Nagpur: Today is World Health Day and this year the focus is on mental health and increasing cases of Depression.
In a decade – 2005 to 2015 – depression world wide has increased by 18% making it the leading cause of illness overtaking Respiratory diseases.
The situation in India is not much different. Since mental illness is not accompanied by physical symptoms like fever, nausea, vomiting, severe indigestion or body pain which happen in other illness’ depression often goes undetected – by the patient as well as his relatives.
So we ought to be alert to these signs in those close to us:
Symptoms of Depression
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the top symptoms of depression are :
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering details, and making decisions
- Fatigue and decreased energy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Irritability, restlessness
- Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
- Overeating or appetite loss
- Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” feelings
- Thoughts and attempts of suicide
Are There Warning Signs of Suicide With Depression?
Depression carries a high risk of suicide. Anybody who expresses suicidal thoughts or intentions should be taken very, very seriously. Do not hesitate to call your local suicide hotline immediately.
Warning signs of suicide with depression include:
- A sudden switch from being very sad to being very calm or appearing to be happy
- Always talking or thinking about death
- Clinical depression (deep sadness, loss of interest, trouble sleeping and eating) that gets worse
- Having a “death wish,” tempting fate by taking risks that could lead to death, such as driving through red lights
- Losing interest in things one used to care about
- Making comments about being hopeless, helpless, or worthless
- Putting affairs in order, tying up loose ends, changing a will
- Saying things like “It would be better if I wasn’t here” or “I want out”
- Talking about suicide (killing one’s self)
- Visiting or calling people one cares about
Remember, if you or someone you know is demonstrating any of the above warning signs of suicide with depression, either call your local suicide hot line, contact a mental professional right away, or go to the emergency room of your local hospital for immediate evaluation and treatment.