What is depression and the causes of depression?
Between the ages of 18 and 32 people are trying to figure out adulthood and
preparing their lives for the phase. This period brings about numerous social
pressures, for example, after university one must get a proper job with an adequate
salary and after that they must be thinking or readying themselves to start a family.
Women are more likely to feel experience depression than men. Women are known
to be on a biological clock. It is proven that after the age of 25 their fertility levels
drop by approximately half and this creates worries in young women. All these social
pressures and expectations become too much to handle causing depression.
Depression can also be caused by external events, it can be genetically inherited,
imbalance of brain chemicals, certain medical conditions, various medications and
substance abuse. According to Google depression are feelings of severe
despondency and dejection. It is when a person doubts themselves or they think
they are incapable of doing anything in life.
In South Africa, depression is one of the prevalent mental disorders. According to
South African Depression and Anxiety Group 9.7 percent of South African population
are suffering from depression and women are twice as likely to suffer from
depression than men. 20 percent of South Africans will experience depressive
disorder at least once in their life time. In Zimbabwe according to a BBC Future
article there is no known number of people who suffer from depression. There is
however stigmatization around the world on depression especially among young
people because they do not have as many responsibilities as the parents do.
According to World Health Organisation, “depression is the world’s leading cause of disability and it contributes to 800,000 suicides per year of which majority occurs in developing countries.”
How to avoid or treat depression
● Visit a trained psychologist
This is a way of reaching out and acknowledging that you have a problem and that
you need help. Talking to someone professional is the best because they can see
the levels of depression you are in and how best to help you.
● Connect to friends and family that give a positive vibe
It is good to be around people and talking and laughing than to be alone. It hinders
you from thinking a lot. Have lunch or coffee, go for movies, go with others for
shopping, take a walk in the park and go for get togethers. Try meeting new people
and learn new things.
● Do things that help or make you feel good
You must do things that relax and energize you. Do fun activities that bring colour to
your life like arts and crafts. Sign up for gym and get physical exercises. Having a
healthy life style is important. Aim for 8 hours of sleep because depression evolves
around sleeping problems. Keep stress in check by figuring what stresses you out,
for example, financial issues, work overload, unsupportive relationships etc. find
ways to deal with stress and consult a professional to help you regain control. Spend
some time with mother nature, read books especially when alone, watch a fun
movie, play with pets, learn how to cook or try new ingredients, volunteer at a clean-
up or at a children’s home, spend more time at church of your choice and listen to
● Get moving
Exercise is the greatest fighter of depression because getting up from bed is hard, let
alone working out. Research shows that regular exercise can be as effective as
medication when dealing with depression and relapse.
● Challenge negative thinking
Depression is known to put a negative thought into everything, and it is important to
know that such thoughts known as cognitive distortions are not realistic. Tell yourself
positive thoughts every day. When you wake up in the morning look at yourself in the
mirror and smile. Start by telling yourself you are beautiful, play positive songs and
Avoid spending most of your time on social media
Social media is full of negative news and some people end up being controlled by it because everything seems so perfect in other people's lives. Some people end up not appreciating their own. Social media makes people lose touch with the real world. It is important to put it aside and be aware of people and your surroundings.
The more positive thoughts you have, the more actions become positive and they become a habit.