depression

19 Nov 2014

A tragic case of a depressed mother

Women’s Mental Health is once again in the spotlight after the sentencing of Tania Clarence for manslaughter for the deaths of her children. I can’t comment on that specific case, but it did make me think of a few things. One of the things that it highlighted was the need for support of women who are looking after disabled children. The amount of emotional strain they experience is unfathomable, especially in the face of a child with a terminal illnesses. Carer fatigue and depression is common, and mental health services can help a little to ease the carers suffering. Support […]
29 Nov 2014

What is depression?

Depression is a very overused word in society. “I’m so depressed” and ” This is so depressing” are commonly used phrases. True depression in the clinical sense is more complicated than this. Sadness is a common human emotion, and it is commonly brought about by loss. Loss of spouse, child, business, home can all cause you to feel sad. Sadness is a normal human emotion which is felt acutely and then slowly resolves. So, when does sadness become depression? I’m often faced with this question, and have to tease out exactly what is going on. Depression is an intense chronic […]
30 Nov 2014

I had a black dog, his name was depression.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiCrniLQGYc&w=420&h=315] This video has been very powerful for some of my patients and their families. Its worth watching.
01 Dec 2014

I think I am depressed, what can I do to get better?

The first thing to do if you suspect that you may be depressed is to speak to a mental health care practitioner or a medical practitioner in order to make a diagnosis and exclude other medical conditions. Depression can be managed with or without medication. Either route you take it will really make a difference if you make some changes in your day-to-day routine. Ive used this wellness wheel to look at different aspects where simple changes can be made. Intellectual Educate yourself about depression, read websites, books. I always say you can’t try to ‘beat’ depression without fully understanding […]
04 Dec 2014

Be Kind and Gentle to yourself

I got this great picture from this blog and I thought it was fitting for my post today. Be kind to yourself is something I frequently say to my patients as a parting comment. I know it’s been a tough year for many people, and I thought as the year quietens down, its worth reflecting on things which can be done to improve your mental health. First, let’s think how you would be kind to someone else? You would be polite, caring, genuine, friendly, and tolerant of any weaknesses in your interaction with them. Imagine if you could do all […]
04 Dec 2014

Finding professional help for depression in South Africa

There are a few ways to find help for treatment of depression. In the private sector, initially I would advise approaching a general practitioner who can confirm the diagnosis and start treatment if necessary. Alternatively, make an appointment with a psychologist in your area and discuss your concerns with him/her. If your depression is complicated and not responding well to treatment, I would recommend that you see a psychiatrist for a more intense assessment. In the public sector there are local mental health clinics in all districts ( definitely in Gauteng). Go to your local clinic and ask to see […]