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Health News of Wednesday, 13 October 2021


Why antidepressants may not be best treatment option for depression – Physician

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A resident mental health physician at the LiveWell Initiative, Dr. Motolani Oyerinde says antidepressants may not be the best solution for depression.

Oyerinde said the best way to address depression is to recognise the mental health illness, analyse one’s strengths and weaknesses and see a specialist who will decide if there is a need to see a psychotherapist or use an antidepressant.

According to her, depression is common but it is not easily detected.

Speaking during the Health Response and Wellness Webinar Series organised by the PUNCH Newspapers on Monday, Oyerinde added that depression is different from the feelings or emotions of the current occurrences.

“Depression is an illness; it can be attributed to when the mood is persistently low for two weeks. If you are consistently in a low mood, then you need to seek help.

“Depression is very common in our environment and there are so many triggers to make people tilt towards having an emotional breakdown.

“It could be stress from the environment, work or personal reasons, family issues, or the economy. But the important thing is to understand your emotions to be able to discover yourself.

“The first step towards having a very good emotional wellbeing is to understand and recognise your emotions. Once you can do these, there will be self-awareness and you will be able to analyse your strengths and weaknesses; discover yourself and there will be a reduced need of people falling into depression,” she said.

The physician said everyone can have a mental health breakdown.

“People need to understand themselves in order to handle the emotions and work towards preventing the breakdown.

“The person suffering from depression does not necessarily show signs of the same; they can be sad on the inside and still be smiling at you outside.

“Antidepressants may not be the best solution in the time of pre-pandemic, pandemic, or post-pandemic because the first thing is to first recognise the illness and if it is persistent for two weeks, you will need to see a specialist who will decide if you need psychotherapy or an antidepressant.

“Counselling, talking to the right people often, companionship, great support even in the place of work can help people out of depression.

“Many people resort to substance abuse or drug abuse to manage their emotions and people have turned it into a habit. People abuse substances and one of them is coffee.

“So many people drink coffee every day without knowing they are abusing it.

“People can abuse coffee as a substance and they will not know. It’s not just about smoking and it can have effects on the body, the mind, and the brain; nobody plans to get addicted but you just find yourself addicted to it.

“Mental health issues are becoming so alarming and people are abusing many substances to stay active and to manage their emotions.”

According to the World Health Organisation, depression is a common illness worldwide, with an estimated 3.8 percent of the population affected, including 5.0 per cent among adults and 5.7 per cent among adults older than 60 years.

“Approximately 280 million people in the world have depression. Depression is different from usual mood fluctuations and short-lived emotional responses to challenges in everyday life. Especially when recurrent and with moderate or severe intensity, depression may become a serious health condition.

“It can cause the affected person to suffer greatly and function poorly at work, at school and in the family. At its worst, depression can lead to suicide. Over 700,000 people die due to suicide every year. Suicide is the fourth leading cause of death in 15-29-year-olds,” WHO noted.