then you could be suffering from the medical condition known as Depression – a very real mental disease which has destroyed the lives of so many people around the world. Depression should be taken seriously. If you feel that you may be falling into Depression, acknowledge the problem and seek help from a trained professional.
Such help is not just loading you with “Anti-depressant” medicines – far from it! The correct treatment of Depression is psychological therapy (“re-programming your brain”) so it responds in a more wholesome manner to events around you.
Listed below are the typical features of Depression. If on reading these you find that many of these apply to you, then please seek help from an appropriately qualified health professional – a trained Psychologist or a good Family Physician.
1. You easily get stressed and irritated – even the simplest issues and problems you face during the day become really big. You are so over-burdened by all the baggage you already carry that anything added to this load overwhelms you.
2. You tend to sleep much more than usual, finding it difficult to get out of bed in the mornings. You don’t want to be talking to people or facing your problems – or even living in this world. You dislike reality so much you find yourself escaping into dreamland or fantasy worlds.
3. You always feel tired and unable to get on to do what needs to be done – again, due to all the emotional baggage you are carrying in your brain. All the extra effort you have to put in to get through the day leaves you exhausted and drained.
4. You lose interest in the things you used to really enjoy. You stop participating in the hobbies and interests about which you were so passionate. You feel nothing will ever make you enthused or happy anymore.
5. You constantly keep trying to isolate yourself – particularly from people that you love. This is because you know at the back of your mind that you are suffering, and you want to spare those you care for from this situation you are going through.
6. You stop taking care of yourself – your appearance and even your hygiene. You don’t love yourself the way you should because your basic sense of self-esteem is lost.
7. You lose focus and stop being productive. You just can’t seem to devote your attention to any task at hand.
It is essential to recognise if you or someone you know is falling into depression. If recognised early and appropriate treatment commenced, you can reduce the risk of this terrible mental illness progressing to cause lasting damage on your life.
USA: Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Mental Helath and Coping during Covid-19
Australia: Government Department of Health : Looking after your mental health during Covid-19
Sri Lanka: UNESCO Minding our Minds (poster in Sinhala and Tamil)