By Immaculate Ajiambo

Life is full of ups and downs. Joys and sorrows, happiness and sadness, which spice up life and give it meaning. However, recent cases of death point to depression. It is cited that depression kills more than nature.

Why should one encounter pre-mature death in the hands of stress? It is clear that stress cannot be avoided because it is the response of our bodies to life situations, which can either be positive or negative.

Grace, a third year, undergraduate student, got raped while in her first year and lost her virginity. To add salt to injury, her boyfriend left because she felt that Grace was selfish for asking him to wait yet she got raped. It was so terrible for her. She got suicidal but luckily, got helped out. Life moved on for her and she found love while in her second year. The guy was so loving, caring and handsome.

He was what most ladies say- designer daddy, in that he was intelligent and a hunk. As Grace was in school, the guy was making his wedding arrangements with another lady. The worst of it all was that Grace discovered the truth herself and the guy had nothing to say. Grace, once more, felt so humiliated, betrayed, used and worthless. Do you think Grace has been to hell? Do you think this is her end?

There is a valley and a mountain so life has to move on. It is good for her to express bitterness in tears. It is proper for her to have bad blood but not hatch evil plans. It is good for her to cut any communication with him for the sake of her own relief. It is not the end of life.

However, many people cannot discern the signs of depression, which include;

  1. Always complaining- The person will have nothing new in their conversation, if not ohh this!! ooh that!!
  2.  Negative– He has an inactive sense of hope. He crowns impossible as the champion of the day and nothing seems to be achievable or possible to him.
  3. Full of regrets- All the faults and mistakes are always portrayed as if he could avoid but some force drove him. He wishes to turn back the clock but no, time gone can never be recovered.
  4. Blame game- He blames himself for every wrong turn things take.
  5. Withdrawn- He always wants his private space. If he is in a crowd, he is not vocal.
  6. Procrastinate- Things happen to be delayed for action. He feels like the next hour he has will be better for whatever he is supposed to do.
  7. Low self-esteem- There is no confidence seen. If he has to speak before a crowd, he becomes shy or even stammers.
  8. Nervousness- anxiety is his game.
  9. Memory loss- He keeps on forgetting things easily.

The way out is a simple but difficult process. One must be ready to put in extra effort and be patient since the results are not immediate.

1. Admit it happened- guilty or not, accept that it took place.
2. Meditate on the brighter side.
3. Smile as you pick out lessons to learn from whatever happened.
4. Be assertive in your decision.
5. Change your thinking to the positive and possible ones.
6. Distract attention from what reminds you of your misfortune.
7. Avoid people who stress you and always want to see you sulking.
8. Take charge of your environment and determine your destiny by not letting people decide for you.
9. Use soothing music. Music uplifts the soul. David played the harp for Saul to appease his spirit.
10. Social support. Talk to wellwishers who are your parents, friends and family.

We should employ this prayer in our lives;
Lord, grant me the strength to accept the things I cannot change,the courage to change the things I can and the serenity to discern what is right and wrong.

Moreover, life is to be lived and enjoyed. Be positive. Keep calm and relax.

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