On 7 April, 2017, the World celebrated World Health Day, with a campaign on depression. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), every 40 seconds, someone, somewhere in the world, dies by suicide caused by severe depression.
Globally, more than 300 million people of all ages suffer from depression. It is the leading cause of disability worldwide, as well as being a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease.
Suicide is the second leading cause of death among 15 to 29 year olds across the world. Close to 800,000 people die due to suicide every year.
What is depression?
Depression is an illness characterised by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that one would normally enjoy. It is often accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for, at least, two weeks.
In addition, people with depression usually have several of the following: a loss of energy, a change in appetite, sleeping more or less, anxiety, reduced concentration, indecisiveness, restlessness, feelings of worthlessness, guilt, hopelessness, and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Depression is real and it doesn’t matter one’s profession, religion, age, status, condition, region, ethnicity, country or continent. Anybody can suffer from depression, which can lead to suicide. We all need to be informed about the signs of depression and suicide in order to safeguard ourselves and others.
It is our duty to be intentional about our own happiness and the happiness of people around us too. Leading a happy and a fulfilled life is our personal business.
Antidotes to depression
- Positive thinking
Positive thinking involves focusing on what is good in your life, instead of focusing on what is not working well. When you focus on your focus, you will become the focus. When you focus on what you think is wrong or unjust in your life, you will become miserable. Conversely, when you focus on what is right and enviable in your life, you will become happy.
Personally, I always choose to focus on my blessings, count them one by one throughout my day and feel heartfelt gratitude for them. From the gift of sight to good health to just meeting an old friend – I often find joy in my daily life by counting these experiences as part of my blessings. My motto is “I am blessed and highly favoured.”Think positively; always see the good side of life, no matter what. Be an incurable optimist.
Exercise is very good for your health and for overcoming depression. When you are fit and strong, with sound physiology, you can overcome doubt, fear or any negative emotions. If you can control your body, which is quite easy than controlling your mind, you can change your thoughts, emotions and outlook. Routine exercise will go a long way in protecting you from depression.
Engagement is quite critical to staying happy and overcoming any type of depression. Surround yourself with the right people. Talk to someone you trust – a friend, family, colleague, your doctor or religious leader when you have any issue bothering you. Volunteer for an organisation. Share happiness with others. Make someone laugh. Stay connected. Keep doing what you love doing. Have fun.
Remedies for depression
If you already have depression, here are my three simple, yet result-oriented strategies for managing your mind against depression.
- Learn to identify perpetual thoughts and visual images that produce emotions of sadness, worthlessness or anxiety. Write them down in a jotter.
- Do not try to stop negative thinking or imagery from your subconscious mind. Instead, practice substituting positive thoughts and imagery that evokes feelings of peace, contentment, gratitude, happiness and security.
- Repetition. Remember, that it takes practice to change mental habits. Keep on keeping on. Practice consistently.
The happiest people in our world are not the most successful, richest or good looking. They are those who put priority on their happiness, share happiness with others, exercise regularly, forgive quickly, always grateful for their blessing, surround themselves with the right people, do what they love, love what they do, keep growing, control what is in their cycle of influence and leave the rest for the universe, stay true to their emotions and live in peace.
Create your own happiness. Have an exercise routine. Be grateful at all times. Forgive yourself, forgive others. Love yourself, love what you do and share that love with the world.
I am bigger than any problem, I can solve any problem. I create my own happiness.