Summary of Study Session 12

In Study Session 12, you have learned that:

  1. The common symptoms of depression include sad/low or irritable mood, loss of interest and enjoyment, loss of energy, poor concentration, sleep, appetite and weight, self-blame (guilt) and suicidal thoughts or behaviours. People with depression don’t always complain of feeling sad or depressed. They may often come to you with physical complaints such as pain in various parts of the body.
  2. Depression affects up to 15% of Ethiopian adults. It occurs in both men and women and can occur at any age. Although most depression is mild and self-limiting, it does affect the day-to-day functioning of individuals as well as their families. People with chronic medical conditions such as diabetes mellitus or HIV/AIDS are at increased risk of depression.
  3. Factors such as sickness or death of a family or friend, financial difficulties and related stresses can lead to depression. Having poor social support can lead to depression. The period after having a child is a particular risk period for depression. Physical health problems, such as low thyroid hormone or infections, can also lead to depression.
  4. Depression can be classified as mild, moderate or severe, based on the number of symptoms of depression, the extent to which the symptoms interfere with the person’s ability to carry out their normal daily responsibilities, and whether there is a history of severe symptoms in the person in the past or in their family. If the depression is moderate or severe, the person should be referred to the next level health facility.
  5. Although depression is a serious problem, it responds well to treatment, which may include medication and other specialist treatment at a higher health facility.
  6. Simple support and activities at the community level can help most people to recover from mild to moderate depression.

12.9.4  Be prepared to discuss whatever questions the person may have

Self-Assessment Questions (SAQs) for Study Session 12