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Depressed but not defeated

JOHANNESBURG – Living with depression does not mean you can not be a stronger version of yourself.

Depression impacts one in 10 people and does not discriminate based on age, gender or social status.

Our Mental Health, a website that provides professional insights and lifestyle advice for people living with depression and their caregivers, said depression lasted for several weeks, months, or years.

Many people with depression try to hide it or are not aware of their condition because some of the symptoms are less obvious.

Experiencing sadness, feeling down, and losing interest or pleasure in daily activities are familiar feelings, but when they persist and substantially affect our lives, we may be dealing with depression.

Our Mental Health outlines the signs and symptoms of depression. Look for these symptoms and if you feel you may have depression, see your doctor as soon as possible.

  • Reduced interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed
  • Appetite and weight changes
  • Changes in sleep habits
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Difficulty thinking, concentrating or making decisions
  • Loss of sexual desire
  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Slowed movement and speech
  • Fatigue or loss of energy
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Recurrent thoughts of death or suicide, or a suicide attempt.

Many people have compared recovery from depression to the ancient Japanese art of kintsugi, which is said to have helped people break their depression.

Kintsugi involves repairing broken objects and painting the repaired areas in gold, accentuating rather than hiding the imperfections. In a similar vein, when you receive the right treatment, you can heal and live a fulfilling life.

According to research published in the Psychiatry Journal, 39% of people who underwent depression treatment were able to experience a happy, healthy mindset once treatment continued. The study defined recovery as:

  • Experiencing happiness or life satisfaction every day for at least a month
  • A full year without depression, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, or substance abuse
  • Positive social and psychological well-being.

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