ABCs of Depression

What is depression?

Medically, depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It is also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression (big book 😁) .

 It affects 3 major parts:  feelings, thoughts and behavior.

 It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.

More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn’t a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it. Depression may require long-term treatment. But don’t get discouraged.

What are the causes of depression?

Causes🤔. I’ll prefer to call them ‘triggers’.  Because as human beings we are always on a fine line between happy and sad, excited and depressed.

For some people this balance might be more fragile than others so that any external factors just tips the scale.

Death, heartbreak, abuse, war, sickness, tradegy in general (➕ stress too is very important) .

 Sometimes the reaction is not immediate. It might take time, slowly building up till it overwhems us.

My friend Tchassa Kamga wrote a beautiful article on Medium on his experience with depression:

Who are those at risk?

First answer,  everybody. But on second thought, I think there some personalities that are more prone.

Sensitive people are generally more affected by external events. Overthinkers and worriers too who have a tendency of thinking of all the most terrible possibilities. Reserved and quiet people too.

I’ll just say introverts.

Because  you have difficulty expressing your feelings, situations easily overwhelm you.

This is just my take though. And I share some of these traits so I know where I’m coming from lol.

Can depression be completely cured? If yes, by what means?

I prefer the word ‘treated’. There are means to get over depressive episodes or crises and techniques to better cope and/or avoid future episodes.

But it all depends on the duration and severity. Most importantly, on the individual.

Exercise, music, massage, counseling, faith, and drugs are all means that people have said can help. For me, to each his own.

What can be done to avoid depression?


” Developing a resilient spirit “

Easier said than done though😄.

I think the first thing is to identify personal triggers. And then either try to avoid them or confront them.

Avoidance isn’t always possible because bad things will always happen, bad thoughts will always slip in.

So I prefer the second. Confronting for me means anticipate. Prepare yourself for what’s coming and arm yourself.  I don’t mean overthinking or worrying which will only bring in fear.  I mean make plans, take active steps.

But seriously; this thing is like a hurricane. Sometimes you just don’t see it coming and it usually feels out of your control.

The easiest thing you can do: Talk.
To God, to a friend, to a Therapist, to a piece of paper or your journal.

When you feel those negative feelings trying to overwhelm you, find an anchor. Bc believe me, you can’t do it yourself.

Your only duty to yourself is to ask for help. That’s the only superhero power you’re going to be needing. No one will come for you if you don’t call. Find someone you can trust👌🏾 before things start to get out of hand.

I think the biggest mistake we make is that at the beginning, we convince ourselves it’s nothing we can’t handle on our own. Then things get out of hand and when we’re in too deep, we can’t even find the voice to cry for help, even if we want to.

What are you doing on your part to help those in depression?

Last thing

What you can do: Be there. Be available. Be what they want you to be..

If they need you to be quiet, if they need you to listen, if they need to hear encouraging words, if they need you to be tough,  if they need your prayers, if they need a hug. Be there .

The hardest part is figuring out what a person needs from you and giving them just that.  Even if your instincts are pushing you to give buckets of unsolicited advice or trying to make them do what you think will make them feel better.

Just love them. And keep learning and keep trying.

Et voilà! One day, a smile will turn into a genuine laugh and a little spark of Hope will be born.

To celebrate World Mental Health Day 2019, BodyTalk created a video challenge to raise awareness in line with this year’s theme on suicide. #4oseconds was the time to beat for everytime someone loses their life from suicide.

Check out our winning submission by Nora Brown:

Talk to friend, ask for help.

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