the-south-asian.com                                              NOVEMBER 2002

 

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NOVEMBER 2002 Contents

 

 South Asian Travels

 Afghanistan

 Arrival in Kabul
 Spirit of the city
 Cultural Suicide
 Panjsher Valley 
 

 

 Natural Heritage

 
Sundarbans of Bangladesh


 Health

 Recognising Depression
 

 Real Issues

 Bonded Labour of South Asia

 
 Neighbours

 Letter from Pakistan

 
 From the pages of History

 Maldive Islands - in 1884

 
 Music

 'Rudraksha' - a review
 Artiste: poumi

 
 Around us

 Coffee break
 

 

 Events

 South Asian Events in
 London & Washington DC

 November   8 - Nov 14
 November 15 - Nov 21


 

 the craft shop

 the print gallery

 Books

 Silk Road on Wheels

 The Road to Freedom

 
Enduring Spirit

 Parsis-Zoroastrians of
India

 
The Moonlight Garden

 
Contemporary Art in Bangladesh

 

 

 

 

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Recognising & Fighting 

Depression

 

Depression is a common medical condition that can affect the way an individual thinks and  acts. Depression has specific symptoms and is not a sign of personal weakness it is a condition that responds well to various treatments.

Depression strikes people of all backgrounds, ages, and ethnic groups though the incidence among women is higher than among men. Some of the possible causes are: 

  • genetic, 

  •  stresses and strains of day to day life, and 

  • chemical imbalance in the brain

It is almost invariably caused by a combination of factors and can also strike  for no reason at all. 

Early recognition and treatment are helpful in decreasing the duration and severity of a depressive episode.  

Symptoms of Depression

  •  persistent sadness 

  • loss of interest or pleasure in most activities 

accompanied by some of the following symptoms

  • changes in appetite or weight

  • changes in sleep pattern

  • restlessness or decreased activity that is noticeable to others

  • loss of energy or feeling tired all the time

  • difficulty in concentrating or making decisions

  • feelings of worthlessness or inappropriate guilt

  • repeated thoughts of death or suicide

If these symptoms  last  2 weeks or longer and  interfere with an individual's work, social life, or daily functioning - it is time to see the doctor.

Physical symptoms that can point to depression

Sometimes a person with depression may not feel sad, but will have other physical symptoms that can point to depression.

  • People who are depressed feel tired most of the time, no matter how many hours of sleep they get. The fatigue and loss of energy that come with depression are seldom relieved by sleeping. 

  • Many depressed people are troubled by insomnia. They may have difficulty falling sleep or staying asleep, or they may wake too early in the morning and be unable to get back to sleep.

  • On the other hand, some depressed people find they want to sleep all the time. But no matter how much sleep they get, they still feel exhausted.

  • Fatigue and lack of energy can complicate other problems depressed people have, such as loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed.

  • Most commonly, people who are depressed lose their appetite, which leads to loss of weight. Some people, however, experience an increase in appetite and a consequent weight gain this is less common bur does occur.

  • Depression can make itself known through persistent, recurrent headaches, backaches, or stomachaches that seem to have no cause. Unexplained pains may appear, migrate from one side of the body to the other, and disappear when depression lifts. Depression can also cause a dry mouth, constipation and less commonly, diarrhea.

Being constantly worried, anxious, or concerned over everyday matters could also point to depression. 

  • Depressed people frequently have persistent negative thoughts about their lives and the future. They may also have recurrent thoughts of suicide or death.

  • Anxiety, which is defined as a sense of dread that something terrible yet unknown will happen, is common with depression and can be extremely troubling. Exaggerated fears about specific situations (phobias) can occur as well.

  • Increased irritability with family members, co-workers, or others is another sign of depression.

  • Problems with memory and concentration are also common.

Fortunately, depression is a condition that usually responds well to treatment. With right treatment, 80% of people demonstrate significant improvement and lead productive lives.

(This Fact Sheet was compiled using information from various health websites and medical information packs)

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