Health + Wellness

Reducing The Risk Of Depression

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Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) affects millions of people worldwide and it can affect anyone.

The recent tragic death of Robin Williams is a reminder that depression is a real problem that can happen to any of us, at any time. At age 63, Robin Williams’ battle with severe depression came to a sad end, a sombre reminder of how fragile one’s mental state and life can be.

Depression is not just a passing mood, as most of us would assume it to be. If not identified or managed properly, this mental disorder can severely interfere with one’s daily activities. It is especially important to recognise the symptoms of depression and seek immediate help where possible. Some symptoms include persistent sadness (lasting two weeks or more), feeling of worthlessness, difficulty in sleeping, decrease in appetite, frequent suicidal thoughts and difficulty in concentrating.

As for the middle aged demographic, late life brings forth certain major changes that some may find difficult coping with. One’s ageing coupled with an affliction of a chronic or serious illness can increase one’s risk in developing depression. The loss of a life-long friend or partner is also another common trigger of depression among older adults.

There are various ways to mitigate the risk of developing depression. This includes the adoption of a healthier lifestyle and maintaining one’s mental well-being. Keeping yourself physically fit and having a low-cholesterol diet can actually aid in keeping your mind healthy. In fact, studies have shown that having a healthy diet and lowering one’s risk of contracting illnesses in later life can decrease the likelihood of developing mental illnesses such as depression.

Also, one should indulge in activities that stimulate the mind, such as reading, joining a class to learn new things, or indulging in a puzzle game. Another good way is to be socially connected as it helps one get adequate support from a community of friends as it would help one better manage his or her problems and develop a healthier state of mind.

In the event that you suspect any of your friends or family members having any of the above symptoms of depression, do not panic. Depression can be treatable and can be managed more effectively if help is being sought for earlier, with various treatment options available for those who have been diagnosed with depression, such as medications and counseling sessions.

If you are suffering from depression or if someone close to you has been diagnosed with depression or has been talking about suicide, please know that it is okay to seek help. Here are some resources to help you or someone close to you afflicted with depression.

WHERE TO SEEK HELP:

Samaritans of Singapore

1800-221-4444

pat@samaritans.org.sg

www.sos.org.sg

Care Corner Counselling Centre

1800-3535-800

cccc@carecorner.org.sg

http://www.carecorner.org.sg/cccc.html

Singapore Counselling Centre (SCC)

6339 5411

counselling@scc.sg

http://scc.sg/eng/

 

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