Depression Symptoms during COVID 19
Depression Symptoms during COVID 19 in Singapore, Depression, or Major Depressive Disorder, is more common than we think and can affect people of all.
Covid19 pandemic is everywhere, your best friend lost his job 9 months ago and has yet to get a new job. You have tried calling him out for chats over drinks, a thing you both usually do on a monthly basis but he has not come out since. His wife complains to you that he has been keeping to himself in the bedroom, has not been talking much to her nor been spending time with their children. He skips his meals and has been sleeping a lot more than he usually would. This sounded an alarm in you, your friend is not well. Could he be having depression?
Depression also affects the physical well-being as well
Depression, or Major Depressive Disorder, is more common than we think and can affect people of all ages, and is often overlooked as “oh he/she is simply feeling down, he/she will be fine”. No, this person is not fine and needs help. Indeed, feeling sad is very normal, we all feel sad whenever something does not go the way we would have liked it to be, or someone close has passed on, but most people would be able to accept whatever has happened and be able to get over it with time, however, for some others, this feeling overwhelms them so much persistently that they become dysfunctional. Depression not only affects the mental well-being of a person but also physical well-being as well.
Symptoms of Depression
If you noticed someone presenting with at least 5 signs or symptoms of changes in the way they function as compared to their previous state and they lasted at least 2 weeks, it is probably time to do something about it. Wait no longer. These signs or symptoms may range from mild to severe, they include:
- Persistently feeling sad or down;
- Troubled sleeping: has difficulty falling asleep, maintaining asleep, waking earlier than normal, excessive sleeping;
- Appetite change that is not diet-related and results in weight loss or gain;
- Loss of interest in activities that are normally enjoyable;
- Easily agitated, restless, or lethargic;
- Sense of worthlessness or guilt;
- Inability to focus on tasks;
- Has thoughts of suicide or death
No doubt some of these symptoms may be attributed to other medical conditions such as brain tumors, thyroid conditions, etc., but it is most important that attention is raised to a medical professional who can then help to eliminate these possibilities to arrive at the diagnosis of depression.
Management of Depression during COVID-19
Management of depression can include one or more of the following:
- Self-help and coping: Being around people and regular exercises can help to lift spirits. Eating healthy and avoiding alcohol can help to reduce the symptoms of depression.
- Medication: This depends on the symptoms that the individual is experiencing, as well as the response of the individual to the type of medication. It will take a while for the medication to take effect, and for severe cases, they might probably even need to take it long-term.
- Psychotherapy: This requires a trained therapist to talk with the individual, or have family or group sessions, and build a relationship with them over multiple sessions. During the process, skills are learned to help the person recognize and cope with their feelings, and correct their behaviour.
- Electroconvulsive Therapy: A multi-session treatment that requires the patient to be under anaesthesia while the brain receives electrical stimulation, and is reserved only for cases of severe major depressive disorder not responsive to other treatments.
Keep in mind that depression is very much treatable, there is nothing to be afraid of. Seeking help will only greatly improve the affected person’s quality of life, as well as those around him/her. Nobody would want to live in constant fear of a loved one seeking to die any moment, nor live in regret once it has happened and become irreversible.
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