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Coping with depression

Human anxiety is at an all-time high, and more individuals than ever are depressed.

The Department of Health (DOH) estimates that depression affects 4.4% of the global population, while anxiety disorders affect 3.6%.

Depression affects 3.3% of the Philippine population, or 3.3 million people.

People who endure persistent dread, sadness, uneasiness, or other negative emotions are more likely to develop depression.

When a person develops a sense of hopelessness and is unable to see any way out of a poor situation, depression can occur.

What does depression look like?

“Ang depression ay isa rin sa mga medical na sakit. May kasama itong mababa ang mood, o ‘yong sobrang kalungkutan na makakaapekto sa araw-araw na pag-aaral, pagtatrabaho, at pagtulog ng isang tao,” Dr. Jennifer Espino, mental health program coordinator of Region 1 Medical Center in Dagupan City, said.

She added that an individual is considered suffering from depression if he has been experiencing the symptoms for two weeks or more.

What are the signs of depression?

According to Espino, depression is more than just being sad all the time; it can be seen more in people aged 16-29 years old, whether male or female. 

She said that depression can cause a variety of symptoms:

·       Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration even over small matters.

·       Feelings of tearfulness, emptiness, or hopelessness.

·       Loss of interest or pleasure in most or all normal activities, such as hobbies or sports.

·       Reduced appetite and weight loss or increased cravings for food and weight gain.

·       Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or sleeping too much.

·       Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort.

“At times, naiisipan din nilang saktan ang kanilang sarili, nawawalan ng pag-asa, at mababa ang pagtingin sa sarili,” she added.

Not everyone who is depressed suffers all of the above symptoms.

Some have only a few signs, while others have experienced many of the mentioned symptoms.

Even so, you can do something to win the fight against depression.

How to handle depression?

Coping with persistent sadness can be challenging.

However, accepting help from others and taking personal steps toward healing can assist you in dealing with depression.

Talking to a trusted adult can provide valuable guidance when dealing with tough emotions – they may have experienced similar feelings and can offer helpful advice.

“Kapag tayo mismo ay nakakaramdam ng depression, have someone to talk to; dapat palagi tayong may nakakausap. Kapag naman may kamag-anak tayo na nakakaramdam ng depression, be there for them. Huwag i-invalidate ang nararamdaman nila kapag nag-open up sila,” Espino suggested.

But what if it is a medical problem?

If you feel depressed every day, talk to your parents about getting a medical checkup.

“Tulungan natin silang magpakonsulta sa pinakamalapit na hospital or gamutan. Tulungan silang maka-seek ng professional help – sa doctor, psychologist, or psychiatrist,” Espino advised.

As they said, healthy people do not need a doctor, but those who are ill do.

Mental health professionals said journaling can also be a helpful practice.

Furthermore, adopting healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious food, exercising regularly, and getting adequate sleep can help if you are feeling depressed.

DOH encouraged all Filipinos to get more involved in the discussion around mental health because good mental health is just as important as good physical health.

Identifying triggers and early warning signs of depression should also be a priority.

Depression is treatable but recovery takes time – you can expect good and bad days, so be patient. 

Mental health awareness should be a constant effort rather than something that lasts just for a month.

For mental health concerns, residents in Ilocos region may call 0927-194-9448 or 0961-815-1416. (JCR/AMB/JCDR/PIA Pangasinan)

About the Author

Jenrie Del Rosario


Region 1

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