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Health care: FCTA steps up campaign on depression

As part of its preventive measure against the increasing prevalence of depression as a health condition, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has intensified its public education by stepping up awareness among FCT residents about the scourge.

Acting Secretary, FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS), Mrs. Alice Odey Achu, noted that drug abuse is one of the top ten causes of death among teenagers, young adults and adults in recent times in the society, as it is increasing at an alarming rate in the society.

Speaking during the official flag off of the campaign recently, Mrs. Alice explained that just like any other disease, FCT residents should apply the preventive method as prevention is better than cure.

She added that most people suffering from depression which is a mental disorder are often reluctant to seek help from the medical experts because of the stigma surrounding such mental illness.

According to her, “suicide is one of the consequences that arise from depression including impaired ability to carry out simple tasks, break down in relationship with family and also impaired ability to work or earn a living.”

She said the secretariat through its Health Education and Promotion unit of the Public Health Department, will not fail to sustain the awareness creation and education on health activities, urging the mass media to key in to increase awareness most especially among FCT residents on depression.

In particular, she advised journalists to help enlighten residents how to recognise symptoms of depression and where to get the treatment as well as how to prevent it in the society.

Similarly, the Consultant Psychiatrist from Karu General Hospital of FCT, Dr. Timitayo Daramola, explained that depression is more than just feeling sad or going through a rough patch.

Every individual has ups and downs, sometime we might feel a bit low or feel grief when especially we lose someone we love. People may say that they are depressed when they are feeling down, but this does not mean that they have depression.

Depression is a serious mental health condition that requires understanding and medical care, and when left untreated depression can be devastating. But with early detection, diagnosis and treatment plan, consisting of medication, psychotherapy and lifestyle choice, such patients do get better.

It is a long lasting low mood disorder which affects your ability to do every day things, feel pleasure to take interest in activities”, he said.

Dr. Daramola highlighted the causes of depression to include hormones and chemicals, adding that changes in one hormone can affect ones’ mood like trauma, genetics and life circumstances like bereavement, loss of money, and divorces among others.

He therefore advised residents to watch their lifestyle like bad diet, lack of exercise, drugs, alcohol intake, smoking and other like illnesses like cancer, diabetic, HIV, epilepsy among others.

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