Depression, often labeled as a silent killer, has claimed several lives globally, leaving behind a trail of unanswered questions and grief-stricken families. While many cultures attribute sudden deaths to witchcraft or poison, mental health specialists assert that depression may be the underlying cause.
Moses Mulago, an experienced counselor with a Master’s in Theology, defines clinical depression as a pervasive mood disorder that goes beyond mere emotions, affecting the entire body. “Depressive symptoms persist for at least 2 weeks, causing distress and impairment in daily life activities,” Mulago explains. He emphasizes that while grief is a natural reaction to loss, depression can have various causes, including unresolved grief, anger, sleep disturbances, physiological vulnerabilities, and multiple losses.
During an intensive interview, Mulago shared insights into the alarming number of people found dead in various places, especially among single adults engaged in struggling businesses. He revealed that family issues and financial struggles often lead to suicidal thoughts, making it crucial to address the mental health of individuals facing such challenges.
Pastor and social worker Lucio Orun describe depression as a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in activities. He highlights signs such as insomnia, reduced energy, and appetite loss, emphasizing that intervention from observant individuals is crucial to preventing tragic outcomes.
A recent report in Uganda indicates that 16.6% of the population are confirmed victims of depression, with females ranking higher than males. Mulago suggests networking with caregivers and doctors to combat depression effectively. He emphasizes the importance of medical evaluation, as about 40% of depression is linked to physical illness. Mulago advocates for a combination of medication and counseling therapy for severe depression.
Dealing with a depressed person requires understanding and encouragement. Mulago advises keeping an events journal to help clients recognize patterns in their lives. He also underscores the role of family involvement and the power of prayer in restoring hope to the depressed individual.