Hello everyone, I hope your day is going as great as mine? Well if it’s not; don’t worry, it will soon be. 
Today I would like to write about depression. I’m sorry this is a very long post, but please stick with me. You will find this very helpful. 
This is a topic I have been putting off writing for like forever. I felt I’m not really qualified to write about it. But depression is something I have faced before and I feel like I can write about it from a personal experience.
Not too long ago I struggled with depression, and it wasn’t a small thing. It was a difficult period in my life where I couldn’t even pray, I couldn’t talk to God, my social life was non-existent, and I kept to myself. It was so bad that I contemplated suicide. 
The unfortunate thing is that while I was going through this, people around me didn’t notice and even if they did; no one said anything about it. I confided in one of my close friends who I thought would be an encouragement. I told the person I was depressed and instead of being concerned or even asking what was wrong, the fellow threw bible verses at me, told me how his own life was going great, was very “religious in his response to me and excused himself. I felt very bad, I even began regretting ever opening up. I told another friend that I was contemplating suicide and the fellow told me to never ever in my life say that again. 
Why do I have to point this out? A depressed or suicidal person would not be willing to share what he/she is going through for the fear of been judged. Unfortunately, the society we live in is one in which depression is not really understood, a society where you could be judged for even feeling depressed. The recent suicide of a medical doctor in Lagos State Nigeria has brought at least a little awareness of depression.
I and my colleagues in the office were talking about the incident and I said the man may have been depressed for a long time. They all said no, that’s there’s nothing like depression that he was moved by an evil spirit. 
Nigeria is a very religious country and issues like this are treated like spiritual diseases. But the truth is glaring right before us; suicidal statistics are increasing by the day and we have to do something about it. The country is hard, recession has been around for a while and people are finding it very difficult to survive. Instead of the church to be treating depression as nonexistent, the church should take care of its people, discuss these topics; and don’t throw them to the background. The church should be more involved in making life a lil easier. You would be surprised the number of families that have no food to eat, they attend service looking all happy and good, but they are returning to a house with no food. 
It’s unfortunate that we have less time for deep friendships; we have less time to be concerned or care for our fellow man. It’s when someone dies we start regretting and wishing we had done more to be a good friend. We are so busy these days seeking to make ends meet that we have forgotten how to be good friends. 
Let’s be a lil more caring, ask after someone, check on someone, if a friend confides in you please be reasonable and try not to judge. Be a shoulder someone can lean on, people’s struggles and issues are not your topics for gossips or side talks. Also, let’s celebrate the people in our lives; let’s not give them their roses when they are dead. If someone means something to you, please SAY it and SHOW it. The truth is we may mean something to someone and not know it and be feeling we are worthless. 
If you’re having suicidal thoughts, please I want you to know that suicide is not and is never the option. There are people who love and care (they may not show it or not know how to) for you; that’s the truth. Your life is of value to someone, and it would break their heart if you end your life. One of the reasons I didn’t end my life is because of my sister; she looks up to me. I always ask myself what example I will be laying for her so I couldn’t go through with it.
I know that situation or circumstance may be difficult but tough situations are not meant to destroy us, but to bring out the best in us. Some of us would never have been great if not the difficult situations we passed through. I would have you know that the wisest, most loving, and well-rounded people are those who have known misery, known defeat, known the heartbreak of losing something or someone they loved, and have found their way out of the depths of their own despair.
God brought each and every one of us to planet earth for a purpose and it is not in our place to end our lives. We didn’t give ourselves life and we don’t have the right to take it. If you are feeling empty, it could be that you are not living out your purpose. Find out why you are on planet earth and pursue it vigorously. 
Please no matter how bad the situation, nothing is good enough, no reason is tangible enough, no difficulty is reasonable enough to end our lives over. 
Please, my people, depression is real and it is no respecter of persons, it affects young or old, rich or poor, educated or uneducated. 
I was able to overcome depression when I tried out the following things, which you will find here 8 WAYS TO LIVE A HAPPIER LIFE. In addition, the following are also important: 
  1. Reach out and stay connected to supportive people: When you’re depressed, the tendency is to withdraw and isolate. But social support is absolutely essential to depression recovery. Staying connected to other people and the outside world will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook.
2. Do things that make you love – even when you don’t feel like it: for me discovered my love for writing and baking and I’ve focused on it. My love for writing and especially baking makes me happy any day any time. 
Please if you reside in Nigeria and you’re having suicidal thoughts or you are depressed, kindly dial any of these numbers wherever you are  08092106493 or 08062106493. 
Now how do you know if a friend or a loved one is depressed or suicidal? Please watch out for these signs:
1.     Talking about killing or harming one’s self.
2.    Expressing strong feelings of hopelessness or being trapped.
3.    An unusual preoccupation with death or dying.
4.    Acting recklessly, as if they have a death wish (e.g. speeding through red lights).
5.    Calling or visiting people to say goodbye.
6.    Getting affairs in order (giving away prized possessions, tying up loose ends).
7.    Saying things like “Everyone would be better off without me” or “I want out”.
8.    A sudden switch from being extremely depressed to acting calm and happy.
9.    Sudden weight gain or loss.
10. Withdrawal from social activities and interaction.
11.  Irritability, short-tempered, critical or moody.
12. Doesn’t seem to care about anything anymore.
13. Expresses a bleak or negative outlook on life.
14. Frequently complains of aches and pains such as headaches, stomach problems, and back pain. Or complains of feeling tired and drained all the time.
15. Sleeps less than usual or oversleeps.
16. Eat more or less than usual, and has recently gained or lost weight.
17. Drinks more or abuses drugs.
As a friend, what can you do?
1.     Be a compassionate listener rather than giving advice.
2.    Encourage the person.
3.    Provide whatever assistance the person needs (and is willing to accept).
4.    Take walks or do other physical activities together.
5.    Take care of yourself so that you are able to stay positive.
6.    Encourage a healthy diet by cooking and eating together.
7.    Learn more by reading the related articles.
8.    Try as much as possible that the person is never alone. Suicide thrives on secrecy.
9.    Pray. 
Thank you for reading. I would like to end this article by sharing this quote from Joyce Meyer.  A positive attitude gives you power over your circumstances instead of your circumstances having power over you.”

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