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It doesn’t have to end in suicide.

Over the past month I’ve had the opportunity to attend and also anchor various health talks/forums both in-house and for our clients at HCI Healthcare and the topics where bothering around stress management and how to cater for your mental health. It was interesting to note how many people were concerned about their mental health and how to avoid breakdowns. One question stood out in similarity in all these sessions; can stress lead to depression then suicide?

You see, one needs to understand that stress alone can’t lead to depression unless if left untreated for a very long time, after all we all need some amount of good stress so we can accomplish our goals. Stress is a predisposing factor and works with other conditions that eventually leads to a mental breakdown or depression and unfortunately for some, suicide. People don’t just wake up with the ideation of suicide or suicidal tendencies (attempt of taking one’s life or the act of actually taking one’s life), it’s an accumulation what we call stressors, which could be financial, health, relational, environmental or even work related. Suicide is highly preventable if a situation is tackled from the root cause in the right environment and appropriate support (psychological and social).

According to a United Nations report in October 2022, in Africa, there are approximately 11 suicide deaths per 100,000 people annually, which is higher than the global average of nine suicide deaths per 100,000 people, and Africa is home to about 6 countries with the highest suicide rates in the world. Some other reports have stated that this could be higher due to the lack of appropriate reporting systems in Africa. Studies also suggest that males are more likely to commit suicide more than females and males and young people/young adults are usually the victims. Nigeria is said to be home to the highest number of depression cases in Africa and since 2012, the number of suicide cases have been gradually increasing.

As we join the world in creating awareness on suicide prevention, we want to let you know that it doesn’t have to end in suicide, there’s always a way out for whatever situation you may be faced with. The first step is identifying the cause and seeking out help immediately, like they say; “a problem shared is half solved”. Do you have depressive symptoms or noticed any in a friend/family like disturbed sleeping patterns, eating disorders, aggressive and erratic behaviors, isolation, loss of interest in formerly enjoyed activities? It’s time to get up and do something about it and seek professional help and you may also want to explore some of the strategies listed below in avoiding depression and further suicide.

  1. Reduce stress!

Studies have shown that there is a link between depression and stress and people who are more prone to getting depressed do so if they experience untreated stress. It may not be so easy to avoid stress altogether but there are taking some intentional steps might be helpful like, saying NO to extra work, getting enough sleep, developing relaxing habits (meditation and journaling) and keeping your body in shape through exercise.

  1. Work on your diet

People who eat healthy are more equipped to handle stressful situations and get a boost to their overall wellbeing. Ensure foods like fresh fruits and vegetables which help prevent cell damage, sea foods, fiber-filled foods and healthy fats are part of your diet.

  1. Get enough sleep.

Sleep isn’t luxury but an important aspect of our daily lives. Lack of sleep and depression are connected so you may need to start snoozing if you’ve not been getting enough.

  1. Get help and talk to someone.

Getting someone trusted to talk to can help uncover the possible causes what may be making you depressed. Bottling up may increase the sense of hopelessness and make your symptoms worse, speak up and your solutions may be around the corner.

  1. Regular exercise

Exercise helps prevent and treat depression in many ways exercise helps release mood boosters, reduces the release of certain chemicals that can affect your mood and helps increase the production of the happy hormone.

  1. Reduce social media surfing time.

Technology is a blessing but at the same time has led many into depression. Social media can be so addictive and may cause one to lose their self-esteem, so instead of spending tons of hours in front of the screen, connect with friends and family and have fun.

  1. Take your medication faithfully.

Are you already on anti-depressants, then it’s important to take them regularly as instructed in order to prevent a relapse. This not only applies to anti-depressants but in case you’re on any other prescribed medication for any illness, it’s vital to take them so the illness doesn’t worsen to the point of getting you depressed.

 

Need someone to talk to? Then it may interest you to try out our Telemedicine plan here at HCI HMO where you can talk to a qualified specialist on issues and symptoms bothering on your mental health. Also, our health insurance packages at HCI healthcare provide you the opportunity of seeking psychological care when the need arises.

Suicide is totally preventable, you don’t need to die in silence, so why not reach out today. We are your best healthcare plug.

Take care and we care.

Written By:
Rebecca Adeleke-Adesanmi, BSc. Nur., MA, Healthcare Mgt.
Health & Wellness Advocate,
HCI Healthcare HMO

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