My journey through depression and how I was able to handle it

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There is no problem you are facing today that other people have not faced before. That problem that is making you depressed, people went through it yesterday and people will still go through it tomorrow.

Two years ago, I was invited to a friend’s bridal shower party. At the party, I ran into an old friend and she was looking very pretty. Babe how you fine like this? I asked her because she was looking prettier than the last time I saw her. She said; my friend forgets, what you are seeing oh!! all of them na wash. We both laughed. But seriously what is the secret? She took a deep breath and started telling me what she went through and how she even went into depression. I opened my mouth for a long time. I was speechless the only word that kept coming out of my mouth was wow!!!

Someone else also shared a story of how she almost died as a result of depression.

Read the story below;
The trauma started in 2016(undisclosed situation).

In 2018 it grew into depression..it affected my productivity so bad I needed to quit my job. Same yeah, I lost the best friend I had, the only person who knew everything I was going through then. I couldn’t recover that pain. I went into severe depression in 2019.

In August 2019, I started having a consistent migraine that never disappeared with medication. In September the pains grew from just a migraine to a heart attack. I started having difficulty breathing. I remember the fateful Sunday I slummed gasping for air. I had already called a doctor and sent someone people to call a doctor for me because I was having a heart attack.

He arrived on time and gave me all the injections that I needed. Instead of getting better, I became worse. I was losing my breath again, my friends started praying they did everything to make sure I was alive. I can never forget that experience.

I felt a bit better to move though I still could not move properly. Tuesday the same week, I lost my breath again and this time I was rushed to UUTH. I was examined and ran all the tests which all came back negative. They could not diagnose what was wrong with me. As a result of that, they could not prescribe any drugs as well. So I was living by the grace of God. I lived through that pain till January this year.
I started having a series of anxiety. From March to May, it became a daily thing. I dealt with dizziness, weakness, and bad moods. And I felt a little better after the lockdown.

In August 2020, the migraine came back accompanied by sleepless nights and a pain in my heart that affected my breathing. I started indulging in alcohol (vodka) to enable me to sleep. This continued till the ending of October.
It took me a lot to reach out to my mentor with tears in my eyes. I needed help and she recommended a psychiatrist and I was diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety.

I lost every possession I had this year, and picking every little piece is hard, but I am grateful for life. My Mentor would say YOU HAVE A SMILING DEPRESSION. It cost me a lot to smile all through it all.

This year has been tough to many, so if you have survived through it all be grateful.

After hearing her story, I decided to write down ways to handle depression.
Depression affects how people think, feel, and act. It can also impact physical health and other aspects of a person’s life. Many people take medication, such as antidepressants, to treat depression, but various natural methods can also help manage symptoms and reduce the risk of future episodes.

Depression can occur at any age, and it can affect anyone, but people are more likely to experience it if they:
• have a family history of depression
• have experienced trauma, stress, or a life-changing event
• have a physical illness, such as cancer, kidney disease, etc.
• are using certain drugs or other substances like cocaine or marijuana etc.
• have experienced abuse like rape

The following tips may help people who have these risk factors or who are living with depression manage or avoid symptoms.

1. Avoid stress
People who are susceptible to depression may have a higher risk of developing it if they have too much stress.
Some people are born with genetic factors that increase their risk. Others may develop a susceptibility during childhood, for example, due to neglect or abuse.

It is not always possible to avoid stress, but taking steps to do so may help. These include:
• getting enough sleep and rest
• learning to say “no” to additional work demands
• taking breaks from work
• getting regular exercise

2. Exercise
Exercise can act as an antidepressant. Depression can make it hard for some people to start exercising, but a lack of exercise can also make symptoms worse.

3. Diet
A healthy diet may help prevent depression and boost mental well-being.

Research suggests that the following foods may help:
• fresh fruits and vegetables
• green tea
• soybean products
• healthy oils, such as cod liver oil
• whole grains
• fish
Nevertheless, people should limit their intake of the following:
• red meat
• Junk foods
• fats
• sugar
Fresh fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants that help protect the body from stress. Taking multivitamins also helps to reduce stress.

4. Sleep
A lack of sleep may worsen symptoms of depression, and it is also a common symptom.
Here are some tips that people can try to improve their sleep naturally:
• Go to bed early including weekends.
• Ensure to live in a quiet, comfortable, and serene environment.
• Avoid heavy meals, caffeine, and alcohol before sleeping.
• Do physical exercise during the day.
• You can play soft music at bedtime.
• If you do not fall asleep after 30 minutes, get up and read, watch a movie, or find some other distraction for a while, then try again.
• Avoid taking too much liquid before going to bed.
Other tips include doing breathing or relaxation.

5. Watch interesting movies: Movies helps us to relax. Watching interesting movies can help reduce depression.

6. Go out with friends: Another way to reduce depression is by hanging out with friends. Stay away from friends who make you feel sad, as anger can also increase depression.

7. Watch comedies: laughter they say is strong medicine. It draws people together in ways that trigger healthy physical and emotional changes in the body. Laughter strengthens your immune system, puts you in a good mood, diminishes pain, and protects you from the damaging effects of stress. Nothing works faster or more dependably to bring your mind and body back into balance than a good laugh and comedy is one way to get a good laugh.

8. Go to parties and have lots of fun.

9. Play music and dance to the rhythm when you are alone.
Dancing does not only diminishes depression but also reduces stress, boosts memory, and helps your heart.

10. Try to keep yourself busy.

11. Take a vacation.
Stress can contribute to heart disease and high blood pressure. Taking a vacation at least every two years will lessen the risk of heart attacks, reduce stress and depression.

12 Read lots of interesting books.
30 minutes of reading can reduce stress, lower your blood pressure, and heart rate.

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