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Depression is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects one's feelings, thinking, and behavior. According to WHO, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression across the world. Depression can be a powerhouse of misery that leaves one feeling helpless and unnecessarily guilty. It makes one feel he/she is in the dark or drowning, flattened or feeling dead, or living in a fog. He/she may not want to do anything, see anybody or be constantly afraid of the unknown. Depression is an illness just like any other illness you know, so it should not be something to be guilty of.

Irrespective of what causes depression, one should first be able to identify the symptoms in order to overcome it. There are nine criteria for identifying an episode of major depression. They may not necessarily be the only ones but they comprise the crucial indicators. They include

1. Being in a depressed mood most of the time.

2. Lack of interest, enjoyment, or feeling for anything.

3. Feeling of worthlessness or excessive guilt

4. Fatigue or loss of energy

5. Physical agitation or slowing

6. Diminished ability to think, concentrate or make decisions.

7. Significant changes in weight or loss of appetite

8. Sleep disturbance nearly everyday.

9. Recurring thought of death or suicide or plans or attempts to commit suicide.

A depressed person is most likely to encounter at least five of these things. However, the symptoms are not limited to these nine criteria. (Maybe there are other symptoms you are experiencing. It's okay not wanting to let people know about it, perhaps, they won't understand).

Howbeit, The victim should understand that the only person that can truly help him/her in this situation is Oneself. And the first step towards that is knowing your worth and standing up for yourself. Everyone deserves better. It might be incredibly hard but don't give up, you can get through this. Always remember that we are wonderfully made and we deserve to be happy. No one is perfect, Nobody has figured it all out perfectly and it is perfectly okay to have flaws and make mistakes just like every other human being. You are special, unique, and irreplaceable. God has a purpose for each and every one of us. Just keep working towards that dream...those aspirations. Every single thing that happens in one's life has a role to play in his/her success story. There are people out there who have been through a lot and have come out strong, refined, and better. Keep working on yourself. Change your mindset. Set your priorities right. Constantly remind yourself of what is important in your life and what makes you happy.

Here are few steps you can take:

~ See a psychologist

~ Confide in other people. Find people you can talk to, tell them exactly the way you feel. It is great to be able to talk to people who have experienced depression as well. People with similar experiences tend to understand better and that will make you feel 'normal' and 'accepted'.

~ Stay away from Negative vibes

~ Find out what you really like doing. It helps to get you out of a negative frame of mind.

~ Eco-therapy: It changes perspective about what's important, slows down time and inner rhythms

~ Yoga/Exercises. It is good for overall health, both physical and emotional.

 Everyone's personal circumstances are unique and we all have to find our own path to getting better but SUICIDE IS NOT AN OPTION.

Just in case you are thinking of giving up, just remember that there are so many destinies tied to yours. So keep fighting, there are better days ahead.


FAVOUR CHUKWUBUEZE is a passionate researcher and writer, a graduate of Nnamdi Azikwe University, Akwa, Anambra State, currently serving in Akwa Ibom state


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