Determine, diagnose and deal with depression

Determine, diagnose and deal with depression

The world observed the World Mental Health Day last Wednesday by raising awareness about mental illness, psychoeducation and psychotherapy.

In attempts to remove the stigma related to psychological problems and their treatment, Dr. Ahmed Valli (FCPsych), a psychiatrist, and Dr. Liezel Anguelova (D.Litt Et Phill), a psychologist from the Life Rosea- hospital, a description of depression, the symptoms and ways to treat the disease.

Depression is a disease that seriously damages a person's life, work performance, enjoyment of leisure activities and someone's personal relationships.

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The difficulty in diagnosing depression is that no two people have exactly the same two symptoms.

The following are a number of symptoms that are often experienced:

• Sadness, emptiness and inability to enjoy life.

• Irritability.

• Feelings of fear.

• Loss of interest in personal appearance.

• Constant feelings of fatigue / lack of energy.

• Physical symptoms, such as headache or back pain.

• Concentration-related problems.

• Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.

• Fluctuations in sleep and eating patterns.

These symptoms often develop for several weeks or months, and at the same time numerous symptoms will be present.

A number of effective drugs, as well as psychological interventions, are available. By visiting your doctor and having a depression diagnosed, you have already taken the first step towards recovery.

According to Dr Valli and Dr Anguelova, effective treatment of depression usually requires a combination of medication and counseling or psychotherapy.

Antidepressant medication:

A large number of effective drugs are available for the treatment of depression.

• Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).

• Serotonin norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs).

• Tricyclic antidepressants (TCA & # 39; s).

People respond uniquely to different medications, therefore your doctor will carefully consider which individual medication is most suitable for your treatment.


Counseling, used in addition to antidepressants, is an important part of the treatment of depression.

• Helps identify the causes of their depression and anxiety.

• Helps recovery and reducing the chance of relapsing.

• Counseling can take many forms, such as trauma counseling, counseling for death and mourning, marriage and family counseling.

• Counseling is a process and it is important that counseling sessions are regularly followed.

Depression is often a difficult condition for family and friends to understand.

Therefore, they may need help in understanding their depressed family member.

Popular belief is that depression is something you can just snap out of, while in fact it is a serious illness.

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Self-help and support groups:

It is often useful to talk with others with others. This can reassure people that they are not the only person who experiences the feelings associated with depression.

Your doctor or health professional should be able to provide contact information for self-help groups in your area.

Visit these sites for more information on depression:, or

To find a support group, contact:

• South African depression and anxiety support group on 0800 567 567 or visit

• Depression and anxiety support group at 011 783 1474/6 or fax 011 884 7074 or visit

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Contact the editors by e-mail: Melissa Hart (Editor) [email protected] of Leigh Hodgson (news editor) [email protected] or Kgotsofalang Mashilo (journalist) [email protected]

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