Personalized remedies to put depression at bay

An infographic showing the symptoms of depression and some remedies a person may embrace towards achieving a healthy mind. Infographic/VectorStock(0).

While the ever-growing conversation on Mental Health continues, statistics from the 2016 Global Burden of Disease research named Depression as the leading cause of disability worldwide. 

The silver lining between depression and stress is so thin that prolonged stress may lead to depression.

The effects of depression may then cause stress and lack of concentration. 

Research has estimated 264 million people to be affected by depression globally.

This being an earlier eye into the statistics, things have significantly changed, with the numbers rising as the clock ticks.

You may attribute Covid-19 and other current life hardships to the rising cases.

While the older adults aged between 55-74 years are highly affected by depression, it is equally prevalent in youth, children and adolescents below the age of 15 years, but at a lower level than older age groups.

According to Kenya’s Mental Health Taskforce Report of 2020, Kenya was ranked 4th in Africa by the World Health Organization, having an estimated 1.9 million people battling depression. 

Worryingly, the Taskforce Report indicates that only 25% of the Kenyan population can access mental health care, which is also provided in facilities characterized by stigma, untrained personnel and inadequate equipment.

With such, the need to know how to combat depression in homemade approaches cannot lose meaning in our time, when depression has become a thorn in the eye.

Here’s to some of the approaches and remedies therapists vouch for, in a bid to become healthy upstairs:

i.      Do something new: When depressed, you may feel that everything sounds old-fashioned and unproductive.

Even though you don’t feel like it, just push yourself into doing a new thing.

This may be playing hockey, volunteering at a teen empowerment forum, going for outdoor photography, reading a novel, or even writing a personal essay.

This will stretch the mind and toss you into a new world, relieving and enlivening you.

“Trying something new alters the levels of dopamine (brain chemical), which is associated with pleasure, enjoyment and learning,” as Dr. Ian Cook, MD, a psychiatrist and researcher, says.

ii.      Consider a different viewpoint (of things and yourself): Often, depressed people usually negatively view things or in a manner away from the norm.

Most of them view and define themselves as failures, boring and unworthy of love.

For instance, you may feel like you’re the most boring person ever, but, is there evidence for that?

Instead, embrace logical judgments and avoid jumping to conclusions.

For a healthy mind, normalize challenging negative thoughts and speak energy to yourself.

See yourself as achieving, lovely, acceptable and smart (with moderate judgment, of course).

iii.     Have a daily schedule: Most of the time, depressed people would just want to be under the covers, away from other eyes, lonely ensconced in their own presence.

Amidst such feelings, having a daily schedule and a checklist of things you want to attend to within that day would keep you engaged and rolling. Keep yourself busy and put your mind to work.

iv.     Evoke a happy memory: Psychiatrists and psychologists have related depression with sadness and boredom.

Losing interest in things that used to put a glimmer into your eyes is just but a symptom of depression.

When sadness and gloomy memories show up, remind yourself of a success you’ve bagged; a congratulatory comment you received, a person you made proud or a joke you cracked with friends.

For instance, you may think of a solution you provided to your group and helped the members connect the dots, endowing you with recognition.

Then pat yourself on the back and remind yourself, “I can do more than I think of myself.”

v.     Write down your daily experiences: Keeping track of your mood, approaches to different daily experiences and your feelings gives you a clear trend of what’s happening within you.

Jot down your fears, achievements, opinions and discouragements. Meditate on the excuses you’re giving yourself and slowly raise your self-esteem by speaking energy to yourself.

This may give you a complete attitude makeover and a mood turnaround.

vi.     Reduce your time on social media: I know you might be thinking of the internet, browsing and social media as the best, timely escapades when the mind seems stressed and unyielding.

Surprisingly enough, research has shown and continues to suggest that limiting social media use to approximately 30 minutes per day decreases loneliness and depression, contributing to significant improvement in well-being.

Stop worrying about what will pass you by and avoid reading within the lines to get every nuance of the current affairs in the world.

Focus on yourself first.

vii.    Set a goal: In the long run, having a specific thing you want to achieve will keep your mind brainstormed and anticipating.

This desire to achieve keeps you engaged and working towards beating deadlines. Realizing your goals might fuel excitement and make you want to achieve more.

However, avoid anxiety, even as you work towards bagging the goodness and joy of your goals.

viii.   Get a shower, take a walk and enjoy the nature: Don’t just soak yourself in despair and be lost in loneliness.

Wake up, take a shower to open up your body and get on the move.

While on that walk, open your eyes to see new objects, notice new infrastructures on the road and as well, see new opportunities about life, inwardly.

After the walk, refuse to live in loneliness any longer.

Make these practices regular and part of you.

YOU CAN ALSO READ: Here are mental illness testimonies from survivors and a specialist

Rethinking Kenya’s state of mental health amidst Covid-19

HEALTH: How to tackle clinical depression

Kenya launches Mental Health Action Plan

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Mr. Makau holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Linguistics, Media & Communication from Moi University, Kenya. He is a Columnist and Editor with Scholar Media Africa, with a keen interest in Education, Health, Climate Change, and Literature.



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