With the world still plagued with COVID-19, we are aware that people around the world are now more prone to depression, anxiety, stress, and loneliness. Therefore, we have invited Ms Gabriella Sabbathini, B.A. in Psychology, who is currently a mentor at ALL-in Eduspace, to give us insights regarding mental health through a Zoom meeting conducted on March 21, 2021 at 15.00 PM. According to Ms Gabriella, currently, about 10% of the world population (about 1 billion people) are living with mental disorders. Every 40 seconds, people die due to suicide.
As most of us may have heard or known, there are several types of mental disorders. However, depression and anxiety disorder are probably the most common ones. Ms Gabriella said that there is a difference between depression and anxiety disorder. Depression is a mental disorder caused by persistence sadness and the loss of interest in previous enjoyable activities for a minimum of two weeks. Some symptoms included disruption in sleep, appetite, concentration.
On the other hand, anxiety itself means an emotion which is characterised by tension, recurring concerns and thoughts. In general, it causes symptoms, such as an increase in blood pressure, dizziness, trouble sleeping, headaches, and chronic pains. It is normal for people to be anxious, as long as it does not last for a long time. However, this anxiety can progress into a more serious type of anxiety, i.e. anxiety disorder, which lasts for about a month for children and adolescents and about 6 months or more for adults. This type of anxiety may eventually lead to depression.
Both depression and anxiety disorder can affect people’s lives. Those who suffer from these will tend to isolate themselves from the society. Not only do these affect their relationship with their families and friends, but also cause them unable to participate in the community. If their conditions persist, these can develop into serious illness, such as cardiovascular disease. Even worst, these may lead to suicide.
Fortunately, there are ways to improve our mental health. Firstly, it is important to stay active, such as doing exercises. Secondly, we should continue to do our hobbies or something that we like. Furthermore, we should stop isolating ourselves from our families and friends. Instead, we could call them on a frequent basis and talk to them. Having social support from our surroundings are very important. In addition, it is important as well to educate ourselves about this issue, so that we know how to handle it if we suffer from it or to identify those who suffer from it and help them.
If you think that you are suffering from depression and anxiety disorder, it is best to reach out to your friends and families first. Let them help you. If necessary, you can refer to professionals, such as psychologists and counsellors, which will provide advice to help you to recover.
Lastly, we would like to thank Ms Gabriella for taking part in this interview and we hope that all of our readers will benefit from this information.