The dangers of depression

DEPRESSION has been ranked as the third most prevalent moderate and severe disabling condition globally by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to Hypnotherapist Petra Nicol, depression is a state of mind where things feel completely out of ones control and every little thing feels as though it is just too much effort.

“As a result of those things, your life starts to unravel bit by bit. Very often you’ll become more reclusive, simply because having to actually make a simple conversation with someone becomes an effort,” explained Nicol, adding that even having to get out of bed, brushing your hair and hitting a shower becomes so much effort that you feel you can’t deal with it anymore.

“Depression can be a bit of a catch 22 situation because the person will feel that it’s too much effort to interact with people and wants to be left alone but also want people to talk to them, although they may get irritated when people show them that they care when they ask them if they are okay,” said the hypnotherapist.

She said that, in general, people don’t know how to handle people who are affected by depression and they often tell them to “get over it”.

“When they are told that, they get even more depressed because they are forced to conceal what they are going through even more,” she said.

Nicol stated that people tend not to take depression seriously, saying: “When a person loses the one they love, other people will avoid them because they don’t know what to say. So the person will end up feeling shunned by everybody.”

In the same way, Nicol said, in dealing with depression, people often pretend that it’s not there because, if it is there, they don’t know if they should do something about it or not.

“If they have to acknowledge that the person is affected by depression, they feel bound to have to do something about it so if they can ignore it, it’s easier. However, the person who’s actually suffering from depression then tends to feel more and more isolated,” she explained.

In conclusion, she said rather than running away from people who show signs of depression, try and seek help for them.

“Avoiding them is not going to help — you should try and get them professional help,” she advised, although she cautioned against trying to force a person to do something as it could result in them becoming more depressed.


Mood — anxiety, apathy, general discontent, guilt, hopelessness, loss of interest, loss of interest or pleasure in activities, mood swings, or sadness

Sleep — early awakening, excess sleepiness, insomnia, or restless sleep

Whole body — excessive hunger, fatigue, loss of appetite, or restlessness

Behavioural — agitation, excessive crying, irritability, or social isolation

Cognitive — lack of concentration, slowness in activity, or thoughts of suicide

Weight — weight gain or weight loss

Also common — poor appetite or repeatedly going over thoughts