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Research on Depression in the Workplace.

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Mental Health Matters Journal for Psychiatrists & GP's

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Literacy is a luxury that many of us take for granted.  We depend on written communication for information, guidance, and access to heath care information That is why SADAG created SPEAKING BOOKS and revolutionized the way information is delivered to low literacy communities. It's exactly what it sounds like.a book that talks to the reader in his or her local  language, delivering critical information in an interactive, and educational way.

The customizable 16-page book, accompanied by local celebrity audio recordings, ensures that vital health and social messages can be seen, heard, read and understood..

We started with books on Teen Suicide prevention , HIV, AIDS and Depression, Understanding Mental Health and have developed over 30 titles, such as TB, Malaria, Polio, Vaccines for over 30 countries.

suicide speaking book

Click here to view the larger PDF version

living with depression1

living with depression2

YOUR HEALTH Mpho Diale speaks to an expert who suggests that talking to someone about your feelings can help you deal with depression 0 NCE in a while, Lesego Ditshego's* life falls apart. She feels sad, desperate and that life is generally hopeless. She is not suicidal but she's depressed, like 350 million other people globally that the World Health Organisation estimates to be living with depression. also trigger depression. The point is that anyone can suffer from depression.There are a lot more depressed people than we realise. The reality is that we all know someone who is affected by depression." In Loss of concentration and excessive indecisiveness. The manual states that you must experience at least five of these symptoms for nearly every day of two weeks for you to know if you're just having a rough day or depressed. LIVING WITH DEPRESSION WHAT IS DEPRESSION? According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is used globally to define mental illnesses and recommend ways of dealing with them, depression forms part of what's known as mood disorders. Megan Hoskin, a psychiatric intake clinician at Akeso Specialised Psychiatric Clinics, says, "It's normal for people to have periods when they feel sad. The difference with a depressed mood is that feeling down overshadows everything; it becomes more intense and lasts for most of your day." THE CAUSES Megan adds, "Depression is caused by biological, psychological and social factors. Some people are depressed because of a chemical imbalance, while other people are depressed as a result of experiencing trauma. Hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy and menopause can THE SIGNS According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, signs of depression include: Irritable mood for most of the day. For instance, feeling empty or looking tearful to others. Extreme fatigue and loss of energy. Significant changes in weight and appetite, which can vary from overeating or loss of appetite. Decreased interest or pleasure in most activities that you used to enjoy. Having suicidal thoughts. Change in sleeping patterns. You experience insomnia (inability to sleep) or hypersomnia (when you sleep excessively or at inappropriate times like when you're driving or at work). IN Feeling excessively guilty and worthless. You experience psychomotor agitation, which is a series of unintentional and purposeless actions like restlessness, pacing, tapping feet, abruptly starting and stopping tasks, rapid talking and having racing thoughts. You need to talk to a professional or someone you can trust if your depression is getting severe and you are experiencing suicidal thoughts TREATMENT According to Megan, the first step in getting help is recognising what's happening to you."We live in a state of denial, especially about issues that are stigmatised like depression. However, it's important to recognise when you're feeling down or being bored and the impact your behaviour has on those around you;' says Megan. She adds that one of the biggest problems in seeking treatment is judging yourself for feeling weak or being less than perfect. She says self-awareness helps lessen the blow of depression. For instance, someone who gets depressed at the same time every year because that's when they lost a loved one can seek professional help weeks before the month that triggers their depression. "Even though there is no one solution that fits all people who live with depression, exercise, medication and a change in diet can influence your mood and how you react to situations,"says Megan, adding that it's important to seek professional help. "Going on medication depends on how severe a person's symptoms are and if your depression co-exists with other disorders like anxiety or insomnia. Whether you need medication or not, it's important to see a therapist,"she says. "Should you need medication, then don't self-medicate, and once a professional puts you on medication, take it as recommended. People often make the mistake of stopping treatment because they start feeling better, which doesn't mean that the treatment has addressed the problem fully." NOT EVERYTHING IN LIFE GOES PERFECTLY ALL THE TIME AND THAT'S OKAY WHERE TO GO FOR HELP People who are depressed often suffer in silence because of fear of being judged by their friends or family DEPRESSION AND YOUR CHILD Part of managing depression is letting your family and friends know what you are going through, including children. "Adults and parents don't want to share certain information with their children, which is also the case with some parents who are dealing with depression. Most do so thinking that they are protecting their children;' says Megan. She adds,"Generally people also struggle sharing experiences that are stigmatised and those that make them feel ashamed of themselves. However, children can pick up on changes in behaviour, so it helps to explain the situation to them:' When the tables are turned and your child is depressed, she advises that, "Create a safe environment so that your child knows that they can talk to you about anything, or that they have someone they trust that they can talk to. Not everything in life goes perfectly all the time and that's okay. Like with adults, therapy is recommended to deal with the problem, in this case play therapy." *Not her real name Akeso Specialised Psychiatric Clinics: 0861 435 787 Suicide Crisis Line: 0800 567 567 FAMSA: 011 788 4784 SADAG: 0800 12 13 14

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