Depression in South Africa

Did you know?

One third of South Africans suffer from mental illness

More than 17-million people in South Africa are dealing with depression, substance abuse, anxiety, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia,” the report went on to say. Inside the newspaper a graphic accompanying a package of articles stated: “1/3 of South Africans suffer from some form of mental illness.” – Sunday Times, 7 July 2014—most-won-t-get-any-help

Few of those affected by depression will get help

Getting a depression diagnosis is not easy. It typically requires several visits to a medical doctor or a psychiatrist. This is expensive and time-consuming. When you’re already emotionally overburdened, you are not likely to go and seek help.

Those who do look for help for their depression, often regret it.

A depression diagnosis often carries a stigma with it. If you suffer from depression, people around you may accuse you of “not being able to handle the pressure” or that you “are faking depression to avoid work”. Not only is this not true, it further deepens your depression.

Often, a medical diagnosis of depression is followed by a quick prescription of some anti-depressant and instructions to return for a follow-up visit in two weeks’ time. There is little or no counselling and almost no effective lifestyle changes are put in place.

Anti-depressants are not the magic depression-busting bullets we once thought

Anti-depressants may help (there are plenty of people out there testifying to the efficacy of anti-depressants), but they may also create new problem. The majority of depressed patients using anti-depressants report side-effects, ranging from mild to severe in intensity.

Worse, still. Anti-depressants may not work as well as you are being told. It is increasingly clear that drug companies cheat to register their drugs. A recent re-analysis of FDA registration data found that “popular drug [paroxetine] ineffective and unsafe for adolescents.”

Depression treatment has a 50% placebo effect

Yes, it’s true. Regardless whether they take a sugar pill or an active chemical anti-depressant, about HALF of people with depression will respond positively to treatment – ANY treatment. Some use this number to further stigmatize depressed people with a suggestion that “it’s all in the head,” as though that turns depression into a form of self-pity. You don’t just “snap out of” depression. Like with most things in life, it’s more complex than a simple one-size-fits-all solution. But the 50% placebo effect does offer important hope for depressed patients. It means that solving depression could, in fact, be EASIER than we’ve been led to believe. After all, if a sugar pill could cure your depression, why would you want a prescription drug?

The most effective anti-depressants on earth do not require a prescription

Ironically, being free from depression is often possible by natural (or spiritual) means. These solutions do not require a prescription, but they do require a qualified person to guide you.

It is tempting to diagnose and treat your own depression. This site provides a tool to help you find out if you are depressed. It does NOT diagnose depression, but it will give you some insights into your condition. With a better handle on what is wrong, you should be better positioned to find the help you need.