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9 revealing signs that you may be suffering from depression

Dr. Lala .A.

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We have so recently been plagued by the onslaught of a new devil that seems to have been ushered in by the new political era.
The blogs and news outlet call it ”depression”. This monster appears to creep in unannounced and take its victim by surprise. Such audacity!!!
Let us take a journey at unravelling the face of this ‘new devil’

What is depression?
Depression is a feeling of intense sadness, helplessness, hopelessness or worthlessness which does not go away but persists and interferes with one’s everyday life.

How common is depression?
Depression affects about 1.3 million Nigerians, about 7.5% of Nigeria’s population.
It is twice as common in women as in men.
About 5% of people that visit the hospital have symptoms of depression.
About 900 000 people die as a result of suicide annually worldwide
Depression has always been existent in Nigeria, but people with depression are often afraid to speak up due to shame and fear of stigmatisation.

What causes depression?
It is not exactly known what causes depression, however many factors play a role in causing depression.
1. It is said that people with depression may have physical changes in their brain. These changes are still unknown.
2. There may also be changes in the function and effect of some brain chemicals called neurotransmitters. These neurotransmitters are involved in maintaining mood stability.
3. Depression is common in people whose family members have or have had this condition.

How do you know you are depressed? (Symptoms of depression)
1. When you feel sad, empty, tearful, hopeless, anxious, guilty or agitated.
2. When you lose interest in favourite activities.
3. Over eating or not wanting to eat at all
4. Not being able to sleep or sleeping too much
5. Tiredness and lack of energy
6. Loss of pleasure in life
7. When you have difficulty in thinking, concentrating, making decisions or remembering things.
8. Persistent aches, pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not go away with treatment.
9. Persistent thoughts of death or suicide (killing oneself).

If you or any of your loved ones notice any of the above symptoms, seek help from a doctor immediately!

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Dr. Lala .A. is a graduate of University of Ilorin who also holds a Diploma in Computer Engineering. She is an MDCN (Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria) certified doctor who aspires to be a plastic surgeon involved in creating awareness about women's rights and responsibilities and also training would be surgeons. She is a proud member of various reputable bodies including the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and Young Africa Leaders Initiative (YALI). She loves to read, write, sleep and play the drums in her spare time.