April 7th, 2017 is World Health Day. A global campaign being lead by the World Health Organization (WHO), the goal is to enable more people with mental disorders to live healthy, productive lives. The theme for this year’s campaign is depression.
Cancer patients, survivors, families and caregivers can all suffer from depression due to recent diagnosis, treatments, or any part of the cancer journey. We encourage everyone to reach out to speak to someone if you feel you are suffering from depression.
What is depression?
- Depression is an illness characterized by persistent sadness and a loss of interest in activities that you normally enjoy, accompanied by an inability to carry out daily activities, for at least two weeks.
- In addition, people with depression normally 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, or hopelessness; and thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
- Something that can happen to anybody.
- Not a sign of weakness.
- Treatable, with talking therapies or antidepressant medication or a combination of these.
What you can do if you think you are depressed
- Talk to someone you trust about your feelings. Most people feel better after talking to someone who cares about them.
- Seek professional help. Your local health-care worker or doctor is a good place to start.
- Remember that with the right help, you can get better.
- Keep up with activities that you used to enjoy when you were well.
- Stay connected. Keep in contact with family and friends.
- Exercise regularly, even if it’s just a short walk.
- Stick to regular eating and sleeping habits.
- Accept that you might have depression and adjust your expectations. You may not be able to accomplish as much as you do usually.
- Avoid or restrict alcohol intake and refrain from using illicit drugs; they can worsen depression.
- If you feel suicidal, contact someone for help immediately.
Retrieved from http://www.who.int/en/
For more information on the World Health Day campaign, please click here.